Tuesday, July 21, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 29 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“I think that the community put on a fantastic event.”
- Cam Mertz  
- on the Southern Alberta 
Summer Games 


The past winter’s colder temperatures, which lingered at times well into the spring, gave some hope that the mountain pine beetle might be stopped in its tracks. Provincial surveys looking into the beetle’s winter survival, the results of which were released on July 14, show this not to be the case.
According to the surveys, the pine beetle had “low to moderate population success in southwest Alberta, including in the Kananaskis, Oldman River and Crowsnest Pass areas.”
The beetle was more severely affected in the Wilmore Wilderness Area, Grande Cache, and Rocky Mountain House areas, where it reportedly had low population success over the winter.
However, pine beetles were found to have been “extremely successful” in areas both north and south of Grande Prairie, where a large flight of beetles was carried by wind from British Columbia in 2006.
“The surveys indicate that last winter’s cold temperatures did not kill enough beetles to reduce the threat of infestations spreading in many areas of the province,” states a news release from Sustainable Resource Development. “Annual mortality of 97.5 per cent is required to stop beetle populations from increasing.”
The surveys also reportedly found that there is a high risk of beetle inflights from B.C. to southwest Alberta, and moderate risks of suck inflights in the rest of the province.
Southwest Alberta is listed as a high priority area for continued beetle control work.
“Mountain pine beetle populations remain the single greatest threat to the health of the province’s forests,” says the release. “SRD’s objectives are to minimize the spread of beetles north and south along the Eastern Slopes, and to prevent beetles spreading east into the boreal forest.”
If pine beetles spread into the boreal forest, there is a risk that they will cross the entire country unless colder temperatures intervene to stop their population growth.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 29 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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