Mountain Pine Beetle Report Finds Good Reforestation Efforts

VICTORIA – The reforestation of areas most heavily affected by B.C.’s mountain pine beetle infestation is as prompt, or quicker, than in areas not affected, or affected to a lesser degree, according to a report released today by the Forest Practices Board.

“The board views this as a commendable achievement,” said board chair Bruce Fraser. “There have been public concerns expressed about the ability to keep up with the increased levels of harvesting, and we are pleased to find that licensees are taking steps to quickly reforest the areas harvested.”

The board’s special investigation compared reforestation efforts in the Quesnel, Nadina and Vanderhoof forest districts with the other forest districts in the Interior of B.C. It looked at cutblocks that were harvested between April 1, 1995 and March 31, 2004. Along with good reforestation efforts in the three mountain pine beetle districts, the board also reported an increase in mixed species planting, as opposed to pure pine plantations, in these areas. The board is encouraging government to work with licensees to continue to establish a greater diversity of tree species, on specific sites and across the landscape.

Increasing the diversity of trees could help to avoid a similar catastrophic event in future by reducing B.C.’s reliance on a single species of tree. Up to 80 per cent of the Interior’s mature lodgepole pine volume is expected to die as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic. And lodgepole pine accounts for more than half of the merchantable volume in the Interior of B.C.

“Increasing the diversity of trees growing on individual blocks and across the landscape would be one of many techniques needed to improve the ability of future forests to withstand the impacts of climate change,” said Fraser.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board:

  • audits forest and range practices on public lands;.
  • audits appropriateness of government enforcement;
  • investigates public complaints;
  • undertakes special investigations of current forestry issues;
  • participates in administrative appeals; and
  • makes recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

Helen Davies

Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250-356-1699 or 1-800-994-5899