Tree Species Harvested In Areas Affected By Mountain Pine Beetles
British Columbia is in the midst of the most severe mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreak on record. In 1999 the infestation was 160,000 hectares in size and by the summer of 2006 it had affected 9.2 million hectares of forest to varying degrees. The Ministry of Forests and Range (MFR) projects that by the end of 2007, more than half of the merchantable pine volume in the province will be killed and, if the infestation continues to expand as it has in the past, nearly 80 percent of the merchantable pine will be dead by 2013.
In response to the outbreak, the allowable annual cut (AAC) in the interior of B.C. has been increased by 36 percent from 50 to 68 million cubic metres. From July 2001 until January 2004, the rationale for the uplifts was to facilitate attempts to control the expansion of the infestation. Beginning in October 2004, MFR began to acknowledge that control of the outbreak was not possible in many areas and further uplifts were determined primarily to salvage dead pine before it loses economic value.