Canadian Forest Service Publications

The mountain pine beetle: scope of the problem and key issues in Alberta. 2004. Ono, H. Pages 62-66 in T.L. Shore, J.E. Brooks, and J.E. Stone, editors. Mountain Pine Beetle Symposium: Challenges and Solutions, October 30-31, 2003, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, British Columbia, Information Report BC-X-399. 298 p.

Year: 2004

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25035

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

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Alberta is facing the threat of another mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) outbreak. Current infestations in the Bow Valley have spread outside Banff National Park to adjacent provincial land. Almost all lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Douglas var. latifolia Engelmann) forests in Alberta are found outside the normal mountain pine beetle distribution range; however, its range has been expanding in Alberta. Pine forests in Alberta are becoming older due to an effective wildfire suppression program. Approximately 60% of eastern slopes pine forests is over 80 years old and is very susceptible to the mountain pine beetle. The current mountain pine beetle infestation spans a variety of jurisdictions. The values and tools used to manage the beetle vary according to their individual land management mandates. Various resource and land management agencies in Alberta and British Columbia are working cooperatively to manage the mountain pine beetle in the Rocky Mountain region along the border between the provinces. Historical climate records in Alberta indicate a warming trend in the last century. If the current warming trend continues, this pest will expand its range in Alberta. Jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) is a potential beetle host in Alberta. In northern Alberta, lodgepole and jack pine overlap in distribution and hybridize. If the mountain pine beetle successfully colonizes hybrid lodgepole-jack pine and pure jack pine forests, Canada will face a major ecological, social and economical disaster.