Total Hectares of Land Affected by Mountain Pine Beetle Disturbance in BC, 1981-2005.

Mountain Pine Beetle in BC (1981-2005) 2, 3

The area of BC forest affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) has more than doubled, from 4 million hectares in 2003 to 8.7 million hectares in 2006, with much of this in the Fraser Basin. The MPB reduces trees' nutrient and water uptake, resulting in defoliation and tree mortality. The large areas of dead trees can increase the intensity of forest fires, change water runoff patterns and water temperature, affect soil and stream bank erosion and degrade fish habitat. The commercial value of wood is significantly reduced if affected trees are not harvested within two to five+ years of infestation. In an attempt to reduce the spread of the MPB and salvage commercially valuable wood, the Chief Forester has increased the allowable annual cut (AAC) in a number of Fraser Basin Timber Supply Areas.

In the absence of extreme cold periods that historically have controlled MPB populations, it has been projected that, by 2013, 80% of BC's central and southern interior mature pine forest could be killed by MPB. This will have significant repercussions for forestry-dependent communities, forest ecosystem health and the provincial economy (See Economy).

Fraser Basin Council: Forests and Forestry


  1. Anonymous said...

    The pine beetles here are out in force, very close to B.C. They get in your hair, land on your face, and they put out a nasty little stink if disturbed. One of God's curses on the earth, I'm sure.  

  2. byron smith said...

    That graph only goes to 2005. It would be very interesting to see on that includes the last five years. Haven't they been significantly worse?  


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