Saskatchewan contributes C$150,000 to Alberta's fight against mountain pine beetle, hopes to prevent or slow eastern spread into Saskatchewan's northern forest

REGINA, Saskatchewan , December 6, 2011 (press release) – Saskatchewan will be contributing $150,000 to the fight against mountain pine beetle in Alberta.

The funding will be provided as part of a multi-year agreement with the Government of Alberta that will allow the two provinces to more effectively co-operate in mountain pine beetle management. The program aims to control the outbreak in Alberta to prevent or significantly slow the eastern spread into Saskatchewan's northern forest.

"Saskatchewan and Alberta have worked together and shared insect and disease information for many years," Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. "This agreement builds on that history of collaboration and establishes a framework for further partnerships with other jurisdictions to address an issue of national importance."

The funding will be used to support mountain pine beetle control actions in areas of Alberta that pose the most risk to Saskatchewan. These include enhanced surveillance and monitoring, aggressive removal of infested trees and research and modelling to effectively direct program efforts.

The mountain pine beetle outbreak has killed almost 70 per cent of British Columbia's lodgepole pine forests. In the five years since the infestation breached the Rocky Mountains, the beetle has spread halfway across Alberta. Recent research confirming that mountain pine beetle can survive in jack pine means that forests in northern Saskatchewan, and across Canada, are at risk.

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