Saskatchewan extends pine beetle survey, approves additional C$100,000 to complete it by March 31, after higher-than-expected number of infested trees found in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

REGINA, Saskatchewan , January 23, 2012 (press release) – The Ministry of Environment has extended a contract for mountain pine beetle surveys due to a higher than expected number of infested trees found in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

Great Western Forestry Ltd. is contracted to survey for mountain pine beetle in the boreal forest in northwestern Saskatchewan and in Cypress Hills. The surveys in the northwest took place September 19, with no mountain pine beetles detected. However, the known infestation in the Cypress Hills affected more trees than expected. The contract extension will allow completion of work to verify all infested trees and to mark them for removal.

"Insect and disease surveys provide critical information to plan an effective and timely response, in co-operation with other jurisdictions," Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. "In the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, a unique landscape we share with Alberta, the extended contract will ensure that all needed work can be completed."

An additional $100,000 has been approved to complete the surveys by March 31, 2012, bringing total mountain pine beetle surveillance costs to $300,000 this year.

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