Despite the headline, the article says isn’t clear what the huge pine die-off in Alberta (and, not mentioned in the article, nearby B.C.) will have on the grizzly bear.

Scientists using bears to battle bugs. By Jeff Holubitsky, CanWest News Service

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

2 Responses to The great Canadian pine forest die-off and grizzly bears

  1. avatar JimBob says:

    This article mentions “harvesting” bark beetle infested trees. That would actually be ok except that disturbance of the trees would actually harm the uninfested trees. The only thing that makes it tough for Bark Beetles to infest an entire area is that they are not very mobile. Dragging Beetle infested trees through the forest would probably exacerbate the problem by making it easier for the beetles from a dead tree to move to a live one. We have these very problems here in Arizona and the methods of control are few. Forest thinning or controlled burns may be effective, but not without moisture. The drought makes things worse, even with treatments. Imagine the effects of global warming. The only other savior for infected forests is cold weather.

  2. Jim Bob, you are right!
    I don’t think the salvage logging of lodgepole pine infested by the mountain pine bark beetle has worked to stem an epidemic anywhere.
    I watched it in Idaho in Island Park, next to Yellowstone in the period from 1975-1996 or so when essentially all the trees had been salvaged. With no trees left, of course, the infestation was gone.
    A huge infestation built and is now mature in the Sawtooth Mountains, Sawtooth Valley and adjacent areas in central Idaho. They have tried single tree removal and a few clear cuts, but everyone knows a fire is coming. The trees just keep dying and will do so until, as you say, a long spell of very cold weather.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if almost all the conifer stands in Western Canada that are primarily lodgepine pine die from this. Then, or during, there will be huge forest fires.
    There is no way on earth the timber companies can cut the dying and dead pines fast enough



‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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