On May 4, 2004, the Minister of Forests declared the south half of the Peace Forest District (the portion known formerly as the Dawson Creek District) as an Emergency Bark Beetle Management Area. This declaration enables the licensees to access funding and the district to speed up permitting processes in order to effectively deal with the recent infestations of Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) discovered this spring.
The areas with confirmed MPB attack are the Gwillim, Imperial/Monkman, Upper Sukunka, Kinuseo and Belcourt, while the adjoining landscape units, specifically the Pine Pass, Upper Moberly, Pine River, Bear Hole, Wapiti, and Narraway will be monitored closely for further spread of the beetle.
Containment operations (e.g. trap trees) will begin as soon as possible to ensure the beetles do not move beyond their current areas. Sanitation harvesting of these areas will then be undertaken in the coming fall and winter when the beetles are dormant, to contain the spread (harvesting of these areas cannot happen during the summer months when the beetle is active).
The Ministry of Forests and the Forest Licensees are working together to ensure that all of the areas with known MPB are aggressively treated to reduce the risk of further attack to our forests.