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Mountain pine beetle turns Jasper forests red, raises fire concerns

July 17, 2018

By: The Working Forest Staff

The patchwork of green forests in and around Jasper National Park is increasingly interrupted with splashes of red.

According to a report by CBC News, It’s a sign of destruction caused by the mountain pine beetle and it’s more apparent than ever before in Alberta’s westernmost forests — altering the landscape that greets visitors to the iconic national park and prompting debate about how to manage the effects of tinder-dry, dead wood near the townsite.

“I think it is more in your face,” said Bob Covey, the editor, publisher, and writer for the Jasper Local.

“You can see it in the valleys that surround the town.”

At the restaurant where Covey works part-time, he said visitors will sometimes ask, “What’s up with the red trees and the pine beetle?”

The Alberta government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to stop the spread of the pest. The decade-long efforts have slowed the beetle’s movement toward the carefully managed forests that supply wood for lumber and other purposes located to the east of Jasper.

See full report here.

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