VICTORIABritish Columbia’s updated mountain pine beetle action plan, backed by close to $500 million, hints at what the Interior could look like decades from now, with a more diversified forest industry, new adventure tourism businesses, and increased mining and oil and gas activity.


“This is the second update since our action plan was first released in 2001,” said Forests and Range Minister Rich Coleman. “We’ve made a lot of progress in the last five years and made a number of important investments. This plan builds on that work and will help us turn the beetle infestation from a challenge to an opportunity.”


B.C.’s updated Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan outlines 59 key actions to be taken in the coming year, as well as 13 multi-year actions, aimed at helping B.C. achieve sustainability for forests, communities and the provincial economy.


The updated plan involves growing the value-added wood sector, developing non-timber forest product enterprises with First Nations, ensuring road networks meet timber transportation needs, and establishing a mountain pine beetle research information network.


The vision in the Action Plan is backed by close to $500 million in strategic investments by the Province. Forests for Tomorrow and the Northern Development Initiative Trust are two of the long-term programs set up to respond to the reforestation and economic development needs created by the infestation.


The $185-million Northern Development Initiative Trust, which includes a $30-million Pine Beetle Recovery Account, is in place to help communities diversify their local economies. The Northern Trust is investing in recreation, tourism, and proposals to develop other resource-based sectors such as mining, energy and agriculture.


With provincial support, community coalitions in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and the Omineca regions are building regional business plans that will help them diversify through the infestation. Funding from the Northern Trust will go to project proposals emerging from these locally developed strategies as they are evaluated and approved by the Northern Trust.


Forests for Tomorrow is a $161-million program aimed at future timber supplies and restoring ecosystems. The program is investing in seed and seedling production, site preparation, planting and fertilization, surveying, mapping, and research aimed at strengthening the resilience of B.C.’s forests to climate change and natural disturbances.


The Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan was introduced in 2001 and is updated regularly. Input comes from the Minister’s Community Advisory Group, which includes members from communities, First Nations, the forest and range industries, logging contractors, academia, environmental groups, and the federal government.


“B.C.’s Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan provides vision and direction for working together to sustain affected forests and communities,” said 100 Mile House Mayor Donna Barnett, a member of the Minister’s Community Advisory Group. “We’ll be living with the effects of the beetle for at least 30 years – but we need to start planning that future today.”


The Province, the federal government, First Nations and communities are working closely together to effectively mitigate the impacts of the beetle infestation. Last year, the federal government transferred $100 million to the Province, and this spring committed another $200 million to help British Columbia mitigate the impacts of the beetle infestation. These funds are part of the $1 billion the federal government has promised over 10 years.


The participation of First Nations on the mountain pine beetle provincial emergency response team is improving the ability of the government and First Nations to work together in addressing mountain pine beetle issues.


For more information on the updated Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan, or to download a copy, visit







The Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan provides a framework for government in dealing with the impacts of the infestation, and ensuring sustainability for forests, communities, and the provincial economy. The action plan, first introduced in 2001, is updated regularly. To date, the Province has made significant progress towards achieving each of the plan’s seven objectives.



Objective 1 – Economic Sustainability for Communities


•The Northern Development Initiative Trust has invested in 47 projects in central and northern communities, aimed at pursuing new opportunities for stimulating economic growth and job creation. Projects range from downtown revitalization to ski hill development.

•Government signed agreements this year with the McLeod Lake Indian Band, Kamloops Indian Band, Little Shuswap Indian Band, Lhoosk’uz Dene (Kluskus) Nation, and Red Bluff Band to create new forestry opportunities for First Nations in helping to manage the beetle infestation.

•The Province has accelerated development of programs and strategies to encourage industrial activity in sectors including exploration for oil and gas, minerals, and wood-to-energy resources.



Objective 2 – Worker and Public Safety


•Safety-related improvements are being made to forest service roads impacted by increased logging truck traffic hauling beetle wood. This year, 160 km of forest service roads, including three bridges, are receiving upgrades.

•The Ministry of Transportation has upgraded 660 km of roads to help support increased harvesting of beetle wood, and to mitigate and repair damage to highway infrastructure resulting from increased logging truck traffic.

•Fuel management treatments were conducted on 2,300 hectares this year to help protect communities adjacent to beetle-affected forests from the threat of wildfire.

•Tree removal and fuel reduction programs have been conducted in eight beetle-impacted provincial parks – including Mount Robson, Silver Star, Manning and Lac le Jeune.



Objective 3 – Recovering Value


•The Ministry of Forests and Range completed five timber supply analyses in 2005-06, resulting in temporary increases in the allowable annual cut of 2.4 million cubic metres per year. The increased cut enables more harvesting aimed at recovering the maximum value from beetle-affected timber.

•Investments in research and development have led to advances in the ability to remove the blue stain in beetle wood, the creation of a new thick cross-laminated panel product now gaining interest in European construction markets, and the ability to detect cracking in pine logs for improved and safer sawing.

•Four major forest licences were awarded to TallOil Canada, which plans to use beetle wood to manufacture industrial pellets for use as biofuels in European energy markets. The licences support a potential private sector investment of up to $110 million and the creation of up to 640 jobs.



Objective 4 – Conserve Long-Term Forest Values


•B.C.’s Chief Forester issued a report providing guidance to professional foresters on maintaining biodiversity values in large-scale harvesting operations for mountain pine beetle. On larger cutblocks, it is necessary to increase the size of unharvested areas to support wildlife habitat and other non-timber values.

•The Future Forest Ecosystem initiative, launched by the Chief Forester, is exploring opportunities to adjust forestry legislation, policy and practices in response to rapidly changing forest conditions, including those brought about by the mountain pine beetle epidemic.



Objective 5 – Limit Further Damage


•4.1 million hectares were surveyed and mapped to monitor infestation levels and to plan fall-and-burn treatments for controlling beetle populations along the B.C.-Alberta border.

•68,000 infested trees were felled and burned in 2005-06 as part of spread control activities in the interprovincial border zone.

•The Emergency Bark Beetle Management Area was updated to enable aggressive action against the beetle in expanded outbreak areas on the edges of the infestation.



Objective 6 – Restoring Forest Resources


•Wildlife habitat impacted by beetle-related harvesting activity in the BX Creek watershed in the Okanagan-Shuswap Forest District has been re-established. Five landing sites and about 1.25 km of road were rehabilitated as part of the ecosystem restoration project.

•Aerial surveys and ground surveys have been conducted on thousands of hectares in heavily attacked areas in the Central Interior. This data is being used in planning strategic reforestation efforts under Forests for Tomorrow.

•More than 250 million seeds being sown in 2006 for both private and government reforestation efforts across the province.

•Nearly 7,400 hectares were fertilized in 2005-06 to enhance growth of other commercial tree species like Douglas Fir and spruce, to bring them to a harvestable size sooner.



Objective 7 – Co-ordinated Planning and Mitigation Measures


•Eleven ministries and provincial agencies are now working on projects directly related to addressing the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

•An Assistant Deputy Minister was appointed to lead a Mountain Pine Beetle Emergency Response Team for mitigating the beetle’s long-term impacts.

•A First Nations’ Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative has been established to help plan strategic responses for sustaining First Nations’ cultures being disrupted by the beetle infestation.








Reference #: 2006FOR0112-001109

Date released: Sep 13, 2006

Region: Province Wide

Category: General




Jennifer McLarty

Public Affairs Officer

Ministry of Forests and Range

250 387-4592