Good news about mountain pine beetle in Saskatchewan: There still aren’t many

beetle infested forest flickr USFS northern

THE CANADIAN PRESS/The Province Oct 28

There’s some promising news on the mountain pine beetle’s presence — or lack thereof — in Saskatchewan.

The insect has destroyed millions of hectares of lodgepole pine in British Columbia and Alberta, and there were worries that it could move further north, where there are a lot of jack pines.

Rory McIntosh, Saskatchewan’s forest entomologist and pathologist, says they have found no trace of the dangerous bug in the northwest part of the province for the second straight year.

McIntosh says the situation is also improving in the Cypress Hills area in the southeast, where both Alberta and Saskatchewan are working together to slow down the beetle.

He says they found 260 affected trees, compared to 440 in 2013.

McIntosh hopes aggressive actions to burn trees immediately after they are affected and a lack of insect immigration could lead to a continuing downward trend.