Local mills will be playing a role in the fight against the Douglas-fir Beetle in the Williams Lake area.
Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, Resource Manager Jennifer Bowman explains how West Fraser and Tolko will be helping now that heli-logging operations have gotten underway.
“The contractor that’s doing the work is working with West Fraser to be able to take some of the mill wood there, and we’re working very closely with Tolko to be able to do the probing work and some of the cutting treatments that they’ll be doing in the areas that they can do conventional harvesting.”
Bowman says by doing the heli-logging treatments now, the beetle can be effectively killed during the milling process which will help reduce the number of beetles that will fly when spring arrives.
She says about 3,500 trees that have been identified as high priority are being targeted.
“So far they’re doing the area that’s behind the 168 Mile area-what we call Slater Mountain. They’ve been working there all week and they should be finished doing the helicopter flights there and then next week they’ll be moving over to Esler after the holidays.”
“In January a medium-sized helicopter will be coming back to Slater Mountain to deal with some of the larger trees.”
Bowman says they also have a plan to do some continual placement of trap trees and using some of the pheromone to be able to continue controlling the infestation.
The work is being taken out on crown land. Bowman says there is information online for private property owners land on how to identify if they have Douglas-fir beetles and some of the things they can do to manage the trees including hiring professional fallers.