October 8, 2020 Ottawa, Ontario Natural Resources Canada
The health of Canada’s forests keeps our economy strong, sustains good jobs and preserves our environment. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to investing in the management of harmful pests that damage ecosystems and potentially affect the economy and the environment.
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced federal funding of $68.4 million over three years to help control, research and mitigate the impacts of the mountain pine beetle on Canada’s forests.
The funding includes:
- $60 million to the Government of Alberta for forest management and research;
- $6.9 million to Parks Canada to mitigate mountain pine beetle impacts, including wildfire risks in the Rocky Mountain National Parks; and
- $1.5 million to Natural Resources Canada to enhance its core research program.
The organizations will work together to address the challenges posed by the spread of the mountain pine beetle, one of the most damaging pests in western Canada. The mountain pine beetle outbreak has had significant negative effects on Alberta pine forests.
This funding includes $24 million for fiscal year 2020–2021 to address the outbreak of mountain pine beetle in Alberta and the Rocky Mountain National Parks while mitigating negative impacts on the forest sector and communities. Since 2010, Natural Resources Canada has invested $12.9 million in mountain pine beetle–related research in Alberta, and we continue to assist provinces in monitoring and research to address the spread of this harmful insect and to identify recovery options for affected trees.
Our goal is to protect the forest sector and communities where mountain pine beetle outbreaks are prevalent and slow the eastward spread of the insect throughout Canada. Not only does this help the forest industry, but it also protects the environment, including wildlife habitat, biodiversity and water quality, all while reducing fire hazards resulting from the infestation. This investment also helps mitigate effects of climate change through enhanced carbon storage in forests.
The government remains dedicated to providing continued scientific leadership to understand and alleviate the risks and damage to our forests caused by forest pests.