Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Folks like us who live in an urban area have vaguely heard about a problem in the forests with Pine Beetle infestation. For the last two hundred miles driving up the Fraser River Valley we’ve seen widespread evidence of this scourge. Every pine tree larger than 6 to 8 inches in diameter is dead! In many areas, this is well over 50% of all the trees, the dead pines standing starkly black off in the distance. We’re told we’ll continue to see this devastation for much of our trip.
The problem began 7-10 years ago. Conventional wisdom has it that the unseasonably warm winters with no extended period of 40 degrees below zero, resulted in the Pine Beetle not dying back as they had in the past. One more impact from our carbon addiction. The hope is that with the death of their entire habitat, the beetles will die back due to lack of food. In the meantime the forestry industry in British Colombia has been badly harmed and the landscape significantly altered.