In 2006, strong winds carried large numbers of beetles over the mountains from BC into northern Alberta. Each year they move further into the province, in waves from areas with high populations. The fourth wave of beetles arrived in Jasper, then on moved to Hinton, Edson, and Whitecourt.
A few trees attacked by MPB were found in Lac Ste. Anne County in 2018, likely coming from Jasper. Scientist have determined beetles have eaten themselves out of house and home in Jasper- reducing the risk to Lac Ste. Anne County.
Since 2018 there have been no new reports of MPB in Lac Ste. Anne.
This is a devastating pest of mature pine forests. While the County has some stands of natural pine forest, many residents are concerned about their shelterbelts and other high-value specimen pine trees.
For 2022, Hinton and Edson are still a possible source of beetles for our County. However, forestry crews are having good success at slowing their spread by hitting them hard with cut and burn strategies. It is predicted the past winter’s severe cold has also caused a step decline in numbers.
The good news is the cut and burn strategies are working to slow the movement of MPB across the boreal forest and into Saskatchewan.