In 1999, the current mountain pine beetle epidemic began, leading to the largest infestation in North America’s recorded history.
The effects of the epidemic have had a significant effect on the province’s Interior timber supply. Although the infestation has now run its course, it has affected, to some degree, more than 18 million hectares of B.C.’s Interior forests. Since 2001, the Province has spent more than $1 billion on mitigating the economic and environmental impacts of the mountain pine beetle and preparing communities for transition.
Provincial Funding Breakdown
- $100 million for the BC Rural Dividend to assist rural communities with a population of 25,000 or less , particularly those affected by the mountain pine beetle, to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies.
- $235 million to the Forest Enhancement Society to help the land base recover, create new, healthy forests, reduce the risk of wildfire and encourage the use of trees that have been affected by the infestation.
- $185 million for the Northern Development Initiative Trust to help northern communities diversify their economies. To date, this has been invested in more than 2,300 projects that have leveraged other funding to bring $1.3 billion in new investment to central and northern B.C. in the last 11 years. The independent trust is sustainably managed and grants between $12 and $14 million of funding to support community economic development priorities throughout the region each year.
- As well, Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Pine Beetle Recovery Account has been used since 2005 to support local economic diversification in pine beetle-impacted communities. To date, the trust has approved $25.7 million in funding for 279 projects through this account
- Approximately $2.5 million in grant funding was approved through the Pine Beetle Recovery Account in 2016 to support communities and businesses.
- $50 million for the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust to help communities create new opportunities for economic growth.
- Since 2005, more than $445 million spent on Forests for Tomorrow for reforestation activities that will ensure long-term timber supply, including:
- Surveys and site preparation to support the target planting of 28 million seedlings annually by 2019-20, in addition to the approximately 218 million planted by licensees each year
- Surveying approximately 1.7 million hectares in mountain pine beetle affected areas
- Planting 193 million seedlings on more than 138,000 hectares
- Fertilizing 142,000 hectares to date with further planned fertilization of approximately 20,000 hectares in priority stands in 2017-18
- $121 million to mitigating the impacts of increased logging on roads:
- $90 million for rehabilitating highways
- $21 million for maintaining and upgrading forest service roads
- $10 million for rural municipalities to restore roads
- $25 million for Geoscience BC to explore central Interior mineral potential.
- $58 million for research, fire mitigation and administrative funding.
- $129 million for spread control and fertilizer plants since 2001.
- $71 million for energy development and infrastructure in mountain pine beetle-affected communities.
- $9 million to the three Beetle Action Coalitions for mountain pine beetle mitigation (March 2011).
Federal Funding Breakdown – $340 million
- $200 million for a Mountain Pine Beetle Program (announced in 2007) with forestry and economic diversification components.
- $100 million for spread control, wildfire protection, and value recovery
- $100 million for supporting economic growth and job creation, and transportation infrastructure improvements
- $100 million transferred from the federal government to the Province in 2005-06 for investment in a number of priority areas, including:
- $22.5 million to pine beetle spread control along the B.C.-Alberta border
- $14.1 million to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities to protect communities from wildfires. Funding to UBCM
- $12.5 million to First Nations for community diversification and stability. Funding to the B.C. First Nations Forestry Council
- $7.8 million to the Cariboo-Chilcotin, Omineca and Southern Interior regional Beetle Action Coalitions for community diversification.
- $5.5 million to researching and developing new product uses for beetle-wood.
- $2.1 million to protect First Nations communities from wildfires. Funding to the First Nations Emergency Services Society
- $40 million (2002) for research, remediation of federal and private forest lands.
Media RelationsMinistry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations