What is the Mountain Pine Beetle Program?
The MPB program focusses on the identification and removal of infested green trees, as well as the management and removal of standing dead trees from within Hinton town boundaries, specifically on Town owned and private lands.
Opportunities to support or advance Fire Smart activities that the Town has managed to-date may be identified and included in program work.
The management and removal of infested green trees is funded by a Provincial grant of $300,000 awarded to the Town of Hinton earlier in 2018. The scope of work for this grant includes work identified to address the extensive growth of the infestation, affect the spread of the beetle, and delay its impacts. In 2017 nearly 1000 infested trees within Town limits were controlled through the use of two provincial grants.
The 2018 municipal budget includes $50,000 for work to remove standing dead trees. This work concentrates on trees that pose potential hazards to people, property or infrastructure, or contribute to our community’s overall wildfire risk. Funding for this work has been approved for the next three years.
What work will be carried out in Hinton?
Simply Liv Ltd, the contractor selected by the Town of Hinton, has begun surveying land at the east end of town, moving west, and then south to town limits. As the surveyors complete their work in an area, crews managing control activities will follow behind. Surveying in the east is anticipated to be completed the end of this week (April 13), with control activity and tree removal to begin in those areas afterward.
The control work completed in Town limits will be done mostly by hand, with no heavy equipment use expected. There will be no on-site burning, and any large debris of deadfall will be hauled out and removed from the area.
What is the timeline for this work?
The components of the program funded by the provincial grant will be completed by June 2018 ensuring the most effective handling of the current mountain pine beetle infestation within its annual lifecycle.
Work that falls within the municipally funded component of the program may continue throughout the year until it is completed.