WHEREAS the Agriculture Pests Act, being Chapter A-8 of the revised Statutes of Alberta 2000 as amended, specifies that the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development may, by regulation, declare an animal, bird, insect, plant or disease to be a past or a nuisance, if that animal, bird, insect, plant or disease is destroying or harming (or is likely to destroy or harm) any land, livestock or property in all or part of Alberta; andWHEREAS under Alberta Regulation 184/2001, the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation, the Minister has declared which species constitute pests, and which species constitute nuisances; andWHEREAS the Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) has not been declared to be neither a pest nor a nuisance; andWHEREAS the Mountain Pine Beetle (hereinafter referred to as ‘MPB’) has caused incalculable devastation to the forestry in British Columbia, and has been found to be moving into Alberta forests at a rapid rate; andWHEREAS municipalities have been asked to join in the battle against the MPB by conducting annual surveys of potentially-infested forested areas, and removing any tree found to be infested with the MPB; andWHEREAS the cost of completing this work could become a substantial burden on those municipalities facing the possibility of having MPB-infested forests;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development to declare the Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) to be recognized as a pest in the Province of Alberta, and amend the Pest & Nuisance Control regulations accordingly;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Minister of Municipal Affairs, in conjunction with the Sustainable Resource Development, and Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, to establish funding programs for municipalities that are being afflicted with Mountain Pine Beetle infestations.
A number of western rural (and urban) municipalities have identified an insidious problem reaching their boundaries in the form of the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) (Dendroctonus Ponderosae Hopkins). Rural municipalities fear that the pest can potentially destroy thousands or even millions of pine trees in Alberta. As the number of infested trees rise, the costs of removing them increase. Therefore, rural municipalities are requesting from the Provincial Government access to funds through a program that will help them fight the battle against MPB. Furthermore, the Minster of Sustainable Resources Development, in a letter to the M.D. indicated that the Province was considering establishing a program to address this issue. The municipalities seek the AAMDC support in confirming that a new program will indeed be available to all municipalities in upcoming years.
The 2006 budget provided $8 million for a Mountain Pine Beetle program. The Association will continue to work with SRD to ensure that monitoring, prevention, and funding continue.Fourteen communities in north western Alberta have formed the Grande Alberta Economic Region (Brazeau County, Drayton Valley, Edson, Fox Creek, Grande Cache, Hinton, Jasper, Mayerthorpe, Onoway, Sangudo, Whitecourt, Woodlands County and Yellowhead County). The GAER Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative is working to assess the economic, environmental and social risks of the beetle to our region and to develop an action plan. The group hopes to work with the Government of Alberta to develop strategies to combat the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation. In January 2007, the AAMDC attended a meeting with the Ministers Advisory Committee on Rural Development to provide input on recommendations for improving the sustainability of forestry dependent communities impacted by the mountain pine beetle. At this meeting, GAER presented on their findings and advised on important strategies for sustainability of communities affected by the infestation. On September 8, 2008, the Government of Alberta announced a breakthrough technology research project that aims to convert trees killed by Mountain Pine Beetle to high-grade newsprint. The partners in this $28 million research project include the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, Woodlands County, the Alberta Newsprint Company and Innoventures Canada. Resolution 7-06F also addresses the Mountain Pine Beetle.