What is a Forest Pest?

A forest pest is any organism occurring in unsustainable numbers, placing a constraint on management or utilization of a forest stand. They can threaten the health and vigour of a forest, biodiversity, and the many social, cultural and economic values Albertans enjoy.

Many factors can have negative effects on the health of a forest. Some are biotic, or living, while others are abiotic or non-living.

Biotic Factors Abiotic Factors
  • Disease-causing organisms
  • Insects
  • Parasitic plants or mammals
  • Changing climatic conditions
  • Drought
  • Severe weather events (hail, ice storms)

Managing Forest Pests

Forest pest management is a systematic approach to reducing pest damage to social and economically acceptable levels. The ministry is committed to sustaining the health of our forests, and does so through

  • assessment of risk
  • detection
  • implementation of various management programs in forest stands
  • survey and monitoring

Surveys and reports

The forest pest conditions are based on the most current information from various surveys and reports. Conditions are updated as new information becomes available.