Mountain pine beetle infestations threaten Alberta’s timber supply and healthy forest ecosystems. Millions of trees have been killed across the province since the outbreak began more than a decade ago.

Since 2018, surveys show mountain pine beetle activity has continued to grow in certain areas of the province, including the Edson Forest Area.

“Mountain pine beetles have killed millions of trees in Alberta. That is why we’ve increased funding to protect our forests for future generations. Our government is committed to working with foresters and municipalities to enable sustainable forest management practices and to reduce wildfire risks across the province.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

Department staff are working with Yellowhead County officials to identify areas where control activities will have the greatest impact on the overall provincial control effort.

“Yellowhead County appreciates the extended Mountain Pine Beetle Grant funding provided by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Yellowhead County residents benefit directly from this funding, with over 1,200 infected trees destroyed in our region this winter. This work, in combination with the work done directly by the province, will help our residents stay safe and allow our industry to continue to thrive.”

Jim Eglinski, mayor, Yellowhead County

The Alberta government has treated 44,214 infested trees within Yellowhead County to date. Treatment strategies include cutting down single trees to be burned or chipped, or harvesting larger areas.

“It is vital for the safety and livelihood of our communities to have the resources needed to fight the spread of the mountain pine beetle. I am pleased to see our government has allocated funds for Yellowhead County pine beetle mitigation efforts.”

Martin Long, MLA for West Yellowhead

Mountain Pine Beetle Municipal Grant Program

The municipal grant program was established in 2006 to support the costs of municipal pine beetle control operations. The program provides funding and expert advice to municipalities that support mountain pine beetle management on municipal and private lands. Funds can be awarded to municipalities with trees infested with mountain pine beetle and whose management programs align directly with Alberta's overall objectives.

Quick facts

  • Last winter’s extreme cold temperatures lowered mountain pine beetle activity, however mountain pine beetle infestations have still survived in Alberta’s pine forests, with the most severe concentrations being in the west-central pine-belt (Hinton, Edson, Whitecourt and Slave Lake).
  • Since 2018, mountain pine beetle activity has increased significantly in the Rocky Mountain House, Whitecourt and Edson Forest Areas.
  • Budget 2020 continues the government’s increased mountain pine beetle funding of $30 million per year through 2022-2023.
  • Since 2006, Alberta has spent more than $560 million controlling mountain pine beetle.