Aerial fall surveys show that the aggressive targeted actions and successive cold winters to date have made gains.

Following a request from the Alberta government, the Government of Canada announced $60 million over the next three years to support Alberta’s fight against the mountain pine beetle.

“The mountain pine beetle is a huge threat to Alberta’s forests and I want to thank Minister O’Regan for recognizing the importance of Alberta’s forest industry. The mountain pine beetle threatens Canada’s boreal forest and has the potential to sterilize it. If left unchecked, the mountain pine beetle would put Albertans out of work and destroy wildlife habitat. This is a national fight.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

More than 147,000 trees killed by mountain pine beetles were detected this year. This is down significantly from the more than 244,000 trees detected last year.

The province is now developing a detailed ground survey and control program for the upcoming winter, when individual mountain pine beetle infested trees will be cut and burned.

Alberta’s forest sector continues to make significant gains against this destructive species and are working as part of a coordinated effort to deliver real results in the fight against the mountain pine beetle.

There are more than 40,000 forestry jobs in Alberta. These men and women are managing our forests which reduces infestation and risk of wildfire while saving natural habitat and communities.

Quick facts

  • This year over 7.8 million hectares (19.3 million acres) were surveyed – up approximately 1 million hectares from that surveyed in 2018 or 2019.
  • Aerial surveys were conducted in all areas of the province with active beetle populations.
  • This comprehensive level of coverage has not been achieved since 2008.
  • The number of trees killed by mountain pine beetles by forest area were as follows:
    • Calgary – 3,298 in 2019; 1,437 in 2020
    • Edson – 140,997 in 2019; 115,020 in 2020
    • Grande Prairie – 8,796 in 2019; 2,252 in 2020
    • Lac La Biche – 342 in 2019; 135 in 2020
    • Rocky Mountain House – 32,123 in 2019; 15,169 in 2020
    • Slave Lake – 6,020 in 2019; 4,474 in 2020
    • Whitecourt – 52,671 in 2019; 8,559 in 2020