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Assessing the effectiveness of Alberta’s forest management program against the mountain pine beetle

Between 2006 and 2016, nearly $500 million was spent on direct control efforts in Alberta to slow the eastward spread of the mountain pine beetle (MPB), and yet the efficacy of these efforts was unknown. This report details the results of a two-phase project initiated to evaluate the efficacy of MPB management in Alberta.

This research uses empirical data provided by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and Industrial Partners (Alberta Newsprint Company, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, Canfor, Millar Western Forest Products, West Fraser, Weyerhaeuser) to:

  1. develop an r-model to predict the productivity of MPB in relation to forest, climate, and topographical conditions,
  2. directly assess the efficacy of direct control efforts to reduce local MPB populations,
  3. develop a spread model (MPBSpread) to evaluate the relative impact of the current versus alternative control strategies at slowing the spread of MPB across northcentral Alberta.


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