Mountain Pine Beetle Needs To Be Eradicated Before It Is Too Late – August 4, 2017

Mountain Pine Beetle Needs To Be Eradicated Before It Is Too Late

August 4, 2017

I have, on numerous occasions, brought forward in Parliament the devastation happening in Jasper National Park by the mountain pine beetle infestation.  From the west along Mount Robinson to the east park gates, the park has been overtaken by this endemic.  The dead trees are a tremendous fuel load for possible fires, not only risking the safety of visitors and residential/commercial property, but also the livelihood of wildlife found in Jasper National Park.

As the Member of Parliament for Yellowhead, I am aware of the devastation caused by the mountain pine beetle in Alberta.  I have toured Jasper Park from entrance to entrance, and brought my concerns to the attention of officials at all levels — from local park officials up to Minister McKenna’s office in Ottawa. I have been told they have a plan.

After reading Multi-species Action Plan for Jasper National Park of Canada (Proposed), published by Parks Canada to protect seven species identified as threatened or endangered under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), I dare to ask, what will happen to Whitebark Pine trees and the Woodland Caribou and other wildlife and foliage if the pine beetle infestation is not dealt with?

The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna is responsible under Section 47 of SARA for species found in Jasper Park.  The above-mentioned proposed report states “…the Species at Risk Act (SARA) prohibitions protecting individuals and residences apply automatically when a species is listed, and all critical habitat in national parks and national historic sites must be legally protected within 180 days of being identified.”   It goes on to say:  “These documents provide guidance for the recovery of individual species, including strategy direction, recovery objectives, critical habitat, and threats.”

The mountain pine beetle is a threat.  It is a threat to the survival of the Whitebark Pine trees, the caribou and all wildlife in Jasper Park.

The report can be found at:

https://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=80995453-1.

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