Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Disappearing Crowsnest" - Photo of the Day - April 9th, 2010

Disappearing Crowsnest - Photo of the Day - April 9th, 2010
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"Disappearing Crowsnest"

A huge stack of timber from lodgepole pines that have been cut to stop the spread of the mountain pine beetle sits on the slope at the base of the landmark Crowsnest mountain, whose peak is hidden in dense cloud cover.

Captured from a logging road branching off Allison Creek Road in the Crowsnest Pass, in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, Canada.
Taken with a Canon Rebel XSi using an 18-55mm lens.

Unusual hot, dry summers and mild winters in central British Columbia during the last few years, along with forests filled with mature lodgepole pine, have lead to an epidemic among mountain pine beetle populations. To date, beetles have destroyed millions of lodgepole pine in BC, and has begun spreading to Alberta.

Left unchecked, mountain pine beetle could devastate Alberta’s pine forests and spread eastward across Canada’s boreal region. Outbreaks can destroy thousands of hectares of mature pine forest in just a few years.

One of the strategies being implemented by the Alberta government to hinder the spread of this voracious is to selectively harvest stands of high risk timber, encouraging a more natural diversity of tree ages that will be more resilient to threats from destructive insects, disease and wildfire.

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