Spruce Budworm on cue

From CBC report:

1280px-Choristoneura_orae_puppa2With a spruce budworm infestation underway in neighbouring provinces, Nova Scotia will evaluate aerial spray options next week as it prepares for the pests arrival. “We think we’ve got two to five years,” says the province’s Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines. The Department of Natural Resources has been planning for an outbreak since 2014. The prospect got closer last month when a flight of spruce budworm moths from Quebec landed in northern New Brunswick…

The anticipated outbreak is pretty well on cue (30-40 years between outbreaks), so one might wonder why such planning has not been integral to forest management policies since the end of the last outbreak (1983).

“Tothill (1922) suggested that the forests could be made ‘budworm-proof’ for the future. He recognized it ‘would be wholly impracticable were it not for the fact that there is a period of about thirty years in which to bring it about…'”
Cited in Sandberg and Clancy, Against the Grain UBC Press, 2000.

“Two essentials are indicated in forest management to ‘budworm-proof’ the forests. One is to develop mixed forests and reduce fir content especially on the mainland and the lowlands of Cape Breton. The other is to regulate harvesting so as to develop a broken distribution of age classes of softwoods and particularly in the fir forest of the Cape Breton Highlands. The rigid utilization of fir within its biological rotation age is essential but not at the expense of longer-rotation red spruce.”
Lloyd Hawboldt, NS Dept. of Lands and Forests, 1976.
(Cited in Sandberg and Clancy, Against the Grain UBC Press, 2000.)

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