Once again, the South Cariboo Regional Airport at the 108 Mile Ranch will be used by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) as a base for its spraying to control area populations of western spruce budworm.
However, timing of the work is dependent on weather conditions, but the MFLNRO expects to be spraying for seven to 10 days from June 23 to July 5.
“I am pleased to see that the [MFLNRO] will be using our facilities for the treatment of western spruce budworm in the region,” says Cariboo Regional District chair Al Richmond.
“Not only do the prescriptive treatments help mitigate the impact of the spruce budworm on our forest industry, but it also provides an economic opportunity and awareness of our airport.”
The MFLNRO plans to aerially treat approximately 34,000 hectares of forest in the Williams Lake and the 100 Mile House Timber Supply Areas to reduce western spruce budworm populations.
The biological agent Foray 48B will be applied by two fixed-wing aircraft weather permitting, on sites near White Lake, Fletcher Lake, Big Creek, Gaspard Creek, Alex Lake, Westwick lakes, and San José and Pipeline roads south of Williams Lake, as well as Big Lake, Clink Lake, Alberta Lake, Big Bar Lake and Jesmond.
Foray 48B is a biological insecticide that is widely used in British Columbia and is registered with the Organic Materials Review Institute. The active ingredient in Foray 48B is the naturally occurring bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk).
According to the ministry, this spray affects only moth and butterfly larvae and can be used safely around humans and other animals. Birds, household pets, fish and beneficial insects (including honey bees) are not affected.
The western spruce budworm is native to British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. In its larval stage, it defoliates Douglas-fir, true firs, spruce and larch trees. A budworm outbreak has the potential to seriously harm or kill trees over large areas.
The pest management plan and maps of the treatment areas can be viewed online at: