Alberta, British Columbia and other parts of North America have been facing an outbreak of mountain pine beetles since 1996. These beetles, about the size of a grain of rice with a lifespan of one to two years, are one of the biggest threats to pine trees in Alberta. Under normal population levels, their ecological role to attack weak and old trees which speeds up the regeneration of the new forest is essential to the forest ecosystem, but an overpopulation of these beetles ruins ecosystems by destroying enormous amounts of weak and old as well as healthy and mature pine trees. Their populations were once regulated by cold winters, but with the rise of hot and dry summers and mild winters from climate change, the beetles are now able to increase their population and their flight range. They travel further north and into higher altitudes, reaching new trees that don’t know how to defend themselves against the new threat. The warmer temperatures and the rise in droughts also weakens trees, making them more prone to insect invasion. With no real method to fight the outbreak, #OperationReLeaf - Alberta provides funding to homeowners, land owners, First Nation communities and municipalities to replace trees killed by mountain pine beetles. For more than twenty five years, Tree Canada has engaged communities, governments, corporations, and individuals in the pursuit of a greener and healthier living environment for Canadians. They provide Canadians with education, technical expertise, and the resources to plant and care for urban and rural trees. They’ve planted more than 82 million trees and greened more than 660 schoolyards and 1,100 urban areas across the country.
Due to the mountain pine beetle’s vicious invasion which has destroyed 16 million acres of pine trees in Canada, the ecosystem and biodiversity of Canada’s boreal forest are being threatened with an increased chance of fire hazards and wildlife habitat loss. With agriculture encroaching on wildlife territory and wildfires engulfing more and more forest every year, the forest is already suffering and measures must be taken to protect and restore them. Pines located at sources of mountain rivers that feed the cities and plains below are essential in moderating water flow. Without them, unshaded snow melts earlier in the season causing the rivers to flow early which limits the quantity of water for humans and animals during the dry season. Pine trees are also crucial in providing food and shelter to countless animals including squirrels, bears, deers, woodpeckers, and eagles.
Your impact donation is helping to achieve the below Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations.
We are committed to creating a greener, healthier and greater Canada by supporting and restoring our incredible environment. Our programs are focused on greening communities and protecting urban forests, restoring forests, biodiversity and wildlife habitats, promoting carbon offsetting and helping communities recover from natural disasters and pests. We have engaged communities, governments, corporations and individuals in the pursuit of a greener and healthier living environment for Canadians.