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Beetle Task Forces Decides on Action Plan
( Halifax, June 6/2000) - The Joint Task Force examining the infestation of Point Pleasant Park in Halifax by the Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle has developed a five-point action plan for containing, and eventually eradicating, the foreign pest from the Park.
The Task Force, comprised of representatives from the many federal, provincial and municipal departments and agencies assigned to combat the foreign pest, held its first meeting in Halifax yesterday and agreed on both short-term and longer term actions to eliminate and prevent any further spread of the beetle in Canada.
Aerial surveys are being conducted this week and next to determine if any woodland areas bordering on, or outside of, the Park that show any signs of Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle presence.
Mechanisms to lure the beetle adults to remain in the Park will be used e.g traps, trap logs and a range of other devices. Continuing research is vital and implementation of the containment strategies will be ongoing.
The Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee will play a key role in this program, and there will be opportunities for public input into the process before the final plan is approved.
In addition, information about the beetle will be available on websites for the Halifax Regional Municipality (www.halifax.ns.ca; the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (www.gov.ns.ca/natr/); the Canadian Forestry Service (http://www.atl.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/); and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (http://www.inspection.gc.ca/)
The Task Force also agreed to report to the media and to the public on a regular basis and thanked media outlets for their assistance in creating public awareness regarding the Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle infestation and its potential for woodland damage.
Among the departments and agencies included on the Task Force are, the Halifax Regional Municipality (Parks and Natural Services); Natural Resources Canada (Canadian Forestry Service); The Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Parks Canada; the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources; and the Maritime Lumber Bureau, representing the forest industry. Dr. William Freedman, a biologist at Dalhousie University, was also invited to sit on the Task Force.
The Task Force is scheduled to meet and report progress in Halifax next week.
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Corporate Communications Officer
Case Officer, Atlantic Region
Canadian Food Inspection Agency