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Beetle Task Force Decides on Action Plan

News Release

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.

  • Forced Health Inventory- Survey crews will be used to determine how many Red Spruce trees in the Park are affected by the Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle, as well as how many healthy trees remain to form the foundation of a restoration program in Point Pleasant. Technical advice will be obtained from the provincial forest industry.
  • Local Containment Program-The Park was placed under quarantine by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency about two weeks ago. No logs, foliage or limbs of trees may be removed from the Park without special Order.

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.

  • Eradication Program- A sub-committee has been struck to examine the logistics of a complete beetle eradication program in Point Pleasant Park, e.g what staff and equipment will be required to remove the affected trees and safely dispose of the materials, either on-site or off-site.
  • Restoration Program- A local sub-committee has been struck to examine how Point Pleasant Park will be restored for future generations.

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.

  • Communications/Public Information- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has established a toll-free Public Information Line (1-877-868-0662) to respond to public inquiries about the Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle and its presence in Point Pleasant Park.

In addition, information about the beetle will be available on websites for the Halifax Regional Municipality (; the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (; the Canadian Forestry Service (; and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (

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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John O'Brien
Corporate Communications Officer
(902) 490-6531

Gregg Cunningham
Case Officer, Atlantic Region
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
(902) 426-1632