This release is available in French.
MACKENZIE, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- Speaking on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, Jay Hill, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River, today announced that Canada's New Government will contribute more than $1.4 million over the next two years to support British Columbia's efforts to maintain the safety of provincial recreation sites.
"The number of dead and dying trees left by the mountain pine beetle infestation is having a serious impact on public safety," said Mr. Hill. "Our new government is helping the province of British Columbia in its efforts to keep these important recreation sites safe and open for residents and visitors."
Recreation sites and trails throughout the interior of British Columbia are in various stages of infestation by the beetle, creating a significant issue for the B.C. Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts. The federal funds announced today will help the province assess the risk in more than 150 of the most popular provincially designated recreation sites and contribute to the cost of felling and removing dead trees that pose a hazard to the general public.
"The safety of visitors who use B.C.'s recreation sites is our main concern," said Prince George-Omineca MLA John Rustad, on behalf of the Honourable Stan Hagen, B.C. Minister of Tourism, Sport and the Arts. "This funding will go directly towards making sure campers continue to have access to a quality recreational experience."
In addition to supporting efforts to address this public safety issue, the federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program is committed to funding a range of projects designed to protect forest resources and communities. Funds for these projects were included in a $39.6-million allocation from the program announced on June 8, 2007.
Canada's New Government announced the Mountain Pine Beetle Program in January 2007, pledging a total of $200 million to support a comprehensive response to the infestation and its consequences, including protecting forest resources and communities. The program is also supporting projects to recover economic value from forests affected by the beetle, as well as economic diversification and major transportation infrastructure projects. The initiative will help communities adapt and rebuild through a time of unprecedented change -- creating stronger, healthier and more stable communities.
More information on the program and the projects funded to date is available on the Mountain Pine Beetle Program Web site at http://mpb.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
The Government of Canada's Mountain Pine Beetle Program is providing more than $1.4 million over the next two years to help B.C. maintain the safety of provincial recreation sites. The funding will help the province to assess the safety risks on recreation sites and trails and will contribute to the cost of removing dead trees that pose a safety hazard.
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