SIBAC, or Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition, Information on the Mountain Pine Beetle
The Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic is a serious threat to the social, economic, and environmental well being of many communities and peoples in the southern interior region of British Columbia. The Ministry of Forests and Range in its 2007 beetle update report estimated the cumulative area of provincial Crown forest affected to some degree (red-attack and grey-attack) for 2007 is about 13 million hectares. While the majority of mountain pine beetle infested timber is in the northern regions of British Columbia, there are significant areas in the southern interior region of British Columbia as well.
In response to the beetle epidemic, a working group of representatives from nine regional districts, four First Nations Tribal Councils, and a representative from Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations, met in 2006 to discuss the formation of a beetle coalition, known as the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition, or SIBAC. In April of 2007, the Province of British Columbia and Government of Canada provided initial funding of $50,000 in addition to the $5,000 each regional district had provided. In July 2007, BC Premier Gordon Campbell announced a further commitment of $800,000 to SIBAC. The monies were targeted for a range of activities intended to quantify the impact of the mountain pine beetle in the southern interior of BC, find ways to sustain and strengthen the communities most affected, and establish SIBAC, the beetle coalition.