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National Forest Week 2000
K-3 and 3/4

Topic: Careers and Mountain Pine Beetles

Part 1: Careers:


Grab Bag

Part 2: Mountain Pine Beetle:

Overheads - Download PDF - 675Kb

Samples - Download PDF - 350Kb

Note: room should have a bit of light so you can show hands-on stuff

INTRODUCTION: (5 minutes)
o Introduce yourself, give a brief description of what your job is. Explain why you’re visiting the class (to celebrate NFW)
o Show bug vial – ask following questions (accept all answers but do not give the correct answer at this time. Explain that you will return to the vial of bugs later on)
o What do you think these are?
o What do you think they do?
o How many bugs do you think are in this vial? ….(guesstimate- accept just a few)


Part 1 – Careers (12-15 minutes)

Ask teacher to look after responses from students – they know them by name and this will save a lot of time

What do you think of when you hear “Careers or Jobs in Forestry”? (accept 4 or 5 suggestions)

1. OVERHEAD “Now and Then” (PC1)
– Then ––many years ago workers like these ones would likely have done the tree cutting as well as the lumber making. They had very few rules to follow and they didn’t always do their work very safely
– Now – today, safety is one of the most important factors in forestry careers, technology has made things much easier (feller buncher seen in our region). Workers have to know lots about safefy and computers. Today, there are many different jobs in forestry – in the bush, in the mills, in the offices

2. OVERHEAD “Careers in Forestry”/marker/Grab Bag (PC2)
– Although there are many different jobs in forestry, I’m only going to talk to you about 6 of them today. Tell students that you have some special things in your grab bag – you’ll pull one out at a time and they can tell you the number of the picture they think it belongs to – use the marker to connect the right job title with the correct picture and give a brief explanation of that career (refer to Careers Information Sheet)

Part 2 – Mountain Pine Beetle (12-15 minutes)

Refer back to the vial that you showed them at the beginning of the lesson. Tell them that they are mountain pine beetles – tell how many are in the vial
Remind them that the entomologist would study different types of beetles and other insects but that you’ll be talking about one type of beetle today.

Overheads (PB1-PB8)
1. OVERHEAD: Pine beetle
– this is what it would look like under a magnifying glass
– this beetle is one of the worst forest pests that we have in our province
– it likes to attack old or sick Lodgepole Pine trees SAMPLE: lodgepole branch/cone and also some Ponderosa and White pine trees

How do you think nature could help us out?

Fire – burn the trees, kill the bugs but today, we try to protect our forests from fires
Cold winters – freeze them but sometimes we have very mild winters so that doesn’t help –( needs to be –25 degreesC in early fall or colder than that in winter)

2. OVERHEAD: Woodpecker damage
– Woodpeckers have been after bugs on this tree – do you think this can damage the tree too? (Yes) Do you think that there would be enough woodpeckers in our forests to eat lots and lots of beetles (No)

3. OVERHEAD: Life-cycle

Let’s see how these beetles work:
o In the summer months the female burrows into the bark and gives off a scent called a pheromone. This attracts the male. These beetles then chew out tunnels under the bark and lay their eggs SAMPLE: BARK GALLERIES
o These eggs hatch in about 2 weeks and the larva chew more galleries in the wood. As they grow, they become a pupa and then an adult. Then they will leave the trees and find new ones to attack.

4. OVERHEAD: Tree layers
o trees have different layers that have special jobs. The cambium layer is where the beetles work and live.

5. OVERHEAD and Bark SAMPLE: Pitch Pockets
– Trees sometimes try to pitch the bugs out – this is what the bark would look like. Do you think trees could do this if they had hundreds of bugs in them? (No)

6. OVERHEAD: Blue Stain
– Another thing that the mountain pine beetles carry is a fungus – it’s an infection and it’s called blue stain fungus. It attacks a different layer of the tree (sapwood) and prevents the tree from killing the beetles with pitch. It also blocks the water flow in the tree
– Within a few weeks, the trees begin dying from the blue stain as well as from the damage done by the beetles to the inner bark layer – show SAMPLE: wood with blue stain
– Once the wood is blue, it is not as valuable for using as lumber for building

What do the trees look like when there is a big bug attack?

7. OVERHEAD: Sick and healthy trees

8. OVERHEAD: Tweedsmuir Park (Cariboo forest region of BC)
– The trees turn red and die
– Tweedsmuir – one of our protected parks – beetles have created an epidemic

What can we do?
– Spray – won’t work because beetles are under the bark
– Traps – work if not too many beetles
– Harvest the trees and use them for lumber
– Part of the natural cycle of renewal for forests. Some day, the park will have large mature forests again.

– Tell me something new you learned today
– Tell them the # of beetles in the jar
– Leave for class: 1 poster, brochure, booklet, activity sheet

Careers Information Sheet

Works with different types of forest pests. Studies to find out why they attack and tries to find ways to control them. There are also lots of different kinds of researchers in forestry.

Has to know lots about animals, birds, fish and other creatures who live in the forest and what they need to survive. This information is used in planning and managing our forests.

Plants trees for 3-4 months. This is a good job if you want to make money to go to university. When woods workers cut trees down, we have to plant 3-4 trees back for every one cut. These trees or seedlings are grown in special nurseries.

Sometimes some sawmill workers operate big machinery. They have to be good with computers. There are lots of different jobs in the sawmills.

Has to take care of the forests – works on planning how the trees should be cut and how the areas should be replanted. There are lots of different jobs for foresters. Some build roads, others test the soil and work to protect our watersheds.

They look after the new forests and help the trees grow well. Sometimes they have to thin out the new tree plantations because it’s too crowded and other times they have to remove some of the bushes that get in the way of the new seedlings.