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High up over forest
High up over forest

Reforesting After Insect Outbreaks in British Columbia, Canada

  • 2022

Bringing Back Forests Destroyed By Insects

How Do Pests and Diseases Cause Land Degradation?

Bark beetles are native to British Columbia and are part of a healthy ecosystem as they thin the forest of weak trees and provide food for birds.

However, due to the warming climate, they are able to reproduce faster than ever before. As drought increases, pine trees are unable to produce enough sap, their main defense against the beetles burrowing into their bark. This eventually kills the trees and has caused damage to 20 million hectares (50 million acres) of forests in British Columbia.

We work with First Nations and private landowners to restore their forests by planting a mix of species that may be adapted to future climates. In addition, we collaborate on a long-term plan to keep the forest as healthy as possible.

Some key causes of insect damage are:

  • Monoculture farming: cultivating large areas with a single crop creates the ideal hunting ground for pests and diseases. Without mixed cropping's natural diversity, pests easily spread, leading to land degradation.
  • Globalization and trade: an increased global movement of goods and people makes the spread of pests and diseases across borders a key concern. As pathogens are introduced to new regions, local ecosystems become overwhelmed.
  • Climate change: Shifts in climate patterns lead ecosystems to face unpredictable fluctuations, jeopardizing their delicate balance and making them more susceptible to degradation caused by outbreaks.

Restoring Degraded Land After an Infestation: Land Life's Approach

Land Life has developed tailored strategies to rehabilitate land devastated by pests and diseases. Our approach combines scientific understanding with practical experience, focusing on rebuilding resilient ecosystems.

  • Before the reforestation project
    We assess the site and surrounding area, including damage, its history, and climate conditions to monitor the land for improvement.
  • During the planting
    Once the infested trees and plants are removed, we choose a diverse mix of resilient native tree species and apply new technology techniques to find out what areas are likely to succeed, what species thrive in which regions, and why.
  • Aftercare and management
    Restoring degraded land from an infestation is all about focusing on the site selection and ongoing monitoring, such as through remote sensing, drones, GIS, and our Fastrack Model.
Case Study

Land Life Project: British Columbia, Canada

In 2017, land owned by the McLeod Indian Band in British Columbia suffered extensively due to a beetle infestation that destroyed over 3,700 hectares of tribal reserve land. Since 2022, Land Life has been working to restore this region.

Project Highlight


Native tree species

  • 01

    white spruce

  • 02

    Lodgepole Pine



Hectares Planted

Property Improvment

  • 01Diseased trees clearing

95,160 tCO2

Sequestered over 40 years

Challenges — Solutions

Restoring degraded land after an infestation: Land Life's approach to tackling pests and diseases

Land Life started working in British Columbia on land held by the McLeod Indian Band treaty in 2022. We partnered with McLeod Lake Indian Band, learning from and following their deep knowledge of the land, to help restore degraded land due to a massive beetle infestation in 2017, which destroyed over 3,700 hectares of tribal land. Land Life's strategy involved preparing the land, to then plant diverse native species (a total of around 6 million trees) in its place. This mix of tree species will create a resilient forest in the face of future pests and diseases. Land Life's high-integrity nature restoration projects prioritize quality and efficiency while protecting landowners from the project's risks and economic investments.

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Beyond Carbon


Revitalizing the Sub-Boreal Sprice zone

Maintaining this corridor of wildlife movement in this remote ecoregion guarantees a home for thousands of species.


Preserving precious and diverse wildlife

Securing connective migration corridors and allowing local wildlife to prosper, such as the woodland caribou, moose, grizzly bear, and red fox.


Passing on ecological knowledge and resources for generations

These lands will be protected in perpetuity for the health and resilience of the tribal organization, the McLeod Lake Indian Band.


Who did we work with?

Spectrum Resource Group

Planting and implementation – Integrated vegetation management (IVM) solutions provider. Experts in vegetation management, forest management, and reforestation.

Spectrum Resource Group

PRT Nursery

Seedling sourcing– Investment in the local nurseries to assist in building up the capacity.

PRT Nursery

 McLeod Lake Indian Band

Landowners– The land is held by this tribal land through the McLeod Lake Indian Band Treaty No. 8 Adhesion and Settlement Agreement.

McLeod Lake Indian Band


Other Land Types

Case studies according to different land types and degradation causes.