September 27, 2011

Funding program in place to offset costs of replacing trees

Edmonton… Private landowners and municipalities in Alberta are being offered help to replace trees lost to mountain pine beetle.

The Alberta Mountain Pine Beetle ReLeaf program provides funding to homeowners, private landowners and municipalities for replacing trees that have been killed by mountain pine beetle on private or municipal land.

“We are pleased to once again partner with Tree Canada and its corporate sponsors through the ReLeaf program, said Mel Knight, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development. “Our goal is to help restore and revitalize the natural areas Albertans care so much about.”

The ReLeaf program, first launched in 2010, is a partnership between Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Tree Canada and its corporate sponsors TELUS and Strive Energy. Over $100,000 has been contributed for 2011-12, with the Government of Alberta providing $60,000 and TELUS and Strive Energy donating $30,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Others interested in donating to the program are encouraged to do so at www.treecanada.ca.

Urban residents, acreage owners and communities within municipalities affected by the mountain pine beetle can apply for funding.

Homeowners who lose trees to mountain pine beetle infestation are eligible to be reimbursed the replacement cost of their tree, up to $80. The program will fund up to $3000 worth of seedlings or potted trees to replace shelterbelt and landscape trees on acreages and up to $5000 worth of seedlings or potted trees to replace trees lost on municipal land.

“Albertans are very attached to their trees – so many people have expressed their appreciation for this program which has brought new trees back to those that were killed by this voracious insect,” said Michael Rosen, Tree Canada President. “This rejuvenation couldn’t have been possible without the help of our sponsors and the Government of Alberta.”

Funding is for replacement value only and it may not be used to treat infested trees or protect trees that are not currently infested. .Last year, ReLeaf provided support to 34 homeowners, 35 acreage owners and 1 municipality in Alberta to replace trees killed by mountain pine beetle.
The Alberta government is working to build a better Alberta by fostering economic growth, strengthening our health and education systems, investing in infrastructure, supporting safe and strong communities and ensuring a clean and healthy environment.

Tree Canada is a not-for-profit charitable organization that works with sponsors, donors and communities to plant and care for rural and urban trees, promotes urban forests in Canada and facilitates carbon offset projects with trees. To date, more than 77 million trees have been planted, more than 450 schoolyards have been greened, and Tree Canada has organized nine national urban forest conferences. More information about Tree Canada is available at ww.treecanada.ca.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Jag Sandhu
Communications
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Phone 780-427-9196
Email: jag.sandhu@gov.ab.ca

Melissa Nisbett
Communications Officer
Tree Canada
Phone: 613-567-5545 ext 224
Email: mnisbett@treecanada.ca

To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310-0000.