McNabs Island Park and MacCormack’s Beach will be closed either Thursday, May 24, or Friday, May 25, so scientists can begin a brown spruce longhorn beetle research project. Spruce logs from McNabs Island, where the brown spruce longhorn beetle is known to be present, will be flown by helicopter to MacCormack’s Beach in Eastern Passage, Halifax Co. As a safety precaution, the park and beach areas will be closed while the logs are being transported. The work is not expected to take more than one day. Because the work depends on weather and availability of helicopter and crew, the exact date of the work cannot yet be determined. Researchers will remove the bark from the McNabs Island spruce logs using standard sawmill commercial debarking machines and test to determine whether the brown spruce longhorn beetles survive the process. They will then use the beetles’ survival rate to help assess the risk of moving bark from a sawmill inside the containment zone to a facility outside of the regulated area. Bark from spruce logs is commonly sold to companies for garden mulch or for burning as fuel in energy plants. On May 14, new federal regulations came into effect that include an expanded containment zone for products associated with brown spruce longhorn beetle. Landowners, mill operators and others inside the zone are able to deal with spruce logs, spruce bark and oversized spruce wood chips. Anyone moving those products outside of the containment zone, however, must follow certification requirements put in place by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. As part of the new ministerial order and regulations, more scientific research was recommended to better understand this beetle. Natural Resources Canada is the lead federal department conducting that research. The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are providing assistance in this work. The findings from Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service’s research at McNabs Island will be reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle Task Force.