1959 – The Gap Year

The project is deemed a success

Spraying was discontinued in New Brunswick and Quebec in 1959 because of a drastic decline in outbreak severity beginning in some northern areas in 1957 and extending throughout the region in 1958. Surveys by the federal Division of Forest Biology in 1959 indicate that the outbreak has continued to decline and is now in an endemic condition, i.e., present in normal numbers, in northern areas of New Brunswick and in fringe areas of previous attack in southern New Brunswick. However, there has been a marked resurgence in central New Brunswick. Prospects, as indicated by egg surveys, are for moderate to severe feeding to occur over 2.5 million acres. A condition of high hazard, in which trees are likely to be killed by a further year’s severe attack, is estimated to occur on 1.5 million acres.

[Adapted from F.E. Webb. 1959. Aerial Forest Spraying in Canada. Reprinted from Agricultural Chemicals, November 1959. p. 1-4.]

The seven-year budworm battle had cost a total of 11 million dollars.

Forest Protection Limited operated with a skeleton staff in 1959 but came back to life to lay plans for 1960.

The Moncton Transcript, 24 February 1959.

Accidents

I have only two Department of Transport accident cards for Stearmans in 1959:

On July 14, CF-IAD was demolished and pilot Robert Granley lost his life while crop spraying 15 miles east of Lethbridge, Alberta. He was only 23 years old. The aircraft was owned and operated by Air Spray Ltd.

Hicks and Lawrence Stearman CF-JOU forced landed July 30 in a field at Otterville, southern Ontario, because of poor visibility. Pilot J.C. van Rietvelde was not injured but the plane suffered substantial damage.