Beginning in the early 1990s, the balsam fir sawfly (Neodiprion abietis) became a significant defoliating insect of precommercially thinned balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) stands in western Newfoundland, Canada. In 1997, a nucleopolyhedrovirus (NeabNPV) was isolated from the balsam fir sawfly and, as no control measures were then available, NeabNPV was developed for the biological control of balsam fir sawfly. In order to register NeabNPV for operational use under the Canadian Pest Control Products Act, research was carried out in a number of areas including NeabNPV field efficacy, non-target organism toxicology, balsam fir sawfly ecology and impact on balsam fir trees, and NeabNPV genome sequencing and analysis. As part of the field efficacy trials, approximately 22 500 hectares of balsam fir sawfly-infested forest were aerially treated with NeabNPV between 2000 and 2005. NeabNPV was found to be safe, efficacious, and economical for the suppression of balsam fir sawfly outbreak populations. Conditional registration for the NeabNPV-based product, Abietiv™, was received from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (Health Canada) in April 2006. In July 2006, Abietiv was applied by spray airplanes to 15 000 ha of balsam fir sawfly-infested forest in western Newfoundland in an operational control program.