Officials reach whitebark pine agreement
In an effort to address the significant loss of Whitebark Pine trees in the Greater Yellowstone area, federal land managers have agreed to coordinate efforts to restore the species.
The chairman of the effort, Steve Kallin says the trees have fallen victim to climate change, the mountain pine beetle, and a disease known blister rust. Kallin says the federal agencies where the Whitebark Pine exists will be involved in a number of efforts to re-populate the area with the trees. One of those efforts involves a research project surrounding Whitebark Pine that can withstand blister rust.
“And those seeds will be used to plant an orchard in the Gallatin National forest, a four acre orchard and thereby be able to multiply those seeds in the most cost effective ways so that there will be some replanting of Whitebark pine in critical areas.”
Kallin says he is optimistic that this joint effort will ensure the long term status of the Whitebark Pine.