whitebark pine

Ron Wolf via Flickr

The Whitebark Pine is a common site in Northwest Wyoming. But a changing climate means it may not be for much longer. That’s according to a new report from the Endangered Species Coalition.

Matt Skoglund is a director with the National Resources Defense Council, which worked on the report. Whitebark Pines only grow elevations above seven thousand feet, and Skoglund says that used to keep them safe from their greatest natural enemy: the Mountain Pine beetle.

Dcrjsr / Creative Commons

A shortage of whitebark pine seeds could mean more human-bear interactions in western Wyoming this fall.


When whitebark pine seeds are plentiful, Yellowstone bears spend the fall gorging themselves on the fatty, protein-rich morsels, up in the high alpine. But not every year is good.


“It’s a boom-bust cycle, and there’s not always a high amount of pinecones available, so they just find other foods to eat,” says Wyoming Game and Fish Large Carnivore Supervisor Dan Thompson. 

Officials reach whitebark pine agreement

Apr 20, 2012

     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.