The whitebark pine
is an iconic tree species that ranges across a huge swath of the West, including the Northern Rockies, Cascades and Sierra Nevada.
The Service previously attempted to delist the Yellowstone grizzly population in 2007, but that decision was overturned by a federal district court in Montana along with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on the basis that the Service ignored the impacts of the whitebark pine
loss on the grizzly population.
Most trees simply can't survive, but the whitebark pine
is a notable exception: Somehow, these trees manage to live--and even thrive--in the highest, sketchiest locations.
trees are a "keystone" species in high-altitude ecosystems across the American West, meaning they play an important role in maintaining the natural structure of many of our most iconic mountain regions.
The whitebark pine
forests have no such defenses and are a critical habitat for grizzly bears.
The highest-elevation forest ecosystems in western North America, whitebark pine
forests are a critical habitat for brown and grizzly bears, and play a vital hydrological role by shading snow and regulating the flow of meltwater.
Unlike lodgepole pine forests, whitebark pine
forests are not expected to recover in most areas after the outbreak ends.
Environmentalists have cited the beetle-caused decimation of the whitebark pine
as putting grizzlies in greater danger of extinction because some bears rely on whitebark pine
They point to the decimation of a key bear food source - the nuts of whitebark pine
trees - as a potential threat to the species' survival.
As we lose whitebark pine
, we need to redouble efforts to anticipate and reduce conflicts with people," warns NRDC senior wildlife advocate Louisa Willcox.
After finding the fungi, she collects them in small plastic boxes to take back to her lab at MSU and grows new fungi from them before adding it to the soil of whitebark pine
seedlings in the greenhouse.
He'd let me walk by his hide at the base of a bushy whitebark pine
We schuss down Bachelor's open slopes and pick our way through whitebark pine
until the thought of hot toddies and a soak in the Turkish bath lures us back to our hotel.
The mountain pine beetle feeds primarily on lodgepole pine, (11) and occasionally on other species including whitebark pine
Near Long Lake and Island Lake, signs warn travelers of grizzly bears, which eat cones from the whitebark pine
trees in the area.