Mussigbrod Fire Whitebark Pine Planting
About the Mussigbrod Fire Whitebark Pine ReLeaf Project:
American Forests and the U.S. Forest Service are reforesting 45 acres of Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest with whitebark pine to restore areas damaged by the Mussigbrod Fire.
Global ReLeaf provides forests like this — and the communities that depend on them — with the restoration they need to thrive. Since 1990, American Forests has brought ReLeaf to forests in all 50 states and 45 countries, planting more than 45 million trees in the process.
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, MT
Key ReLeaf Activities:
- Planting 11,300 trees across 45 acres
- Restoring an ecosystem damaged by wildfire
- Restoring habitat for whitebark pine
Why This ReLeaf Project?
Inventories of Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest show that regeneration in the whitebark pine forests are not coming in as predicted. The U.S. Forest Service will start the initial planting program with 11,300 trees that will be planted at a 13-foot spacing, planting 250 trees to the acre in what were whitebark pine-dominated sites.
Why Whitebark Pine?
Whitebark pine has come under threat by several sources, including beetle infestation, blister rust disease outbreaks, and the changing of forests’ tree composition due to human fire suppression techniques. As humans put out low-level brush fires, the fast-growing whitebark pine, first to fill in an area cleared by fire, is beginning to be replaced by slower growing trees. For these reasons, the species has been listed as endangered by the Canadian Government, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated that the species’ status warranted protection.