Name of Project: Toboggan Ridge Whitebark Pine Restoration
Number of Trees to be Planted: 12,000
Directly Benefits: Grizzly bears, whitebark pine
· Reforest 50 acres
· Help restore the threatened whitebark pine
American Forests is teaming up with the USDA Forest Service to reforest part of the Clearwater National Forest. While this area did not formally become a national forest until 1908, Louis and Clark passed through this terrain on their historic journey westward.
This forest, like many others throughout the western US and Canada are in peril. A prominent tree species, whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is dying en masse due to a variety of factors, including the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae)and blister rust (Cronartium ribicola). This tree has multiple ecosystem benefits. Its large, nutritious seeds are an important wildlife food source for animals such as grizzly bears. It also helps to stabilize the soil and protract snow melt at high elevations.
Action is being taken to try to help restore the whitebark pine population. Since 2002, 115 whitebark pine trees have been identified as “Plus Trees,” those that show some natural resistance to the problems plaguing the species and will be bred to produce strong seedlings. These “Plus Trees” are part of a genetic breeding program that will eventually produce blister rust resistant trees American Forests is supporting various projects focusing on whitebark pine in 2011.
This project was supported by our corporate partner, the Alcoa Foundation.
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