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Name of Project: Sinclair Ridge Whitebark Pine Population Establishment

Number of Trees to be Planted: 4,000

Directly Benefits: Outdoor recreationalists, wildlife that depend on the whitebark pine for food and shelter

Location: Montana

Year: 2011

Goals

·         Reforest 20 acres

·         Restore the landscape along a hiking trail

·         Secure the food source for many animals, such as the Grizzly bear

 

Notable Highlights

American Forests is partnering with the USDA Forest Service to reforest areas within the Kootenai National Forest. This project will plant disease-resistant whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), because whitebark pine can be susceptible to blister rust and mountain pine beetle attacks.

Whitebark pine can live to be 500 years old, and is an important species which is currently being threatened throughout the western US and Canada.  Whitebark pine is known as both a ‘foundation’ and a ‘keystone’ species for its ability to stabilize ecosystem conditions for other species, both plants and animals.  For example, whitebark pine seeds provide important food to multiple wildlife species, including Grizzly bears.  The seeds provide Grizzlies with two-thirds of their energy.

Growing whitebark pines is a delicate, time-consuming process. Seeds must first be harvested from disease-resistant, cone-bearing trees.  The seeds will begin their growing process in containers and then be planted.

The planting site is situated along the divide between Kootenai National Forest and Flathead National Forest. Planting whitebark pine will enhance the experience for visitors hiking the divide. 

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Critical Issues