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Name of Project: Plains Whitebark Pine Restoration

Number of Trees to be Planted: 13,000

Directly Benefits: Animals that depend on the whitebark pine for food and shelter

Location: Montana

Year: 2011


·         Restore 60 acres of whitebark pine forest in an area with 90 percent mortality

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


Notable Highlights

American Forests is partnering with the USDA Forest Service to address the rapid loss of whitebark pines in the western United States, one of the greatest threats facing these forests.  This project will replant disease-resistant whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) within an area of the Lolo National Forest that has been damaged by wildfire, blister rust, and mountain pine beetles. It is estimated that 80 percent of these majestic trees found in the northern Rocky Mountains have died off.

Whitebark pine, which can live to be 500 years old, 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. 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.

This project was supported by our corporate partner, the Alcoa Foundation.

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Critical Issues