2,500 Whitebark Pine Seedlings

2,500 Whitebark Pine Seedlings

September 18, 2018

In 2012 the Millie Fire (20 miles south of Bozeman) burned more than 10,000 acres, leaving huge swaths of charred trees in its path. The area was home to the Whitebark Pine, a high elevation species that provides important habitat and nutrition to our region's wildlife.

This year, our Co-op purchased 2,500 Whitebark Pine rust resistant seedlings as part of a commitment to help offset our carbon emissions.

We donated $5,000 to the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation, a non-profit that works with the Forest Service, to purchase and plant  the seedlings. The seedlings we purchased are among 16,000 planted this spring. The seedlings have had strong survival rates (up to 99 percent in three to five-year-old trees).
 

Why Whitebark Pine?

Whitebark Pine provides high elevation habitat and are a food source for Montana species, including grizzly bears and Clark's nutcrackers. They also help slow down summer snow melt and reduce erosion.

Species at Risk

Climate change has put this species at risk:

  • Uncharacteristic mountain pine beetle outbreaks
  • Increasing white pine blister rust
  • Competition from other tree species
  • Out of balance and more severe wildfires