What Has the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation Accomplished?

The following items highlight the ongoing work of the WPEF and some of the major projects that the WPEF has completed during the last 15 years of providing leadership in conserving and restoring whitebark pine throughout its range.


2017 Accomplishments

Restoration Projects

  • Planted rust resistant whitebark pine seedlings in Glacier National Park
  • Planted rust resistant whitebark pine seeds on the Custer-Gallatin NF
  • In Memory of Bob Means, removed other conifer species from whitebark pine stand
  • Collaborated with US Forest Service Forest Health Protection division on selection of whitebark pine restoration projects that resulted in $300,000 going to on-the-ground projects


  • Conducted a successful science and management conference in Jasper, Alberta
  • Began planning for 2020 Symposium for Five Needle Pines in Missoula, Montana
  • Co-hosted an Incredible National Summit with American Forests and the US Forest Service. This is the formal start to a National Whitebark Pine Restoration Plan. Data discovery for this project was completed in 2017.

Research and Education

Ongoing efforts:

  • Nutcracker Notes has been published since 2001, and has evolved from a simple newsletter into an outlet for published research that has been cited in mainstream journals <>.
  • Since 2004, the WPEF has hosted an annual one-day whitebark pine Science and Management Conference on current research and restoration techniques with additional field trips to local restoration sites or nurseries. These conferences are attended by land managers, academic and government researchers, educators, and interested public, and has attracted as many as 180 participants at each workshop <>.
  • Funded whitebark pine restoration projects in partnership with National Arbor Day Foundation, Nichols Foundation and USFS Forest Health Protection.
  • Since 2012, the WPEF has awarded an annual $1000 grant for undergraduate or graduate student research in whitebark pine.
  • The Ski Area Partnerships committee engages resorts in educating users about whitebark pine, and conserving and restoring the species within their management areas.

Completed projects:

  • Published Methods for Surveying and Monitoring Whitebark Pine for Blister Rust Infection and Damage. The methods were taught at a landmark two-day workshop in West Yellowstone in 2004, which resulted in a number of regional survey efforts <>.
  • Funded three whitebark pine restoration projects involving cone collecting and seedling production on the Clearwater and Flathead national forests.
  • Co-sponsored the major conference “Whitebark Pine: a Pacific Coast perspective” in 2006, which resulted in a published proceedings in 2007 <>.
  • The WPEF engaged in dialogue with the Senate Interior Appropriations Committee, which resulted in a productive dialogue with the US Forest Service on the need for funding whitebark pine restoration, and led to the establishment of the Forest Health Protection Whitebark Pine Restoration Fund.
  • Organized the “The High Five Symposium: the future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in western North America” in 2010, which was attended by over 200 people and resulted in a widely-cited proceedings published in 2011 <>.
  • Under a memorandum of understanding, partnered with the US Forest Service Forest Health Protection to feature projects funded by the USFS Whitebark Pine Restoration Fund. “Restoring Whitebark Pine: one project at a time” is accessible through the WPEF website.
  • Established a Canadian chapter of the foundation, Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation Canada, to ensure range-wide cooperation on education, research and restoration of these ecosystems. Check them out at