This Year's Conference
Whitebark Trees to Sagebrush Seas
Whitebark Pine Science and Management Conference
September 14-16, 2022
We are delighted to announce that the 2022 WPEF Science and Management Conference will be held in Dillon, Montana, and hosted by the Bureau of Land Management. This exciting conference is scheduled from Wednesday, September 14 through Friday, September 16. The main venue will be at the University of Montana Western campus, and we will have a slate of exciting talks that extensively cover the science and management of high-elevation, five-needle pines, especially whitebark pine.
The WPEF annual conference brings together researchers, managers, students, and enthusiasts of whitebark pine and related high-elevation, forested ecosystems in both the United States and Canada. Everyone is invited to attend. We ask that people interested in attending the conference to please register. There is no registration cost, but WPEF is suggesting a $50 donation; pay now or at the door to cover conference expenses. You will also be able to join as a WPEF member or renew your membership.Register Now
Please see the following files for the complete conference program and logistics information for attendees with details on lodging options, meeting locations, and local attractions.
Community Program (Wednesday evening)
The extensive program starts on Wednesday with the WPEF board meeting during the day. There will be a community program in the evening with a public talk on whitebark pine by Dr. Diana Tomback and exclusive sneak preview of the short film “A Bird and the Tree” from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The event is hosted by the Patagonia Outlet with beer and refreshments. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.
The science and management program will be held all day on Thursday, September 15, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it will include a slate of approximately twelve 20-minute presentations and interactive breakout sessions on the ecology, management, and restoration of high-elevation, five-needle pines. A keynote presentation also will be given by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representative on the status of the listing of whitebark pine as a threatened species.
Lunch will be available at the college cafeteria at a cost of $8 per person. Coffee and refreshments will be provided at the mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks.
“Telling the Whitebark Pine Story: A Media Perspective” (Thursday)
Storytelling is a powerful art form to engage the public in conservation efforts and inspire action. Join us at the annual conference or virtually by Zoom for a panel discussion with the creative geniuses behind recent film and podcast projects that tell the remarkable story of whitebark pine. This special session will run from 1:10 to 1:50 p.m. MDT. The featured presenters are Eric Liner of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and both Peri Sasnett and Andrew Smith from the Glacier National Park’s Headwaters podcast team. In-person conference attendees also have the opportunity to exclusively preview Liner’s short film “Hope and Restoration — Saving the Whitebark Pine” during the morning break.
Evening Social & Silent Auction (Thursday evening)
After the last presentations on Thursday, WPEF will host a thrilling social event that includes a no-host bar, a Mexican-themed buffet, and a set of exciting events, including a live-action, silent auction and awards presentation. All auction proceeds fund student research grants. (Check out this blog post on how to donate auction items and for a preview of items to bid on.)
WPEF will cover a portion of the buffet cost, but we are suggesting a $10 donation per person to help offset this cost. Guests are welcome at the conference social, but please indicate the expected number in your party on the registration form. This post-conference get-together will go from 5 to 8 p.m.
The buffet includes Mexican seasoned beef, refried beans, Spanish rice, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and onions, black olives, cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, taco sauce, and tortilla and fiesta corn chips. It also includes churros or your choice of dessert.
Field Trip (Friday)
The annual field trip is planned for Friday, September 16, and will visit both whitebark and limber pine forests in the surrounding area. People will gather at 8 a.m. in a designated parking lot at the University of Montana Western with their lunches (lunch is NOT provided). We plan to use vehicles provided by conference attendees to carpool to field trip stops.
At the first field trip stop, we will visit a forest where whitebark pine is invading a sagebrush grassland. At the second stop, we will visit a limber and whitebark pine stand and discuss restoration projects in the area. The Annual WPEF Members Meeting also will be held this day at lunch break. Attendees will be back at the parking lot by 4 p.m. Nothing is planned for that night.