Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation (WPEF)

We are a science-based non-profit dedicated to counteracting the decline of whitebark pine and enhancing knowledge about the value of its ecosystems.


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Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation
PO Box 17943
Missoula, Montana 59808

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Millie Fire WBP Direct Seeding – 2017

Featured Project- funded in part by 2017 WPEF Whitebark Pine Forever funds

Sowing Operations



The primary objective of this project was to restore remote, burned whitebark pine stands through the direct seeding of white pine blister rust resistant seeds. Additional objectives were to monitor seed germination and seedling survival for 1, 3, and 5 years following sowing.

Scope and/or Size of Project or Treated Area:

In the proposal, the original plan was to sow whitebark pine seeds throughout 22 acres in the Millie Fire at the end of September 2017. Unexpected large snow storms in early September complicated implementation of the project. The late September start date was pushed into October to allow the snowpack to settle for more reasonable hiking access. The snow also doubled the amount of labor required to sow the seeds as microsites needed to be cleared of snow before the sowing could occur. As the project progressed, another large storm was forecasted and the decision was made to sow at a heavier rate than originally planned in order to be able to sow all of the seeds before snow accumulations made it too difficult to access the site. This in turn decreased to amount of treated acres from 22 to 9.

Project Status:

The sowing portion of the project is complete. Monitoring will occur in the spring of 2018, the fall of 2018, the fall of 2020, and the fall of 2022.

Project Contact: 

Clay DeMastus, Orchard Manager / Culturist, USFS Custer Gallatin NF

Tools used (shovel, ski pole for holes, seed)

Sowing Operations


Lunch Break



Bag of Seed