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.

Contact

406-203-0012
[email protected]

Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation
PO Box 17943
Missoula, Montana 59808

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Accomplishments

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.

2018 Accomplishments

Restoration Projects

  • Provided funding for the planting of 16,000 rust resistant whitebark pine seedlings on the Custer-Gallatin NF
  • Supported the Adams Creek WBP Seed Orchard in honor of retired USFS District Ranger Glenn Mueller
  • Maintained a publicly available database in collaboration with USFS Forest Health Protection that provided information on whitebark pine restoration projects totaling over $150,000 in FHP funds

Conferences

  • Conducted a successful 3-day science and management conference in Stanley, Idaho
  • Continued planning for the 2020 H5II Conference – 2nd Conference on the Research and Management of High Elevation Five Needle Pines – in Missoula Montana

Research and Education

  • Awarded a $1000 research scholarship to University of Wisconsin PhD student Michael Howe
  • Published two dynamic issues of our research and management journal Nutcracker Notes
  • Presented to Canadian ski areas at the Canada West Ski Areas Association AGM and engaged with Parks Canada and other agencies at the Five-Needle Pine Conservation Planning Workshop in Banff, Alberta
  • Co-led a well-attended whitebark pine educational hike at Scotchman Peaks, ID
  • Created a beautiful and informative new website that will go live in early 2019
  • Standardized a monthly E-newsletter that provides the most up-to-date high elevation five-needle pine research, news and education information to over 700 subscribers and distributed educational information to 100s more via social media

National Whitebark Pine Restoration Plan

  • Compiled the latest whitebark pine distribution and health data across agencies and updated the WBP distribution maps
  • Began working with agency managers to define core WBP restoration areas across the U.S. habitat range

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. View Nutcracker Notes.
  • 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. For more information, check out our Conferences.
  • 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. View Sampling & Monitor Methods.
  • 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. View the View the report.
  • 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. View the report.
  • 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. View WPEF Database.
  • 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 whitebarkpine.ca.