In cooperation with the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada (WPEF-C) we survey and assess the health and reproduction of the endangered White Bark Pine populations in the South Chilcotin area. The loss of essential whitebark pine habitat due to mountain pine beetle infestation results in a loss of the ecosystem services it provides, with severe consequences for a diversity of wildlife. Other factors that threaten whitebark pine include white pine blister rust and climate change, we are monitoring their impacts closely.
White bark pine trees produce cones about every third year. In the fall of every third year, we collect 100s of white bark pine cones to use for propagation and planting in areas where the white bark pine isn’t thriving like it is in the Chilcotin Ark. We estimate we sent 20,000 white bark pine nuts in one fall to the White Bark Pine Ecosystem Foundation for them to propagate and plant. Collecting data about the pine trees is also used for research and creating and maintaining sustainable land management.