Restoring Whitebark Pine Ecosystems to Enhance Subalpine Bear Habitat

This is a five-year project aimed at restoring endangered whitebark pine ecosystems in the southern Skeena Region. Whitebark pine is an important wildlife tree that provides nutrition to various species, including bears, birds, and small mammals. The species is endangered due to the cumulative effects of the mountain pine beetle, white pine blister rust, and changing climate and fire patterns. The project focuses on replanting disturbed areas, particularly those affected by recent wildfires, and testing for rust resistance. The goal is to restore at least 300 hectares of whitebark pine ecosystems in high-value bear habitat within the Skeena Region over the course of five years.

In 2010, the Bulkley Valley Research Centre began restoring disturbed whitebark pine ecosystems at their northwest limit in the southern Skeena Region. Recent wildfires in the region (Nanika Falls, Atna, Gosnell) destroyed mature whitebark pine trees within high value bear habitat, but created ideal sites for replanting. From 2011-2016, we collected seeds from rust-free trees and began rust-resistance testing. The second cohort is ready to plant in 2017. Our objective is to successfully restore at least 300 hectares of disturbed whitebark ecosystems in areas of high value bear habitat in the Skeena Region over 5 years.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Source URL
Author(s) S. Haeussler, A. Clason
Funding Agency/Agencies Habitat Conservation Trust, TD-Friends of the Environment Foundation, Forest Enhancement Society
Affiliated Institution(s) Bulkley Valley Research Centre
Publication Year 2018