Awarded to the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation to enhance recruitment, seed collection, seedling propagation, and seed and seedling planting primarily on private land of this blue listed species of conservation concern.

PROPONENT: Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation

DESCRIPTION: Limber pine (Pinus flexilis) is a blue-listed species in BC that is facing a moderate yet imminent threat. The decline of limber pine is attributed to a number of factors including the recent mountain pine beetle outbreak, the impacts of the introduced white pine blister rust, and urban development in the Rocky Mountain Trench. Limber pine is the rarest conifer in BC and is listed by the BC Conservation Data Centre due primarily to the impacts of introduced white pine blister rust, mountain pine beetle, and fire suppression, with potential impacts attributed to valley bottom development in the Columbia Valley.

This project was primarily an outreach-based restoration program. A number of “classroom” and field based outreach activities were undertaken including many which involved participants directly planting seedlings.

OBJECTIVE: The project’s main objectives were to: 1) enhance limber pine recruitment, 2) map locations of limber pine within the study area, 2) identify species at risk that may grow in association with limber pine, and, 4) disseminate information regarding limber pine.

A total of 1,405 limber pine seedlings were planted from Canal Flats to Brisco, all done with the aid of volunteers or with a prior education session with a landowner. Seedlings were planted on a total of eight private parcels, and outreach sessions were estimated to have reached 70 individuals. Outreach sessions consisted of events at Wings over the Rockies, meetings with representatives from the Nature Trust of BC and Nature Conservancy of Canada, a public meeting in Windermere, and one on one meetings with landowners. During outreach sessions, it was identified that a greater educational campaign was required; thus an educational brochure was developed for wider distribution and to inform locals about the significance of limber pine. Locations of limber pine within the study area were also mapped.

PHOTOS: Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation