“We don’t know what’s going to happen without whitebark.”-

I know it will soon be functionally extinct, although no doubt some token remnants will be protected from beetles and blister rust. Ecologically speaking, it is already almost gone.

Here is a long essay on its demise and the effects. Feature article in New West. Grizzlies Only Scratch the Surface of What It Will Mean to Lose the Whitebark Pine.  The twisted, threatened symbol of high elevation connects an entire ecosystem. As one biologist puts it, “We don’t know what’s going to happen without whitebark.” By Shauna Stephenson. New West

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

2 Responses to Losing the Whitebark Pine affects much more than grizzly bears

  1. Linda Hunter says:

    It is nice to see a well written and informative article about this. . and while this is going on people are actively pursuing the idea of taking debris out of the forest to make bio fuels! Why can’t the knowledge gained from one thing be transferred to another. . as they state here you remove a food source from the forest and it effects the whole ecosystem. Every bit of debris I have ever examined in the forest has visible food sources, not counting the invisible microbs for all sizes of animals. Here in Washington state biofuels is the new dirty green word.

  2. Virginia says:

    Please check out Dailykos – an article by “hold tight” entitled “Our Dying Forests.” It explains that there is so much more we need to worry about other than the death of the whitebark pine trees – trees of all kinds in all parts of the world.


September 2010


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey