NEVADA — Last week forestry technicians from fuels and fire crews on Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Carson Ranger District, Bridgeport Ranger District, and Ruby Mountains-Mountain City-Jarbidge Ranger District planted nearly 400 whitebark pine seedlings in Lamoille Canyon, outside of Elko, Nevada.
Seeds collected from whitebark pine trees within the Ruby Mountains-Mountain City-Jarbidge Ranger District were grown at the Forest Service CouSer d’alene nursery. When the seedlings reached three years of age, they are returned to the Forest for replanting. The objective of the planting was to restore stands of whitebark pine that are under threat from large scale die-off from white pine blister rust, mountain pine beetle, dwarf mistletoe, and drought stress.
Establishing seedlings in areas where natural regeneration is not occurring will help promote a more resilient forest along with future forested conditions. Whitebark pine is an important tree species for wildlife habitat and watershed health as a food source, shelter, retention of snowpack, and reduction of soil erosion.