Whitebark Pines are in trouble around the mountains
of the Northwest. For me, they have become a sentinel species.
This is because they are not only the grandest and most
long-lived of pines to reach the upper limits of treeline—even
in death the sun-bleached white snags stand tall for centuries—
but also, like wounded watchful elders, these Nestors of the
high-country are sounding a dire warning.
The past two years have seen a marked decline of
mountain pine beetle caused dieback (rusty-red needles
below). But the signature tree of a secret pocket of healthy
stands of Pine & their associated Clarks Nutcracker was
blow over in a storm last fall (at 2500 m, and about 250
years old.) The branch you see emerging out of solid rock
in the 2nd image isn’t really a branch, but rather a root,
as thick as man’s torso. They are very powerful trees.
But, like polar bears, they are being pushed off the planet
by rising temperatures. Heart break, indeed….
Below is a DIALOGUE RESOURCE PAGE I try to keep up-to-date
with the latest Docs & Info. Please go there and offer
a prayer, and better, climb up to the lighter air of
the highcountry and linger in the presence of this
WHITEBARK PINE COLLAPSE–a resource page w/ 20
films, links, mp3s http://bit.ly/wG2PIh