Partners: Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada (WPEFC), Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP), Columbia Basin Trust (CBT)
Dates: 2010 – 2012
Description: The East Kootenay region of BC is the only area in the province where all three species of five-needled pines occur: whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), limber pine (P. flexilis), and western white pine (P. monticola). Of these three species, limber pine has the most specialized habitat, growing almost exclusively on rocky bluffs at low-to-mid elevations. Little is known on the true extent of this species and even less is known among the public about species ecology and rarity.
With funding made available from CBT and Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF) administered by KCP, KES and WPEFC have conducted a series of extension programs with local naturalists and landowners in the East Kootenay Region. Occurrences recorded by citizen scientists demonstrated new limber pine locations and scientists illustrated a more detailed picture of local limber pine stand composition to guide restoration efforts. Part of this important project included the installation of limber pine seedlings in select habitat areas in partnership with volunteer naturalists and school groups. By enlisting the help of engaged citizens, this project both maximizes the limber pine habitat restored but increased the understanding and value of the species to the public.