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American Forests Conservation Spotlight: Montana’s Eureka Basin
Posted on September 20, 2016

The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest covers 3.36 million acres and is the largest of the National Forests in Montana. Photo: Forest Service Northern Region via Flickr

As our 2016 partnership continues with American Forests, we profile another worthy project, this time from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. —LYA Editor

Location: Madison Ranger District, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Montana

In the wake of the 2013 Eureka Basin fire, some of the most severely burned areas of this remote region have been unable to rebound naturally. The 2016 phase of this project will reintroduce 32,000 whitebark pine seedlings to an additional 120 acres of the most severely affected areas.

The whitebark pine is an important keystone species, whose shade and moisture regulation foster the growth of other trees and understory plants. Its large, nutritious seeds provide an important food source for numerous species of mammals and birds. This area of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem contains large populations of elk and deer, as well as both grizzly and black bear. Re-growing the mature whitebark pine forest in this area will restore prime habitat for those species. The area is also an important location for the Clark’s nutcracker, which plays a significant role dispensing seeds and rejuvenating the pine forest.

The pine stands of this area of the Gravelly Range have a particularly high degree of genetic diversity, and have shown signs of resistance to the white pine blister rust which has devastated stands in other areas. American Forests is working with the U.S.Forest Service to replant 120 acres with 32,000 whitebark pine seedlings in an area burned by the 2013 Eureka Basin Wildfire. This is the second phase of an extensive replanting effort slated to run through 2019.

Since partnering with the national nonprofit conservation organization 20 years ago, Eddie Bauer has helped plant more than 6.5 million trees. With the launch of The One Tree Initiative, Eddie Bauer pledges its continued support of American Forests’ mission to protect, restore and conserve threatened forest. Donate to the cause at AmericanForests.org.

 

Author: - Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
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    Don


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