Webinar: Whitebark pine genetic restoration for the Northern Rockies
Time: 10am Mountain / 9am Pacific
Presenter: Mary Frances Mahalovich, Regional Geneticist, USDA Forest Service - Northern, Rocky Mountain, Southwestern, and Intermountain Regions
As a keystone species whitebark pine maintains biodiversity and its nuts provide a nutritional food for several wildlife species. As a foundation species it protects watersheds and promotes post-fire regeneration. Restoring whitebark pine is by definition multidisciplinary, and the complex linkages to other plants and wildlife, climate, and its wide distribution readily lends itself to an ecosystem approach to restoration. Complex coordination over the last 16 years varies from formal partnerships in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, informal partnerships in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and working-one-on-one with individual units, nurseries, and a tree seed centre in Alberta.
This webinar will provide an overview from a genetics perspective of the science, program structure, success stories, and future challenges restoring whitebark pine; a high-elevation conifer not quite a commercially important tree species, and federally designated a candidate species for listing in the U.S. and endangered in Canada.
Mary Frances is Regional Geneticist, Northern, Rocky Mountain, Southwestern, and Intermountain Regions, USDA Forest Service out of Moscow, Idaho. She is responsible for selective breeding programs in six conifers across 11 states. Since 1998, Mary Frances has led a genetic restoration program for whitebark pine among partners in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Alberta. Based on her expertise in whitebark pine, she developed a paper on the future status of whitebark pine in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. She is also active in seed procurement planning and developing seed transfer guidelines for native plants, and recently completed a genecology study of bluebunch wheatgrass. Mary Frances received her B.S. in Forestry (1983) from Northern Arizona University, an MS in Forest Genetics