“Whitebark Pine Studied; Panel seeks to determine if native tree is endangered species”

Another thing NRDC is ahead on. This is also related to global warming and this is very important to many wildlife species especially the belaguered grizzly bear.

By Lillian Mongeau

Whitebark pine, a tree native to the Cascades, is under investigation as a possible endangered species, according to a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announcement Monday.

The hardy alpine plant is known as a keystone species, meaning it stabilizes the environment it lives in, making life possible for a variety of other plant and animal life. Whitebark pine prevents soil erosion, slows snow melt, provides food for a number of alpine birds and animals, and is often one of the first species to return to fire-affected areas, according to Ann Belleman, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s lead biologist on the whitebark pine study initiated this week.

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