Vernadero Group Inc., under contract with Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, is collecting data on the distribution and condition of the whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act, across MCMWTC Bridgeport, California.
The whitebark pine is declining precipitously throughout its range owing to whitepine blister rust (Crotartium rubicola), infestations by the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae), root disease, successional replacement, and other factors.
Our biologists are mapping the range and density of the whitebark pine as it overlaps with other conifer species, incidentally noting infestations, disease, disturbance by military usage, and mortality.
We will use these data to establish predictor variables to create a preliminary GIS map of whitebark pine occurrences.
Our biologists will then field verify the map to confirm the true distribution of whitebark pine. We will distill this information into management recommendations and maps showing the condition of whitebark pine woodlands to assist the Installation in prioritizing habitat restoration and disease mitigation for this species.
Attribution: Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service