2012 Davis Fire WBP Restoration

Project: Davis Fire Whitebark Pine Restoration

Attachments:  Helena_Dopler_2012_IRWBP2 Helena_Dopler_2012_IRWBP1

Agency/Forest or Park/District:  Granite Butte (T13N R7W S26/ Lat 46.86167N Long 112.46361 W) Helena National Forest, Montana

Project coordinator: Riley Dopler

Contact: Riley Dopler, Culturist, 2880 Skyway Dr. Helena MT, 59602_(406)-495-3920, rdopler@fs.fed.us

Cooperators  None

Source of funding /amount

FHP: $3,250

Supplemental funding: $5,076 from Helena National Forest in kind

Dates of restoration efforts


The Granite Butte area on the Lincoln Ranger district has been an established genetic whitebark pine “plus” tree area since 2002 and there are 10 remaining live “plus” trees in the area. In August of 2010, the Davis Fire burned several areas of whitebark pine habitat adjacent to Granite Butte; however none of the “plus” trees were burned. Augmenting the current population of white bark in the Granite Butte area through hand tree planting of 25 acres will enhance this habitat over time.

Acres/ha treated

3,900 trees across 25 Acres


Site prep is excellent, clumps of beargrass are beginning to establish but are very scattered and will not be a problem for planting. Seedlings will be microsite planted to a density of 150 trees per acre. If no microsite is available one will be created by moving material to provide for the seedling.

Planting? If so, source of seedlings? Resistance?


All 3,900 seedlings across 25 acres were planted on October 2012. A 100 tree monitoring stake row was installed the same day.

Monitoring since completion of the project

            Dates     9/19/2013

            Plans for future monitoring?   First year survival rates from stake row and stocking surveys will be measured and shared in September of 2013. Survey results indicated a 99% survival rating after the first growing season.

Will outcome meet goals?

First year survival rates were very high.  It is anticipated that the third year results will be slightly lower but well within the goals of the project.

Future actions/follow up? 

Third and Fifth years surveys are scheduled.  Additional planting is planned for FY2014.  Five acres is planned to be planted in the spring, survival surveys would be scheduled to monitor the success of this spring planting.

Miscellaneous comments

The Planting was accomplished through an IDIQ contract.   Air temperatures ranged from 40-46 degrees and the ground temperature was 34 degrees.   The top ½ to 1 inch of soil was frozen during the morning and thawed by 11am.  The government planting inspection results were 95%.