2016 Whitebark Pine Operational Cone Collection Baree Ridge

General Project Information

Project Title: Whitebark Pine Operational Cone Collection Baree Ridge

Project Dates: 2016; field work completed 7/7/2016 – 9/1/2016

Year project implementation started:

How many more years is this project expected to continue, if any?

Project Contact: (Please provide complete information for primary contact(s), e.g., name, position, phone number, email, agency name, unit/sub-unit)

Rudy Geber, rgeber@fs.fed.us, 406-283-7594

Location (Land management agency or ownership and name of geographic area(s) where project was implemented. This information should be specific enough to identify a general project location on a map but not specific enough to compromise the project.)

USDA Forest Service, Kootenai National Forest, Libby Ranger District, Montana

Cooperators: (List cooperating agencies and sub-units, other companies/organizations, and individuals as needed.)


Project Funding

Funding Sources (amount FHP/amount other incl. in-kind)

Forest Health Protection funding                   $2,500

Other funding                                                 $1,750

Total                                                               $4,250


Did Whitebark Restoration funding get used or obligated? (If not, please explain.)



Project Details

Scope and/or Size of Project or Treated Area: (Include a short description of the project or treatment area if helpful in understanding the scope of the project.)

Number of Acres or Other Units Treated, Monitored, or Surveyed:

20 trees

Specific location of project or treated area(s): (If desired, add more specific project location information here, e.g., UTMs, Lat-long, specific landmark. Otherwise, indicate if more information is available by request.)

Objective(s) (from original request):

  • Collect whitebark pine seeds for future plantings within appropriate seed transfer zones.
  • Locate 20-30 mature whitebark pine trees with over 30 cones per tree within the Baree Ridge genetically diverse whitebark pine population.
  • Install wire mesh cages during the month of July to reduce predation of cones by Clark’s nutcrackers and squirrels.
  • Remove cages and collect cones during the last week in August or first week in September when seeds are ripe.
  • Transport cones to Coeur d’ Alene nursery for seed separation and storage for out-planting.

Planting: (Please answer the following questions if the project includes plantings or cone collections.)

Number of seedlings planted (List by location if applicable):  N/A

Was the seed source screened for resistance? (If other, explain.)

Were Plus trees used?


  • Cone caging took place on 7/7/16.
  • Five climbers and four ground assistants hung 500 cages over 1,250 cones. Twelve WBP within the Silver Butte project area were caged. Eight WBP outside the daylighting project area along the ridgeline leading north towards Baree Lake were also caged. In total 20 trees spaced at least 200 feet apart were caged for an operational cone collection, thus meeting the minimum spacing needed for genetic diversity requirements when performing operational cone collections.
  • Cone cut faces on the day of caging were showing between 7 – 12 seeds per cut face.
  • Clark’s Nutcracker activity was present in some trees. Two trees were abandoned due to the high level of bird damage in those trees. The remaining 20 trees that were caged had minor bird damage on a couple cones.
  • Cone collection was completed 9/1/2016.
  • Approximately 4 bushels of cones were collected and shipped to Coeur d’ Alene nursery.

Project Status (Is the project complete? If not, what remains to be accomplished and when?

Project was completed.

Will outcome meet objectives? Yes


Project Follow-Up

Are there plans for monitoring or follow-up? (If not, please explain.)

In July 2017, monitoring of WBP cone crops will likely occur to determine if collection is warranted.

Changes Needed or Problems Encountered: N/A