Whitebark Pine in Northern California

This past spring, I was contacted by the California Native Plant Society and asked to work on a conservation assessment for whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) in California. The project will begin by developing an updated and highly accurate range map for the species across the state. Its distribution is more predictable and better known in the Sierra Nevada—but across northern California, with less predictability and more fragmentation on  mountain tops, the job is a bit daunting.

Whitebark pine associating with Shasta fir in the Marble Mountain Wilderness.
Whitebark pine associating with Shasta fir in the Marble Mountain Wilderness.

I have thus created a Google Earth file (for all populations north of Lassen National Park) to share with you and get feedback on accuracy and what I might have missed. This was adapted from various sources including historic documents, personal communication with botanists, CalFlora database analysis, and meticulous study of online photos from sites like Summitpost and Google Earth. I ask you for feedback.
I have drawn polygons in green where the species is known and red where it is a bit unclear (an places I intend to ground-truth this summer). Let me know what you know so that this imperiled species can be better understood.

More about whitebark pine in the Klamath Mountains:

  1. Box Camp Mountain 2011
  2. Whitebark Pine on Conifer Country


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  • 2/4/2014 1:28 PM Dave Middleton wrote:
    From the google earth file it appears you suspect Whitebark pine on Willow Creek Mtn. I just climbed it yesterday and can corfirm it is present. I can email a couple of pictures if interested. Thanks for sharing your good work! Dave
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    1. 2/4/2014 2:16 PM Michael E. Kauffmann wrote:
      Dave- this comment comes with some excellent timing. I am finalizing reports for the forests (Klamath included) and would love to include a picture of the pines on Willow Creek Mtn. I will give you photo credit if you agree to share. I can also update the recommendations for the forest with photo verification of the species there. Thanks! Please email me: michaelekauffmann [at] gmail.com
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