Wednesday 24 August 2016

Pine Beetle & Whitebark Pine

    The warming of BC’s climate has already led to the destruction of hundreds of thousands of hectares of Lodgepole Pine trees.  I blogged about this in March of this year:

    I have also blogged about the Whitebark Pine, which is a tree that grows in the high elevation of our local mountains:

    I don’t know for sure, but I fear that the Pine Beetle has moved in and started to kill the Whitebark Pine that is growing on Teare Mountain, right across from McBride.  The other day I noticed the first hints of reddish hue among the carpet of trees as I looked up from the valley floor.  In the past when I noticed such a color it meant that the trees have started dying.  They will become redder as time passes.  You might be able to make out the hint of red from this photo.
    If this is the case, it will be a sad event because the Whitebark is already a threatened species.  There is really nothing that can be done for the trees once an attack like this begins.  
    I once heard that diversity in nature is like rivets in an airplane.  The plane can be flying along and you can start pulling rivets out and the plane will continue to fly for a while, but if the rivets continue to disappear, eventually you will lose one rivet too many, and down you go.
     Whitebark pine will not be the last rivet, but it’s sad to see this slow motion decline in our natural environment, and I find it really scary.

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