Whitebark pines are unmistakable… But by 2016, over half of those still standing were husks of their former selves… The trees are fighting an uphill battle. The invasive blister rust fungus, mountain pine beetle infestations, changing wildfire patterns and climate change all threaten this keystone species. It was officially listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in December 2022. …It’s been a candidate for protection since 2011 and was listed as endangered in Canada in 2012, but other higher priority species got the focus in the U.S. for years. Listing means new money and formalized safeguards. …The national whitebark pine restoration plan, which develops priority areas for restoration, is led by the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation and American Forests in consultation with the Forest Service, along with other federal land management agencies and tribal nations.