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KNPS hosting January talk on whitebark pine

| January 19, 2021 1:00 AM

Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society's monthly program features Christy Cleaver, a U.S. Forest Service plant pathologist.

The program will be Friday, Jan. 22, and is only being offered online via Zoom. There will be no in-person meeting at Sandpoint Community Hall. This program will be a live webinar, co-sponsored by Sandpoint Parks & Recreation. There will be opportunity to ask questions via Chat. It will also be recorded for later viewing on the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society’s YouTube Channel.

Since 2015, Cleaver has been a plant pathologist in Coeur d’Alene with the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Health Protection, which monitors forest diseases and insects, conducts forest health evaluations, and provides management guidance, training, and conservation education. She received bachelor degrees in forest biology and natural resource management and a master's degree in ecology, with an emphasis in forest pathology, from Colorado State University. She has worked in forest pathology for 11 years in Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho with emphasis on white pine blister rust and high elevation white pines.

As part of her presentation, Cleaver will talk about whitebark pine, a critical component of high elevation ecosystems in the western U.S. and Canada, was recently proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The normally long-lived, stress-tolerant pine is declining throughout most of its range due to a combination of the introduced disease white pine blister rust, mountain pine beetle, fire, and climate change.

Restoration efforts are ongoing and include a national whitebark pine restoration plan. Comments on the plan may be submitted through the American Forests Action Alert at http://bit.ly/3nO4nNy.

Registration is required to attend the webinar, set for 10 a.m. Friday. To register, go online to http://bit.ly/3qvsjHa. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join Zoom on Jan. 22.

Information: Preston Andrews, KNPS programs coordinator, programs@nativeplantsociety.org