“We don’t know what’s going to happen without whitebark.”-
I know it will soon be functionally extinct, although no doubt some token remnants will be protected from beetles and blister rust. Ecologically speaking, it is already almost gone.
Here is a long essay on its demise and the effects. Feature article in New West. Grizzlies Only Scratch the Surface of What It Will Mean to Lose the Whitebark Pine. The twisted, threatened symbol of high elevation connects an entire ecosystem. As one biologist puts it, “We don’t know what’s going to happen without whitebark.” By Shauna Stephenson. New West