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Posted Wed Jul 20 2011: from Washington Post, via DesdemonaDespair:
Whitebark pine tree faces extinction threat, agency says
The Fish and Wildlife Service determined Monday that whitebark pine, a tree found atop mountains across the American West, faces an "imminent" risk of extinction because of factors including climate change. The decision is significant because it marks the first time the federal government has identified climate change as one of the driving factors for why a broad-ranging tree species could disappear. The Canadian government has already declared whitebark pine to be endangered throughout its entire range; a recent study found that 80 percent of whitebark pine forests in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem are dead or dying.... In its determination, the agency said that it found a listing was "warranted but precluded," meaning the pine deserved federal protection but the government could not afford it.... However, she added, "we've got definitely a limited amount of budget and a limited amount of staff to address all these species. There are other species that are worse off than whitebark pine."
[Read more stories about: climate impacts, forests, bad policy, tipping point]

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'Doc Jim says:
I think we call that priority determination "treeage."

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