Whitebark pine is a dominant feature of western high-mountain regions, offering an important source of food and high-quality habitat for species ranging from Clark's nutcracker to the grizzly bear. But in the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada, much of the whitebark pine is disappearing. Why is a high-mountain species found in places rarely disturbed by humans in trouble? And what can be done about it? Whitebark Pine Communities addresses those questions, explaining how a combination of altered fire regimes and fungal infestation is leading to a rapid decline of this once abundant-and ecologically vital-species. Leading experts in the field explain what is known about whitebark pine communities and their ecological value, examine its precarious situation, and present the state of knowledge concerning restoration alternatives. The book: - presents an overview of the ecology and status of whitebark pine communities - offers a basic understanding of whitebark pine taxonomy, distribution, and ecology, including environmental tolerances, community disturbance processes, regeneration processes, species interactions, and genetic population structure - identifies the threats to whitebark pine communities - explains the need for management intervention - surveys the extent of impact and losses to date More importantly, the book clearly shows that the knowledge and management tools are available to restore whitebark pine communities both locally and on a significant scale regionally, and it provides specific information about what actions can and must be taken. Whitebark Pine Communities offers a detailed portrait of the ecology of whitebark pine communities and the current threats to them. It brings together leading experts to provide in-depth information on research needs, management approaches, and restoration activities, and will be essential reading for ecologists, land managers, and anyone concerned with the health of forest ecosystems in the western United States.