This image is the northwest side of Mount Washburn ( 10,223 ft) with it’s observation tower at the top and is a prominent mountain peak in the Washburn Range, shown here by the destruction of the Whitebark Pine in Yellowstone National Park. The threat to Whitebark Pine by blister rust and is currently complicated by widespread outbreaks of Mountain Pine Beetle in the western U.S. and Canada. Since 2000, the climate at high elevations has been warm enough for the beetles to reproduce within Whitebark Pine, often completing their life cycle within one year and enabling their populations to grow exponentially. These higher temperature trends have been attributed by some researchers to global warming. Regardless of cause, the pine beetle upsurge has killed large numbers of Whitebark Pine (nearly 3/4 million in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem alone). Mountain pine beetles jeopardize current and future Whitebark Pine restoration efforts, because they are killing trees genetically resistant to white pine blister rust.
Canon EOS 1D MKIII, EF 70-200mm F2.8 IS L USM lens, Gitzo tripod