Scientists fight for white pine’s future

Capital News Service
LANSING — The population of Michigan’s state tree has reduced drastically during the past two centuries, and ecologists are trying to repopulate the white pine despite significant hurdles. At their peak, white pine forests covered about 32 million acres in the northeastern United States. Today, stands of white pine cover only about 17 million acres. That loss threatens forestry diversity, vital habitats and one of the Great Lakes region’s most beneficial trees, scientists say. It’s a problem not only for the ecosystem but also for the pride of the Great Lakes states, said Joshua Cohen, an ecologist with the an ecologist with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory.