When a State is known for something, typically, you would assume that there is plenty of it there. Washington has plenty of apples, Oregon has plenty of marijuana...right?
Well, in the State of Idaho, you would assume there would be plenty of Western White Pine trees--after all, its the official state tree. What if we told you that this assumption is simply incorrect and that there are efforts to restore this tree here in Idaho?
It really is the case--if you're a history nerd, the decline in this particular tree began in the early 1900's because of a European fungus. Sounds gross--and inconvenient.
Now, the United State Forest Service is here in Idaho helping the us get this tree back! It's a complicated effort that has led to scientists attempting to breed Western White Pine trees to be resistant to this tree-killing fungus and now in Northern Idaho, it's all coming together.
Western White Pines used to make up about 40% of trees up north and now, they only make up about 2%. One single nursery is growing 350,000 seedlings--WOW. We're all rooting for the resurrection of this majestic tree!
By the way, when it comes to making things official, there's more to Idaho than just trees! Did you know that Idaho actually has an entire roster of things that are "officially official" here, statewide? If you're a local, you probably took Idaho History in 4th Grade and remember these. If you're not, let me give you a fast track tutoring session on all things Idaho:
- The State Bird is the Mountain Bluebird
- The State Flower is the Syringa
- the State Tree, of course, is the Western White Pine
- The State Fruit is a Wild Huckleberry (YUM)
- The State Fish is the Cutthroat Trout
- The State Gem is the Star Garnet
- The State Motto is: "Esto Perpetua" which translates to "Be Eternal"
- The State Song is: "Here We Have Idaho"