Oct 22 2010


University of Montana donors, students and faculty will gather to celebrate saving 600 trees threatened by the mountain pine beetle in the Lubrecht Experimental Forest at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24.

The celebration, which will take place at the Lubrecht Forest Pavilion, will include a barbeque and donor plaque dedication in The Castles Forestry Center.  The public is welcome to attend.

Across the Rockies, mountain pine beetles are devastating forests. Last February the UM Foundation and the University's College of Forestry and Conservation launched the Lubrecht Legacy Tree Restoration Project with the hope of raising funds to save 500 legacy trees by treating them before the beetles' spring hatch.

The effort exceeded the original goal and raised enough money to treat 600 ponderosa and lodgepole pine trees along the road leading to the camp area and in the camp. During the spring and summer, the treated trees survived the beetle infestation that hit much of Lubrecht Forest.

"In the face of an historic outbreak of mountain pine beetle affecting Lubrecht Forest and the rest of Montana, our alumni demonstrated their loyalty and commitment to the value of our experimental forest by digging deep and funding the necessary treatments to protect the large, legacy trees that grace the Lubrecht camp area," said Jim Burchfield, interim dean of UM's College of Forestry and Conservation. "It is not just our gratitude that will remind them of their generosity; it will be the pleasure that all visitors to Lubrecht will continue to experience in the presence of these magnificent legacy trees."

Lubrecht Experimental Forest is the primary research forest of the Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, a state agency administered collaboratively with the UM College of Forestry and Conservation. Lubrecht has contributed to the forestry profession's knowledge of forest management operations, wildlife habitat dynamics and silviculture for more than 75 years.

Lubrecht's 28,000 acres are located about 30 miles northeast of Missoula. The land and its facilities are frequently used by the public for recreation, conferences, meetings and other getaways.