Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada Names New Seed Orchard Coordinator
The Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada (WPEFC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Joyce as our new Seed Orchard Coordinator.
This appointment continues WPEFC’s legacy of successfully coordinating the establishment of Canada’s first disease-resistant whitebark pine seed orchards and clone bank. Whitebark and limber pine are keystone species that are of serious conservation concern. They stabilize soils, moderate snowmelt, and provide important habitat to species such as grizzlies, birds, and squirrels. Unfortunately, they are in a precarious position primarily due to white pine blister rust disease. With Stephen as the new Seed Orchard Coordinator, WPEFC is poised to expand and establish additional seed orchards to help maintain the integrity of these unique ecosystems.
WPEFC President, Randy Moody says, “we are so fortunate to have Stephen’s experience and expertise on the team, supporting the recovery of endangered whitebark and limber pine ecosystems.”
Stephen is a registered professional forester (RPF) with over 37 years of experience as a seed orchardist and forestry manager. He has worked throughout BC for government, industry, and as a consultant in mixedwood forestry, silviculture, research, and seedling production, managing seed orchards for Western Forest Products and the BC Forest Improvement and Research Management (FIRM). Stephen has been involved with whitebark pine for the past five years and helped establish the first BC whitebark pine seed orchard with WPEFC in 2021. Recently retired as the Manager of Seed Production for FIRM, he can be found racing in Masters’ track and field, hiking, cross-country skiing, or pruning in his garden. He enjoys making maple syrup every Spring and has even hosted a group of Clark’s nutcrackers in his Coldstream backyard.
Welcome to WPEFC, Stephen!
The Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada (WPEFC) is devoted to the conservation and stewardship of endangered whitebark and limber pine ecosystems. Founded in 2009, WPEFC has been instrumental in the formation of working groups that promote recovery work, engage multiple stakeholders, support research, and conduct educational programs. Collaborating with government, industry, and non-profits, the foundation is coordinating the establishment of seed orchards that will produce seed resistant to the invasive fungal pathogen, Cronartium ribicola, which causes white pine blister rust and devastates all populations of native white pines.