HARVEST The Whitebark Pine StoryWatch on the upcoming Yellowstonesummit.com
by Dan Hartman
Feb. 7, 2024Back in the 80's I discovered whitebark pine middens. Up on Dunraven Pass in the fall, I came upon these ripped up areas that looked like a bulldozer had passed through. Not really understanding what they were all about, I did notice grizzly sign was everywhere. Over the years, I would make a point of checking them out every fall, amazed at how the grizzlies would return to shred the areas year after year.
Starting in 2014, I was photographing in the Beartooths for a book on pikas. That year whitebark pine trees were turning red all around me. Dying by the thousands.
Four or five years later, I ended up working with camera man Drew Rush on a Nat Geo article on the decline of the whitebark pines.
A couple years later, I filmed a segment on the whitebark pines for my Beartooth film. While filming, I realized I needed to do a film on just the whitebark pine story.
And that was just what I did.
Now three years later, it is completed.
The big trees were even designated an endangered species during my filming. The first and only tree given this protection in North America.
Now, there have been a couple of fillms made on the decline of whitebark pines, but they seem to focus on the scientific side of the story.
My film centers on the species that will be effected should we loose this valuable food source.
While gathering footage, alot from placing camera traps, I found numerous side stories emerging. How are the squirrels dealing with grizzlies raiding their food caches night after night. A weasel that moves into a squirrel midden. A grizzly sow with an injured foot, keeping her cubs safe with the presense of many larger bears frequenting the middens.
Just to name a few.
I asked Nathan Varly to lend his scientific mind to the project, and he quickly came on board. Giving the film a more professional feel. Also my good friends Joe and Larry Allen brought their musical skills to the film. Making it a pleasure to watch.
Cindy spend hours going through footage whle our daughter Kelly lent her voice for the narration.
George Bumann and Jenny Golding have selected my film which I have titled "HARVEST" as one of the many fabulous films, interviews and presentations to be offered on their YELLOWSTONE SUMMIT, starting FEBRUARY 22 thru the 25th.
Get info for the 4 day event and register.
For info about just the film, we can be reached at 406-838-2296 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org