Panorama is Canada's first Whitebark Pine Friendly Ski Resort

Preserving mountain ecosystems and biodiversity

The whitebark pine is a familiar sight at Panorama for guests exploring the summit and  the far reaches of our terrain. These cherished trees welcome guests to the realms of the subalpine ecosystem to which they play a critical role.

The Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada has certified Panorama as a Whitebark Pine Friendly Ski Area, making Panorama the first lift-accessed resort to receive the designation. Panorama’s support of recovery initiatives of whitebark pine, has been ongoing for nearly 30 years, in collaboration with the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada. Projects have ranged from cone collection, to plantings within our ski-boundaries, and more recently screening for resistance to a disease that has placed the species on both the Government of Canada’s Species at Risk Act and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s threatened species list.


Blister rust, found on the bark of a frosted over whitebark pine along a trail from the summit at Panorama Mountain Resort. February 22, 2023.

Found across the subalpine interior of BC, Alberta and parts of the U.S, this slow growing, five needle pine is an integral part of an ecosystem that many species depend on for survival. The tree’s cones hold some of the most nutritious seeds in the mountains and sustain Grizzly bears and birds, including the Clark’s nutcracker which has a unique symbiotic relationship with the tree. The deep and widespread roots of the whitebark pine contribute to the health of watersheds by stabilizing alpine slopes and regulating snowpack run-off.

Over the past decade, whitebark pine numbers have fallen dramatically. Due in large part to a non-native fungal disease known as white pine blister rust that has been infecting and killing the trees at an alarming rate, restoration efforts and preservation efforts are now integral to the future of the species.


Sign at the summit of Panorama, educating guests about whitebark pine. February 22, 2023.

Panorama’s long term collaboration with the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation has resulted in many projects, including cone collections, seedling planting, workshops and outreach opportunities for guests.

“Ski areas form an important linkage with the public, as they are the location where most people will see a  whitebarkpine and the associated decline of whatbark pine ecosystems. We hope Panorama’s certification as a ‘Whitebark Pine Friends Ski Area’ will serve as a model for other ski areas.”

- Randy Moody, an ecologist and President of the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada.

In 2021, 5,000 whitebark pine seedlings were planted in a premanently closed area within Panorama’s boundary known as Canadian Bowl. Plantings like this are the future of whitebark pine. The project was made possible by funding from the BC Government’s Forest Carbon Initiative. Mature trees are also being screened for resistance to the white pine blister rust and findings show that at least one resistant tree has been found at Panorama!

Skiing through whitebark pine trees along Get Me Down, a trail from the summit of Panorama. February 22, 2023.

“Whether you’re skiing Taynton Bowl or taking in the views from the summit, the whitebark pine is an icon of our alpine area. Our support of the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation and the vital work they do will ensure this important tree continues to grace our mountains for generations to come.”

- Steve Paccagnan, President & CEO of Panorama Mountain Resort.

Panorama joins Sorcerer Lodge as the only other Canadian ski area to have obtained certification so far.

For more information about the whitebark pine and the Whitebark Pine Friendly Ski Area certification program can be found at

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