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Sugar Pine Foundation Sugar Pine Foundation

Quick Stats

Official Name: Sugar Pine Foundation
Year Founded: 2004
Chief Executive: John Pickett
Headquarters: South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA
Mission: Restoring white pines by involving the community in forest stewardship.
Language Spoken: English
# Countries Active: USA
Official Website:
Phone: (650) 814-9565
Areas of Focus: Conservation, Ecology, Forestry
Organisation Type: Foundation, Non-profit corporation

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Sugar Pine Foundation

Country: United States

About Us

The Sugar Pine Foundation is 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that is working to save our forests from the threat of white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), a non-native, incurable fungus that is killing white pines. The Sugar Pine Foundation carries out its mission by identifying trees that are resistant to the fungus, collecting their seed, and planting their progeny throughout the Tahoe Basin - and beyond!
The Sugar Pine Foundation is dedicated to restoring the natural regeneration of sugar pines and other white pines in the Tahoe Basin and surrounding areas.


In the summer of 2004, John Pickett was working as a U.S. Forest Service technician in the Lake Tahoe Basin.  That summer, John saw that most of Tahoe’s white pines – including the princely sugar pine, the world’s largest pine – were dying due to a non-native, invasive fungus called white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola).  John knew that losing Tahoe’s white pines would be catastrophic for the region’s wildlife, water quality and economy – not to mention future
generations of nature-lovers and recreationalists.

Although blister rust is incurable, about 3-5% of sugar pines and western white pines possess a natural genetic resistance to the fungus.

John felt passionate about saving Tahoe's forests, and he knew what to do – identify blister rust resistant trees, collect their seed, and plant their progeny – so he decided to take action!  By September of 2004, John had created the Sugar Pine Foundation to restore the natural regeneration of white pines in the Tahoe region and beyond!

Aside from the help of invaluable volunteers, the Sugar Pine Foundation was basically a one-man operation until July of 2007, when Maria Mircheva took over as Executive Director. Even more recently the organization's staff grew by one more person, when Tressa Gibbard came on board as Development Coordinator in January, 2010. Together, John, Maria and Tressa are committed to growing the organization's capacity to raise awareness and counteract the threat of white pine blister rust!

The Sugar Pine Foundation is registered as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.  All contributions are fully tax deductible.  Our tax-exempt identification number is 25-1909869.

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Submitted by Org Admin 5 on Oct 29, 2011