CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Greater Yellowstone Whitebark Pine Committee has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation for its efforts to protect and restore whitebark pine trees.

The Montana, Wyoming and Idaho-based Greater Yellowstone Whitebark Pine Committee is one of 16 individuals and organizations to be recognized by the foundation.

The Greater Yellowstone Whitebark Pine Committee will receive a Forest Lands Leadership Award for leadership in advancing sustainable forestry efforts on public forestland.

Whitebark pine trees are critical to the ecosystem of the Greater Yellowstone Area, but the species faces several threats, including white pine blister rust and mountain pine beetle outbreaks.

The Greater Yellowstone Whitebark Pine Committee formed in 2000 to address the threats.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members.