The California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) maintains global and state rankings for species of concern. Great Basin Bristlecone Pine has a global rank of G4, meaning it is apparently secure, but there may be some cause for concern, and a state rank of S3.3, meaning it is vulnerable (few populations, and/or small population size) in California, with no known current threats. The California Native Plant Society includes it on their List 4.3, meaning it is uncommon in California, but not very endangered. The vast majority of stands and subpopulations are within protected areas, some of which were specifically designated to protect this species. Active monitoring programmes are also in place. Ex situ gene conservation including seed and pollen in cold storage, and clone banks has been initiated.
Conservation Actions and Research Needed:
Further research is needed on the potential effects of climate change on the existing distribution of Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, including insect and disease dynamics, and fire dynamics in the denser mixed forests. Active fire management may be needed in some stands.
Identification, harnessing and deploying (tree planting) rust resistant Great Basin Bristlecone Pine may need to be considered, particularly in areas where regeneration is absent among persistent standing dead stems and no local seed source is available for natural regeneration. In these cases, special attention should be paid to maintaining the genetic integrity of individual stands, as appropriate.
Identification of new Research Natural Areas in California, Nevada and Utah may provide protection for additional populations, depending on the current management status of those lands. Other protected areas include designated wilderness.