Welcome to the Swan View Coalition

Our work and play are dedicated to conserving community and quiet habitat for fish, wildlife and people. Established in 1984 (Tax ID #81-0423034), we work to:
  • Conserve the Peace and Quiet essential to public health and the health of our native ecosystems.
  • Ensure timber sale programs on public lands truly sustain water quality, fish and wildlife.
  • Pursue these goals through public education and public involvement whenever possible, and through administrative appeals and lawsuits when necessary.
This article published on July 05, 2011 • [Permalink]


Happy Solstice, Holidays and New Year!

Swan View Coalition wishes you a Happy Solstice, Holidays and New Year - and has a gift suggestion!

A gift membership to Swan View Coalition is a gift that won't gather dust on someone's shelf and is about as close to carbon-neutral as you can get!

Members receive via email our weekly Swan Ranger photo reports, our quarterly newsletter, and occasional action alerts to help us protect quiet habitats for fish, wildlife and people.

Simply email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) the name and email address of the person you are gifting membership to, make a minimum $25 donation, and we'll email them a quick gift membership notice on your behalf.

Thank you for considering gift memberships to help us extend the reach and effectiveness of our work!

Happy Solstice, Holidays and New Year!!!

Keith

This article published on December 20, 2023 • [Permalink]


Holidays Newsletter: Things to Celebrate in 2023!

Our Holidays newsletter announces wolverine are finally given ESA protection, an ESA recovery plan is drafted for lynx, there are promising signs for the management of Krause Basin, and POWDR Corp has withdrawn its plans to super-size Holland Lake Lodge, but reminds us of huge "fuels reduction" logging projects on the horizon!

We also remind you that a generous donor will match up to $15,000 of your donations made before year's end!

Below is our newsletter's table of contents. Click here to view or download our newsletter as a pdf.

A big THANK YOU to those of you who have made donations that support our continuing work!

Won't you join them and make a donation today?

Fish, wildlife and people are counting on us - and you!

This article published on December 07, 2023 • [Permalink]


Summer-Fall Newsletter: Pushing Back Against All Odds!

Our Summer-Fall newsletter announces the release of our latest Forest Service road closure effectiveness report, describes how the Forest Service is keeping the public in the dark while permitting private corporations to conduct business on public lands, provides graphic proof that "thinning" as "restoration" logging amounts to more clearcuts, and calls on the public to carry and learn to use bear spray when outdoors!

We also announce our annual membership meeting is November 12 and that up to $15,000 of your donations before year's end will again be matched by a generous local donor!

Below is our newsletter's table of contents. Click here to view or download our newsletter as a pdf.

A big THANK YOU to those of you who have made donations that support our continuing work!

Won't you join them and make a donation today?

Fish, wildlife and people are counting on us - and you!

This article published on October 12, 2023 • [Permalink]


Swan View Report Shows Road Closure Effectiveness Far Lower than Forest Service Claims!

Despite a sign, an earth berm, maps, and promises, motorized use of closed road 10561 persists, reducing intended wildlife security!

Swan View Coalition recently released a report based on its 2022 inspection of 303 Forest Service road closure devices in the Flathead National Forest’s Swan Valley Geographic Area. The group found only 53% of the gates, berms and boulders showed no signs of motor vehicle use behind them. When adjusted to account for Forest Service exceptions allowing administrative and logging contractor use behind closures, effectiveness rose to only 68%, far short of the 92% effectiveness claimed by the Flathead NF for 2019-2020.

Swan View Coalition and Friends of the Wild Swan in 2019 filed a lawsuit over the revised Flathead Forest Plan and Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2017 biological opinion approving of its effects on threatened grizzly bears and bull trout. On June 24, 2021, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy ruled that the biological opinion’s “failure to consider the effect of ineffective road closures was arbitrary and capricious” and violated the Endangered Species Act. He cited a 2004 Swan View Coalition road closure study and the Forest Service's own data finding road closures ineffective, ordering FWS to redo its opinion.

FWS issued a revised biological opinion February 16, 2022, relying on the Flathead’s finding its closures were 92% effective, promises of a better road closure monitoring system, and promises that the Forest Service would fix its ineffective closures “as soon as they are able.” The conservation groups filed a new lawsuit against the revised biological opinion in 2022, again arguing it does not adequately contend with the fact that the revised Forest Plan abandoned the prior Plan’s reliance on road reclamation and the removal of culverts to make the closures more effective in protecting grizzly bears and bull trout. Swan View Coalition recently submitted its new road closure report to the District Court as a part of that lawsuit.

The report includes photos showing instances where the Flathead has taken seven years to repair an ineffective closure, even when the likely unlawful killing of a wolverine behind the closure was discovered and reported. Also reported is the fact the Forest Service promised FWS it would continue to monitor closure effectiveness but instead switched to monitoring whether a closure is “functional” in 2021 and 2022. Moreover, the Flathead refused to describe how “functional” compares to “effective” when its inspection data indicates a number of reportedly “functional” closures also show clear evidence of being breached by unauthorized motor vehicles.

“Road reclamation and culvert removals are necessary to protect fish and wildlife,” said Keith Hammer, Chair of Swan View Coalition. “Both agency- and citizen-gathered data show that gates, berms and boulders are not enough to stop motor vehicle trespass and that unmaintained culverts eventually fail and put the road dirt into the trout stream.”

The report is located here.

The U.S. District Court in Missoula has recently ruled against the government's handling of its road closure programs on the Kootenai National Forest and the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. (Click on these two links for the Court's Orders, which also provide background on this continuing controversy).

This Missoula Current article by Laura Lundquist also provides more context for our new road closure report.

This article published on September 12, 2023 • [Permalink]


Your Prompt Donation Matched by Cinnabar Foundation!

Your prompt donation to support our work will be matched/doubled by Cinnabar Foundation!

Be among the first $4,000 in donations and your donation will reproduce like the mountain maple seeds shown here!

This is Cinnabar's way of making your donation go even further in helping us keep America's roadless areas roadless, keeping its old-growth forest standing, and restoring its damaged ecosystems through limits on off-road vehicles and the reclamation of excessive roads!

Simply CLICK HERE TO DONATE or send a check to Swan View Coalition at 3165 Foothill Road, Kalispell, MT  59901!

We are currently working to insure our Flathead Forest Plan lawsuit victory results in good changes on the ground, not just on paper - by litigating Fish and Wildlife Service's revised biological opinion and the Forest Service's reliance upon it.

THANK YOU for your support of our work and for helping us meet Cinnabar's $4,000 challenge/matchcing grant!

This article published on August 02, 2023 • [Permalink]


Help Push Back on the Commercialization of the Flathead National Forest!

Your email is needed today to push back on 25 commercial Special Use Permits (SUPs) being issued on the Flathead National Forest!

Only you can help stop the commercial overcrowding of the Flathead NF, which is poised to permit 100-person backpacking trips, 400-person ultra-marathons, and more!

Click here to read about the 100-person Highlander backpacking event being promoted by the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce in order to bring more tourists to an area already overrun with tourists! They hope the event is expanded in future years!

Click here for the Flathead's summary letter inviting public comments by May 26, 2023.

Click here for more detail on each of the 25 commercial Special Use Permits.

Click here for our May 15 letter objecting to this "shotgun approach" to SUPs and requesting a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Flathead's SUP and recreation programs.

Send your email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by May 26 and consider making these points:

1. Quit allowing commercial outfits like Croatia's Highlander to sell $700 positions in its 100-person event before the public has even been allowed to comment on the idea!

2. Quit trying to mask the impact of these events on wildlife and other forest users by bragging that participants will pick up their own trash!

3. Quit allowing commercial businesses to make money off of promoting the crowding of our National Forests!

4. Quit dumping two dozen SUP proposals on the public and expecting people to research and comment on them within two weeks!

5. Prepare an adequate EIS for the Flathead's SUP and recreation programs and allow the public the required months to comment on it!

Include comments about any of the individual SUPs you have time to become familiar with.

These are public lands, not commercial lands for private profit - and only you can help push back on this commercialization!

Thank you for taking a few moments to comment!

(photo credit: Glacier National Park)

This article published on May 23, 2023 • [Permalink]


Winter Spring Newsletter: Government and Industry Set to Log it All!

Our Winter-Spring newsletter asks you to send a quick email to help stop DNRC from logging the last of its hemlock forests in Krause Basin, then shows how DNRC's proposal aligns with federal proposals that also promote logging to "restore" forests to false "historic" conditions. We provide links to a growing body of research revealing a "falsification of the scientific record in government-funded wildfire studies" that are being used to promote the logging of native forests.

We also announce that your donation to support our work will be matched/doubled by a generous local donor if you donate now!

Below is our newsletter's table of contents. Click here to view or download our newsletter as a pdf.

A big THANK YOU to those of you who have made donations that support our continuing work!

Won't you join them and make a donation today?

Fish, wildlife and people are counting on us - and you!

This article published on April 17, 2023 • [Permalink]


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