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, 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 litigation when necessary.
This article published on July 05, 2011 • [Permalink]


Critical Review of the Pending Flathead Forest Plan!

Swan View Coalition has issued a critical review of the Biological Assessment of the final revised Flathead Forest Plan, along with Friends of the Wild Swan.

The groups find the Plan wholly inadequate in its protection of fish, wildlife and wildlands. Their review is based on the Flathead's Biological Assessment of the pending revised Flathead Forest Plan.

The Assessment was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act along with other Biological Assessments and Biological Opinions written for recently completed consultations with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding impacts to threatened grizzly bear, bull trout and lynx.

The Flathead had promised to post the Assessments and Opinions on its Forest Planning web site by December 1, but instead provided them to Swan View Coalition on CD. The Flathead had hoped to release its revised Forest Plan in November and is now hoping to do so in December.

The Flathead is also responsible for writing and releasing Forest Plan grizzly bear amendments for the other four Forests in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, reducing protections for grizzly bear in all five Plans as Fish and Wildlife Service plans to remove (delist) the NCDE grizzly bear from Endangered Species Act protections in 2018.

Click here for the groups' 12/12/17 press release.

Click here for the Flathead's Biological Assessment of its revised Forest Plan.

Click here for FWS's Biological Opinion on the revised Flathead Forest Plan.

Click here for the Biological Assessment of the Four-Forest Grizzly Bear Plan Amendments.

Click here for FWS's Biological Opinion on the Four-Forest Grizzly Bear Plan Amendments.

 

 

This article published on December 12, 2017 • [Permalink]


Holiday Newsletter: Recognizing and Protecting Nature’s Gifts!

Our Holidays Newsletter looks at recognizing and protecting nature's gifts, rather than simply imposing our will on the world!

Please check out our newsletter and DONATE NOW to support our work and help us raise $15,000 to meet our year-end budget!

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

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and will join others in supporting our work!

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

Happy Holidays, Happy Solstice, Happy New Year - and THANK YOU!

 

This article published on November 21, 2017 • [Permalink]


Groups Put Forest Service on Notice: Logging Roads Trashing Bull Trout Habitat, Will File Lawsuit

Nokio Creek culvert blowout - Flathead NF photo.

Swan View Coalition, Friends of the Wild Swan and WildEarth Guardians put the Flathead National Forest on notice they will file suit over logging road impacts to bull trout.

Below is the press release with links to the Notice of Intent to File Suit and Keith Hammer's "Roads to Ruin" report providing photos and background on the failure of the Flathead NF to adequately inspect and maintain its logging roads and culverts.

Click here for the resulting KAJ-TV coverage using photos like the one above.

Click here for the resulting Daily Inter Lake news article by Patrick Reilly.

Click here to read our rebuttal to the Flathead Forest Supervisor's claim that there are no "impaired" watersheds on his Forest due to proactive management.

Click here for the resulting Missoulian news article by Perry Backus.

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Failures in Road Management Place Bull Trout at Risk

Conservation Groups Send Notice of Intent to File Suit to Flathead National Forest

November 16, 2017

 

Contacts:

Marla Fox, WildEarth Guardians, 651-434-7737, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Keith Hammer, Swan View Coalition, 406-755-1379, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Arlene Montgomery, Friends of the Wild Swan, 406-886-2011, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Kalispell, MT – Yesterday three conservation groups warned the Forest Service of their intent to file suit under the Endangered Species Act in order to protect threatened bull trout and its critical habitat. The Forest Service’s inadequate management and monitoring of logging roads on the Flathead National Forest in northwest Montana threatens to degrade bull trout streams by increasing the risk of culvert failure, leading to road washouts that smother streams in road sediment, destroy fish eggs and prevent young fish from growing.

The notice letter outlines the Forest Service’s failure to comply with numerous biological opinions written by the Fish and Wildlife Service during the past fifteen years. These biological opinions directed the Forest Service to remove stream-aligned culverts from closed logging roads—or, alternatively, to monitor them annually to insure they do not plug. Plugged culverts are prone to fail over time due to accumulation of dirt and debris in the small openings. A plugged culvert is likely to blow out during a rain or snowmelt event, depositing sediment into bull trout streams.

Though the Forest Service has largely failed to follow either of the Fish and Wildlife Service directives, records show it is aware that far more culverts are failing or are at high risk of failing than initially thought, and that failing roads and culverts put the bull trout and its habitat in peril.

In addition to its history of inadequate road management, the Forest Service proposed to relax culvert monitoring from annual monitoring to monitoring once every six years. Best science and a history of culvert failures on the Flathead and other national forests do not support such a move: culverts can plug and blow out in a single season if not inspected and cleaned.

Swan View Coalition Chair Keith Hammer has spent the last couple of years requesting the Flathead’s annual culvert monitoring reports. “The Flathead has failed pretty much across the board to conduct annual culvert monitoring,” he said. “The monitoring it has done shows that up to two-thirds of the culverts inspected are at high risk of failure. Rather than dedicate the funding and staff to do the inspections and either fix or remove the culverts, the Flathead is looking to eliminate the requirement for annual inspections.”

“Our native fish require cold, clean water to spawn and rear,” said Arlene Montgomery of Friends of the Wild Swan. “Unmaintained culverts are like ticking time bombs in our streams; when they plug up and blow out they dump tons of sediment into spawning gravels, impacting reproduction and growth of fish. By ignoring the required monitoring the Flathead is endangering our water quality and fish habitat.”

“We hope the Fish and Wildlife Service rejects the Forest Service’s attempt to move the goal posts by abandoning annual culvert inspections,” said Marla Fox of WildEarth Guardians. “Rewarding poor performance with lower expectations would set a horrible precedent for other forests to bypass legally required protections that the Service determined necessary for bull trout survival and recovery.”

Background:

The notice letter cites to agency documents showing that agency assumptions that only 10-15% of culverts were at high risk of failing were replaced with findings of 35-40% and as high as 67% of culverts at high risk of failing. Notice, page 14.

The letter also cites to documents acknowledging 22 culverts had failed on the roads that had been inspected and that more failures were expected. Notice at 12-13.

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This article published on November 17, 2017 • [Permalink]


Special Issue: Logging v. Fire

Our Fall 2017 newsletter uses illustrations and science to debunk the "logging prevents wildfire" myth, describing how we can protect our homes while letting fire play its essential role in forest ecosystems!

Please check out our newsletter and, if you DONATE NOW to support our work, it will be doubled by Cinnabar Foundation!

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

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and will join others in supporting our work!

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

 

This article published on October 03, 2017 • [Permalink]


Help Keep Hiking Trails from Becoming Mountain Bike Freeways!

Flathead NF and Hungry Horse News/Daily InterLake photos

Your quick email is needed today to keep Flathead hiking trails from being turned into freeways for mountain bikes!

When Brad Treat was killed after slamming into a grizzly bear at high speed on his mountain bike, an interagency Board of Review urged agencies to assess the reasonableness of allowing mountain bike access in grizzly bear habitat. It recommended agencies determine whether vegetation allows adequate sight distances along trails before allowing mountain bikes on them.

The Flathead National Forest has stood this on its head and is instead proposing to create 50-meter sight distances along trails and trail tread widths of up to 4 feet so mountain bikes can be accommodated.

And a local mountain bike club of course wants to help!

This will turn intimate hiking and horseback riding trails into ugly wide swaths through the woods and only encourage faster mountain bike speeds!

Please send a quick email by August 13 to Hungry Horse Ranger District at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) !

Put "Hungry Lion Project" in the subject line and insist the Forest Service:

1. Not allow mountain bikes on the hiker and horseback trails illegally modified by mountain bikers in the Hungry Lion area!

2. Not allow the widening and straightening of trails for mountain bikes, ruining enjoyment of them by hikers and horseback riders!

3. Require mountain bikers to slow down rather than expect wider trails!

The Flathead is about to re-create hiking and horseback trails in the image of mountain bikers. ONLY YOU CAN STOP THIS!

Please dash off a quick email TODAY! Hikers, horseback riders and wildlife will appreciate it.

Click here for more background on this issue and the Hungry Lion Project.

 

This article published on August 10, 2017 • [Permalink]


Delay on the Flathead National Forest: For Better or Worse?

Our Summer 2017 newsletter takes a quick look at delay in release of the Revised Flathead Forest Plan and two Swan Valley timber sales, in light of persistent efforts by the Flathead to weaken protections for threatened bull trout and grizzly bear, noting local communities are getting fed up with the roads, weeds and ATVs that follow logging!

Please check out our newsletter and if you DONATE NOW to support our work, it will be doubled by Cinnabar Foundation!

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

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and will join others in supporting our work!

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

 

This article published on July 05, 2017 • [Permalink]


NREPA Introduced in U.S. House and Senate!

The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act has been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate! Urge your Senators and Representatives to support NREPA today!

That's right, there are companion bills in Congress right now that you can get behind to protect 23 million acres of America's public lands in the Northern Rockies as Wilderness!       Unprotected Northern Swan Crest

Let's send a clear message to this Congress that we want more wilderness and more wildlife, not less!

Click here to find the email address or contact form for your U.S. Representatives.

Click here to find the email address or contact form for your U.S. Senators.

Ask them to:

Please support or co-sponsor the NREPA bills of Representatives Maloney and Grijalva (H.R. 2135) and Senator Whitehouse (S. 936) because they:

1. Designate 23 million acres of America's most beautiful and ecologically critical public lands as Wilderness in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington!

2. Designate 1,800 miles of outstanding streams and rivers as Wild and Scenic!

3. Create more than 2,300 jobs in rural communities restoring fish and wildlife habitat on public lands damaged by logging and road building!

4. Save American taxpayers $245 million over ten years by eliminating the subsizided industrial development of roadless lands that would instead be protected as Wilderness!

Please enjoy the 5 minutes it takes to support this bold, preeminent legislation!

For maps and more details about NREPA, visit www.saveamericasforests.org/NREPA/index.html.

THANK YOU!

 

This article published on May 03, 2017 • [Permalink]


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