Swan View’s News

We issue our Newsletter 3-5 times per year and post a link to view or download it on this web page, along with occasional Action Alerts. Or, you can Subscribe to receive our Newsletter and occasional Action Alerts automatically.

This article published on July 15, 2011 • [Permalink]


Protect Grizzlies as they Emerge from their Winter Dens!

Your quick email is needed by November 6!

The Flathead National Forest is proposing to issue ten Special Use Permits for commercial winter guiding. Most of them would continue after April 1 when grizzly bears and their young are emerging from their winter dens (if not earlier) and looking for something to eat!

The permits are for everything from snowmobiles and snowbikes (motorcycles converted to snowmobiles) to skiing and snowshoeing, all of which can disturb grizzly bears and other wildlife during the crucial Spring months following a winter of little or no food! (MDFWP photo at right).

Please send a quick email today to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and let the Forest Service know you want all commercial winter recreation permits confined to the the grizzly bear denning period Dec 1 - March 31 and not allowed after April 1 den-emergence!

Click here for the Flathead's list of permits being considered and maps of the proposals. You'll find permit proposals for commercial guiding on Tally Lake Ranger District (including the Round Meadows Winter Trails), the Blacktail Mountain area, the north end of the Swan Range, the south end of the Whitefish Range, and near the Great Bear Wilderness in the Middle Fork Flathead.

We are particularly opposed to a permit that would allow commercial skiing and snowshoeing trips on the old Paola Creek Road that was decommissioned in 1997 so it would no longer facilitate human intrusions into key grizzly habitats adjacent to the Great Bear Wilderness. Worse yet, the trips would be allowed through all of April even though grizzly bears are out of their dens and, like wolverine, looking for winter-killed carrion in the streamside and avalanche chute habitats that were to be protected by decommissioning the Paola Creek Road! Click here for our letter about these permits.

Please take a few moments to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and let them know you want grizzly bears and all other wildlife protected from commercial recreation during the critical Spring months! Our short letter and the Flathead's list of Special Use Permits may provide you with more ideas about areas special to you that you want protected.

THANK YOU for taking a few moments to speak up for wildlife and mindful recreation! 

 

 

This article published on October 21, 2020 • [Permalink]


Your Emails Needed to Stop Massive “Restoration” Logging Scam!

This is not a joke! This graphic is from the Flathead National Forest’s proposed 272-square-mile Mid-Swan Landscape "Restoration" Project, which would intentionally fragment the forest further by building more roads and removing 60,000 log trucks full of trees over the next 15 years!

UPDATE 10/14/20 - With the DEIS comment period now closed, here are links to some major comments opposing the Mid-Swan Project:

Click here for comments by Swan View Coalition and 11 others.

Click here for comments by Friends of the Wild Swan.

Click here for comments by Wilderness Watch.

Click here for comments by six retired Forest Service Wilderness Specialists.

Click here for comments by WildEarth Guardians and Center for Biological Diversity.

THANK YOU to all of you that sent in comments on this egregious project!

Click here for a press release issued by Wilderness Watch, Swan View Coalition and Friends of the Wild Swan.

______________________________________

Your emails objecting to this “restoration” scam are needed by October 13! Below are suggested comments for your email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Include “Mid-Swan Project” in the subject line:

1. Further fragmenting forest habitat in the already highly fragmented Swan Valley is not “landscape restoration” and doing so in threatened lynx habitat violates the revised Flathead Forest Plan, as admitted in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

2. The Project would build over 40 miles of new roads even though the area is already highly fragmented with 567 miles of Forest Service logging roads and another 578 miles of state and private roads. Storing or decommissioning a handful of those roads still leaves the majority of those road templates on the landscape to harm grizzly bear, bull trout, other fish and wildlife.

3. Restoring this landscape to historic conditions would remove all of the logging roads, but the DEIS does not analyze such an alternative at all, not even as a point of comparison.

4. Nor does the DEIS look at reducing the road network to levels where research shows they no longer significantly harm threatened grizzly bears, as was required under former Forest Plan Amendment 19. Those thresholds still apply to effects analyses like the DEIS!

5. The “no new road” alternative in the DEIS still builds new roads and retains all but 40 miles of the existing road network. It does not provide the adequate range of alternatives required by the National Environmental Policy (NEPA).

6. The DEIS does not disclose the specific locations of the timber sales that will cut down trees to fill 60,000 log trucks over the next 15 years. Once those specifics become known, the public will have no NEPA process to review the estimated impacts of those timber sales. The courts have already ruled this violates NEPA!

7. The Project is an arrogant attempt to dominate the natural landscape with taxpayer subsidized make-work projects. The DEIS claims that 85% of the area needs logging or other forms of human manipulation, including 36,000 acres of designated and recommended Wilderness where natural processes are by law supposed to unfold on their own and without mechanical intrusions.

8. To restore this landscape, remove the logging roads, not the trees!

If you’d like to read this “restoration” scam yourself, click here for the 500+ page DEIS and other documents.

Click here for our 6-page photo comparison of two Swan Valley fires demonstrating that logging and road building do not prevent the spread of wildfires!

Click here for more detailed "talking points" with citations to Mid-Swan DEIS page numbers.

Thank you for taking a few moments to let the Forest Service know you care about keeping native forest ecosystems intact!

 

This article published on September 29, 2020 • [Permalink]


Summer-Fall Newsletter: Keeping Our Eye on the Ball!

Our Summer-Fall 2020 newsletter reports on how we are not distracted by COVID-19 and the run-up to the November elections, how the "Good Neighbor Authority" is just another "Good Ol' Boy" privatization of public resources, bids farewell to Jim Posewitz, announces our October 11 membership meeting, and reminds you that your prompt donations will be matched/doubled by Cinnabar Foundation!

Below is our newsletter's table of contents. Click here to view or download it 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 here? Be among the first and Cinnabar Foundation will match/double your money!

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

 

This article published on August 21, 2020 • [Permalink]


UPDATE: Help Protect Trails and Forests from USFS and DNRC “Salvage” Logging!

Recent DNRC logging in Krause Basin.

UPDATE: Both USFS and DNRC want to "salvage" log blown-down and still-standing trees along Swan Range trails.

The Forest Service is still pursuing its March Madness Salvage logging along the Hall Lake and Bond Creek trails!

Now MT DNRC is proposing its Jewel Basin Salvage logging in Sections 2 and 11, which include the Echo-Broken Leg and Crater Notch trails!

Click here for our letter and photos of recent logging showing why this salvage logging is unacceptable!

Email the Forest Service and DNRC today and let them know their logging "cure" is worse than the alleged problem - and that you especially don't want to see it along these trails!

Email the Forest Service at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by August 17.

Email DNRC at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by August 21.

Thank you for taking a moment to speak up for the forests themselves and for your ability to enjoy them!

CLICK HERE for a great Bigfork Eagle article about our efforts to protect these trails from salvage logging!

See below for more background on why these trees should be left in place:

Fallen trees are important for storing carbon and renewing the forest and soil!

Your emails are needed to help protect the Hall Creek, Bond Creek and other trail areas from blowdown "salvage" logging!

The Hall Creek and Bond Creek trail areas were logged/thinned under the Sixmile Fuels Reduction Project a few years ago, allowing recent wind storms to penetrate the forest canopy and topple even more trees.

Now the Swan Lake Ranger District wants to remove the fallen trees in the name of "fuels reduction salvage logging" even though it is the tree limbs that burn during a fire, not the trunk the logs are cut from!

Under this fuels reduction "logic," the forest won't be healthy or safe until all the trees are gone!

Please take a moment to email your comments by June 5th on the March Madness Blowdown Salvage to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Here are some suggestions:

1. Remove or move aside only those portions of blowdown trees that are blocking roads and trails.

2. Leave the tree trunks in the forest where they continue to store carbon for decades and renew the next generation of trees and soils.

3. As little as 15% of a logged tree's carbon is stored in a forest product for a short time, the rest is burned and goes into the atmosphere!

4. If you want to reduce the flammable fine fuels found in the limbs and needles, please do this by hand-slashing, hand-piling and burning them.

5. Please protect all area trails and thank you for not proposing salvage logging in Krause Basin's unique hemlock forests!

Click here for our letter with more details and rationale.

Click here for our supplemental comment letter with photos comparing heavy blowdown in previously logged forests to little or no blowdown in unthinned forests!

Click here for the March Madness Blowdown Salvage brochure, map and announcement of May 30 field tours.

Thank you for taking a few moments to speak up for the safekeeping of your public trails and forests!

 

This article published on August 10, 2020 • [Permalink]


Spring Newsletter: A Springtime Update!

Our Spring 2020 newsletter reports on how we are dealing with COVID-19, a federal judge twice thwarting the Flathead's efforts to hide its Forest Planning records, the downward spiral of forest thinning and commercial recreation, and Cinnabar Foundation once again willing to match/double your donations!

Below is our newsletter's table of contents. Click here to view or download it 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 here? Be among the first and Cinnabar Foundation will match/double your money!

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

 

This article published on June 08, 2020 • [Permalink]


Increase Social Distance While Hiking, Running, Biking!

Research shows COVID-19 social distancing must be increased while hiking, running and biking!

Distances to avoid particle contamination must be increased up to 65 feet as speed is increased and/or by moving to the side of the slipstream of the person in front of you.

The latter is difficult or impossible to do on narrow forest trails and roadway shoulders, so be safe when seeking a breath of fresh air and some exercise outdoors!

This article in WIRED magazine explains why the standard 6 feet of social distance isn't enough as we breath harder and move more rapidly.

Enjoy our public lands and roadways but do so safely!

 

 

This article published on May 05, 2020 • [Permalink]


Help Stop Large Commercial Events on the Flathead National Forest!

Your comments are needed NOW to help stop a 700-person trail-running event and help shape commercial guiding on the Flathead National Forest!

The Flathead has requested public comment on 12 Special Use Permits it is proposing for recreational events, shuttles and guiding services this summer.

Among them is Whitefish Legacy Partners' request for a permit to again run its trail-running race from Whitefish to the top of Big Mountain and back, but this time with up to 400 runners and an additional 300 spectators and volunteers! (These numbers provided by the Forest Service are inconsistent with WLP's permit application).

Foys to Blacktail Trails appears to be repeating the 100-trail-runner-maximum race it held last year, when retired FWS Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator Chris Servheen wrote in opposition to these risky foot races in bear habitat.

UPDATE JULY 11, 2020: A trail-runner physically collided with a grizzly bear in Glacier National Park, but was lucky to escape with minor injuries as the forgiving bear ran off. This should not become a huge spectator sport via Forest Service special use permits!

Also among the slew of SUPs are requests for guided tours for ATVs, hikers and bikers, as well as shuttle services - in critical wildlife habitats and some on roads closed to protect wildlife security!

Here are some suggestions for your comments, which must be submitted by May 1:

1. Do not permit trail-running races due to the documented increased risk to people, bears and other wildlife. It also sends the wrong message about how people should safely recreate in the habitat of bears and mountain lions.

2. Do permit slow-paced hiking and biking activities that help people get heart-healthy exercise while teaching responsible conduct in the habitat of bears and mountain lions.

3. Do not permit ATV tours, van tours and other motorized events that burn fossil fuels and hasten climate change in the name of recreation.

4. Do not permit commercially guided hiking and biking tours on roads closed to motorized use to provide wildlife security. These roads already receive non-commercial human use. Additional commercial use will result in even less wildlife security.

5. Do not permit large group tours and events where COVID-19 social distancing requirements cannot be met. Montana is currently among the least infected states in the country and we'd like to keep it that way.

Please send your comments by May 1 to all three of the following Ranger District addresses:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Click here to read our 4-page letter to the Flathead.

Click here for our single page of additional concerns after seeing the permit applications.

Click here for the Flathead's brief description of the proposed permits.

THANK YOU for taking a moment to comment on these issues important to the health of people and wildlife!

Click here for the Daily Inter Lake news article.

Click here for the Hungry Horse News article.

Click here for two critical letters to editors: 1. Robert Hermes led and largely funded the establishment of the Lakeside to Blacktail Trail and, though a long-distance runner himself, says "trails in the national forest are just not the right venue" for marathon races; 2. Carol Edwards, a resident of Polebridge, lays out how the public has been given "short shrift and silenced before they ever got a chance to speak" on these permit issues.

Click here for a Hungry Horse News column opposing the SUPs and process.

Click here for a Missoulian article about Forest Service directives to issue more special use permits more quickly to "be more responsible to customer needs."

Scroll down to view the maps and supplemental information we've been able to obtain from the Forest Service thus far. (You may need to click on "Read Full Article" to make them appear).

 


This article published on April 26, 2020 • [Permalink]


~ Next Page ~