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.
Please sign up today to help plan recreation management in the wildlife-rich Krause Basin!
The Swan Lake Ranger District has announced it will begin a public planning process and is asking interested people to sign up for it by August 15.
We need lots of individual voices to get the Forest Service to honor its past promises to get motorized vehicles out of Krause Basin and to not turn the area into one more crowded tourist trap!
See our Winter/Spring Newsletter for more background on recreation management in Krause Basin.
These public lands and wildlife belong to everyone. You don't need to live near Krause Basin to be an "interested participant."
You don't have to commit to participating in the process until the Forest Service describes it more completely after August 15, but you do need to sign up now to have the option and receive further information.
THANK YOU for taking a few moments to speak up for the health of people, wildlife and their habitat!
A federal judge has ruled in favor of grizzly bears and bull trout in our lawsuit against the 2018 revised Flathead Forest Plan!
U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy cited Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in ruling that federal agencies were negligent in abandoning the prior Plan's Amendment 19 road management protections for grizzly bear and bull trout, saying it is "like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet."
Amendment 19's road closure and removal requirements are credited with putting threatened grizzly bears on a path toward recovery. Its requirement that culverts be removed from permanently closed roads is credited with helping protect threatened bull trout from the sediment released by inevitible culvert wash-outs.
The revised Flathead Forest Plan abandoned these requirements, so Swan View Coalition and Friends of the Wild Swan filed a lawsuit in 2019. Judge Molloy's 6/24/21 Order requires the Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider its abandonment of Amendment 19 and to conduct new Endangered Species Act reviews of any new road-building projects.
Our victory should also slow down federal efforts to remove ESA protection from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem grizzly bear population, which is premised on the same abandonment of Amendment 19 road and motorized vehicle management.
Click here for our joint press release with Earthjustice.
Click here for Judge Molloy's Order.
Click here for more background on our lawsuit, first filed in 2019.
WildEarth Guardians and others also filed a lawsuit against the Flathead Forest Plan, which the court combined with ours.
As COVID precautions loosen, we remain hard at work and will continue our weekly Swan Ranger reports.
We will not resume Saturday Swan Ranger group outings due to pressure on group size, but we encourage people to continue hiking, skiing and snowshoeing in small groups of their own.
Our Swan Rangers in Service will continue to help the Forest Service maintain trails that are supposed to be on the landscape and to help restore areas damaged by unauthorized trails.
We hope to resume our every-other-Sunday Community Potluck and Music Jam Sessions this Fall.
COVID has had little effect on our advocacy work because we have been able to work and hold meetings remotely and have been able to get out in the field whenever necessary.
We remain hard at work and appreciate everyone's patience during these times of COVID precautions!
Your email today can help stop motorized dirt bike tours in Krause Basin and other harmful Special Use Permits (SUPs) on the Flathead National Forest!
The Flathead National Forest wants your comments on 19 proposed Special Use Permits. Among them are guided tours on motorized dirt bikes, ATVs and UTVs - including in the wildlife rich Krause Basin enjoyed by walkers and horseback riders!
Please send an email by May 12 to the following addresses:
Consider making the following points:
1. Object to issuing a permit for guided motorized dirt bike tours, especially in the wildlife rich Krause Basin area. Motorized dirt bikes, let alone dirt bike tours, don’t fit in with Krause Basin’s popularity for walking and horseback riding!
2. Object to all of the permits intended to provide motorized recreation as an end in itself. Intentionally promoting motorized dirt bike, ATV, UTV, and watercraft rentals and tours does not work toward the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Each gallon of gasoline burned puts 20 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere! And the noise spoils the outdoors for everyone else!
3. Object to the permits intended to promote trail running, bike and foot races - with up to 400 participants and 300 spectators! These displace others from the trails and promote recreation that increases the risk of surprise encounters between people and bears, which have resulted in the deaths of both.
4. Ask that non-motorized bike tours stick to roads open to motorized vehicles and not use roads closed to protect wildlife security.
5. Support the Journey to Wellness and Montana Academy permits for healing hikes in quiet, unhurried nature. These stand in stark contrast to the majority of the 19 SUPs being proposed, which instead spew forth crowds, haste, noise, and exhaust fumes that destroy other peoples’ ability to enjoy their National Forests and the planet.
6. Ask that an Environmental Impact Statement be prepared that looks at the cumulative impacts of the Flathead's SUPs and Rental Cabins expansion program, which are pumping hordes of people into far flung corners of the Forest without adequate concern for fish, wildlife, peace, and quiet.
For more detail on these six points, see our letter here.
Click here for the Flathead's description of the proposed SUPs and their maps.
THANK YOU for taking a few moments to comment on these issues important to the health of people and wildlife!
UPDATE 3/9/21: Forest Service pauses to read the over 250 comments it received on this proposal! Click here for the Daily Inter Lake article. THANK YOU to all of you that wrote in opposition to this ill-conceived idea!
Please take five minutes to tell the Forest Service not to build four rental cabins adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness in the remote Bunker Creek area!
Spotted Bear Ranger District wants to displace traditional semi-primitive tent camping at Bunker Park with 4 rental cabins, 1 trailer pad, a livestock corral, and a childrens playground! This will turn the area into a nearly year-round snowmobile and mountain bike outpost smack in the middle of some of the best wildlife habitat on the Flathead National Forest!
1. The remote Bunker Creek area is adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness and is no place to promote recreation through rental cabins!
2. The development would be right in the middle of "some of the most dense grizzly bear and carnivore habitat on the Flathead Forest," not to mention prime habitat for elk, mountain goats and bull trout!
3. The develpment would promote snowmobiling in an area currently seldom reached by people in winter and inevitably result in motorized trespass of unpatrolled closed areas!
4. The development would become a destination for mountain biking from Napa Point and other access along the Swan Crest!
5. The development would displace tent campers and folks without $85 to rent a cabin!
6. No "Categorical Exclusion" shortcuts! Either drop this idea or give it the full and public environmental analysis required by law!
Click here for Swan View Coalition's comments and those of a grizzly bear expert.
Click here to see the proposal on the Forest Service web site.
THANK YOU for taking a few minutes to keep the backcountry a secure place for fish and wildlife!
Our Winter-Spring 2021 newsletter gives the history of the wildlife-rich Krause Basin, including past threats and current threats, along with our plan to restore calm, reverence and respect for people and wildlife - in the face of Forest Service plans to instead develop it into a Focused Recreation Area.
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!
You can send a two-minute email today objecting to half-square-mile clearcuts proposed above Swan Lake!
It may be too late to object to the above "landscape restoration" clearcuts on Sixmile Mountain, but you have until Feb 9 to object to huge clearcuts being planned to "reduce fire danger" on the other side of Swan Lake!
Tell them you object to the oversized clearcuts being planned under the Bug Creek Project on Crane Mountain because:
1. They violate the Flathead Forest Plan standard limiting the maximum size to 40 acres.
2. They will be ugly.
3. They will leave wildlife without hiding cover or shade, leaving them more vulnerable to poaching and heat stress, and will leave birds with no trees to nest in.
4. They will greatly increase the spread of wildfire because they dry out the forest floor, produce more ignitable fuels like grass, brush and dense stands of little trees, and are conducive to higher wind speeds that fan the flames.
5. They don't decrease the spread of wildfire by keeping forest openings limited to the 15 meters recommended by science.
Click here for our email summarizing and attaching the most recent fire science.
Click here for our comment letter detailing other problems with excessive clearcut sizes.
Click here for the Forest Service's invitation for you to comment on its excessively sized clearcuts on Crane Mountain.
THANK YOU for taking a few moments to fight massive clearcutting on the Flathead National Forest!