View of Swan Range
Navigating Collaboration, Bullying and Vandalism!

The Summer-Fall 2012 issue of Swan View's News examines how we are navigating collaboration, bullying and vandalism on the Flathead National Forest!

The table of contents is shown below; click here for the entire newsletter in PDF.

URGENT UPDATE: Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks denied our petition to end the trapping of imperiled wolverine in Montana (see page 4 of the newsletter), so we've been left with no choice but to file a lawsuit against MDFWP! Click here to read the update.

Please make a donation today to help cover the costs of the three lawsuits discussed in our newsletter; all needed to protect the habitat of increasingly rare forest carnivores like pine marten, fisher, lynx, and wolverine!

Do it today and Cinnabar Foundation will match your donation!

And don't forget our annual meeting on November 11 (see page 6 of the newsletter).

This article published on October 12, 2012 • [Permalink]

Groups Sue Montana to End Trapping of Imperiled Wolverine
Four-frame photo by Chad Harder

Swan View Coalition and others in July petitioned Montana to stop trapping wolverine, a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks denied the petition.

Left with no other option, the same groups today filed a lawsuit to stop the trapping.

Montana is the only lower-48 state to still allow trapping of wolverine.

"We're lucky to see wolverine on rare occasions here in the Swan Range of northwest Montana, where they were first studied back in the 1970s, but trapping killed five times more wolverine than natural causes and killed nearly two-thirds of the wolverines being studied in just five years." said Keith Hammer, chairman of the Swan View Coalition. "Trapping must stop if these rare and wonderful animals are to return from the brink of extinction."

Read the Helena Independent article about the lawsuit here.

Read the full USA Today article about the petition here.

Read the lawsuit press release here.

Read the lawsuit complaint here.

Read the petition here to learn more about the habits, needs and threats to wolverine.

This article published on October 11, 2012 • [Permalink]

Help Stop Motorcycle Abuse of the Swan Crest!
Motorcycle illegally crossing the outlet of Lamoose Lake, 8/18/12.

Motorcycles again this summer were captured in video and photos operating illegally off-trail near Lamoose Lake, as well as causing deep rutting of Alpine Trail #7 where their use is currently allowed.

Read on to see photos and video of this damaging activity and for a link to email your complaint to the Forest Service.

It's high time to get motorcycles out of the high alpine country along the Swan Crest!

(Read Full Article)

This article published on September 06, 2012 • [Permalink]

Please Speak Up for Non-Lethal Cone Collection Again!

Thanks to folks like you, 97% of the comments received by the Flathead National Forest were opposed to felling the best larch trees just to collect the cones for nursery seed. Most suggested non-lethal alternatives such as climbing the trees or using helicopters and lift trucks to fetch the cones.

The Flathead has revised its proposal to consider the use of lift trucks, but it fails to require the use of lift trucks or other non-lethal methods! In fact, other non-lethal methods are not even discussed in the new proposal!

Your email comments on the new proposal are needed by July 7 to once again send a clear message to the Flathead that the public does not want the Forest Service killing the goose that laid the golden egg!

Please send an email today to Marsha Moore at . Tell her you want non-lethal cone collection methods to be REQUIRED, and that they may include an array of options such as traditional tree climbing, lift trucks and helicopters. Killing our best larch trees, no matter how few or many, is simply not necessary!

You can read the June 5 revised cone collection proposal here.

You can read Swan View's comments on the revised proposal here.

You can read the Forest Service's own description of various non-lethal cone collection methods here.

You can read a success story of the Forest Service collecting cones by traditional tree climbing here. 

You can read our alert on the Flathead's initial cone collection proposal here.

This article published on June 27, 2012 • [Permalink]

SVC's Position on Flathead National Forest Mountain Biking

1. Bicycling is a great way for people to enjoy the outdoors and get healthy exercise.

2. Flathead National Forest has over 3,500 miles of road open to bicycling, with nearly 2,000 of those miles closed to motor vehicles but open to biking without the hassle of dust and traffic.

3. Bikers, hikers and horseback riders share many miles of "leave no trace" trail on the Flathead. This should not be a problem unless bikers insist on high speeds and/or leave behind unlawful jumps and ramps that are unsightly and increase risks to all trail users.

4. The pursuit of free-ride and other mountain bike speed sports should not occur on multiple use trails due to the potential for conflicts between bikers, other trail users, and wildlife. Big Mountain already has facilities for free-ride and high-speed mountain biking - and plans for more. We urge Flathead National Forest to redirect these activities there.

5. We encourage lower impact hiking instead of mountain biking in Inventoried Roadless Areas because they qualify for future designation as Wilderness (which does not allow biking) and provide some of the Forest's best and most secure wildlife habitat.

6. Bicycling can and should provide a healthy and safe link between our urban areas and public lands if everyone minds their manners, obeys the law, and all agencies pursue meaningful public planning.

Download these principles as a pdf.

This article published on June 18, 2012 • [Permalink]

Biking Bad: Freeriders push the limit, with the law in pursuit
Jerry Sprunger Cartoon

Freeride mountain biking has become an increasingly popular sport in the Missoula area over the past decade or so. Advancements in suspension technology have allowed for bikes specifically tailored to more "technical" terrain: steep slopes, jumps, rock drops and log ramps. But Missoula's legal trail system doesn't have much of that. The void is filled by an outlaw culture of freeriders bent on meeting their own demands, even if it means breaking the law. . .

"Historically, the Forest Service has allowed sort of conventional uses: walking down the trail, taking your horse, driving your ATV on a road," [Lolo National Forest's Boyd] Hartwig explains. "The mountain bikers who want a more challenging experience, they've taken it to the next step and said, 'That's not enough for us. We want to construct things. We want to build jumps and bridges,' or whatever. That takes us outside the bounds of what we're allowed to do."

Read the full Missoula Independent article here.

This article published on May 31, 2012 • [Permalink]

Big Creek Restoration: The Rest of the Story

The Winter-Spring 2012 issue of Swan View's News describes the interplay of science, litigation, politics, and collaboration in the restoration of the Big Creek watershed on the Flathead National Forest.

You'll want to read this issue cover-to-cover if you'd like to know why citizen advocacy and litigation are so often necessary to give voice to the needs of fish, wildlife and people!

Winter-Spring 2012 Swan View's News (pdf).

This article published on May 30, 2012 • [Permalink]

Big Creek Restored by Removing Logging Roads
Forest Service photo of road and culvert removal in Big Creek.

"The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Flathead National Forest announced the news Thursday that Big Creek had been removed from the state's list of impaired waters. . .

Practices for reducing sediment . . . included decommissioning 60.6 miles of forest logging roads, removing 47 culverts and replacing 19, improving 89 miles of roads to decrease stormwater runoff; revegetating 25 acres of eroding uplands, and working with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to improve the amount of large wood in headwater streams that feed Big Creek. . .

Road building and timber harvesting led to accelerated soil erosion and substantial increases in the amount of sediments delivered to Big Creek."

Read the full Daily Inter Lake article here.

This article published on May 11, 2012 • [Permalink]

Watersheds Suffer From Too Many Roads, Not Too Many Trees!

Comments submitted by Swan View Coalition and Friends of the Wild Swan lay out the scientific basis for restoring fish and wildlife habitat in the Swan Valley by removing roads, not trees.

Read or download their letter and bibliography here.

This article published on May 01, 2012 • [Permalink]

Another South Fork Flathead Logging Project Faces Lawsuit
Logging Unit #54 along the Bunker Creek Road.

"Two local conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service objecting to a logging project proposed in the South Fork Flathead River corridor, the second time in two months the groups have filed litigation against a South Fork logging proposal.

Friends of the Wild Swan and Swan View Coalition, represented by Helena's Western Environmental Law Center, filed a lawsuit on April 16 in U.S. District Court in Missoula in opposition to the Forest Service's Soldier Addition II Project on the west side of the South Fork near the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

In late February, the two groups sued the Forest Service over the Spotted Bear River Project, a logging proposal on the opposite side of the South Fork Flathead River. Both projects are located in the Spotted Bear Ranger District of the Flathead National Forest."

Read the full Flathead Beacon news article here.

The two logging projects are in areas connecting the Great Bear and Bob Marshall Wilderness areas to each other and to the Swan Range west of the South Fork Flathead River, corridor areas critical to wildlife that can't swim across the 23,000 acre Hungry Horse Reservoir!

We supported past timber sales that removed trees closer to Spotted Bear buildings and closed roads to protect wildlife, but these huge sales will reopen roads and log critical habitat far from human habitations!

"With 23,000 acres of habitat flooded by Hungry Horse Reservoir, the Spotted Bear and Bunker Creek areas are critical habitat connectors between the Great Bear Wilderness, Bob Marshall Wilderness, and northern Swan Range," said Swan View Coalition Chair Keith Hammer. "Elk and other wildlife can't afford to have their critical habitat damaged by more roads and logging."

Read our press release here.

Read about 61% of Flathead Beacon readers supporting our lawsuits here!

This article published on April 24, 2012 • [Permalink]

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Logging Road Landslide
Logging road landslide into Sullivan Creek bull trout habitat! Keith Hammer photo.

What's New
Join Us for Our 40th Anniversary Potluck and Gathering! May 21, 2024

We hope you can come join us for our 40th Anniversary potluck and gathering on June 9 at the Creston Fish Hatchery pavilion on the shore of Jessup Mill Pond! There will be cake and we get to eat it too!

Winter-Spring Newsletter: Swan View Celebrates 40 Years! April 24, 2024

Our Winter-Spring newsletter celebrates our 40th anniversary with news of recent victories, a look at what we've accomplished in 40 years, a reminder of the work that still lies ahead, and an invitation to our celebratory outdoor potluck and gathering on June 9!

Happy Solstice, Holidays and New Year! December 20, 2023

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

Holidays Newsletter: Things to Celebrate in 2023! December 07, 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!

Summer-Fall Newsletter: Pushing Back Against All Odds! October 12, 2023

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!

Swan View Report Shows Road Closure Effectiveness Far Lower than Forest Service Claims! September 12, 2023

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.

Your Prompt Donation Matched by Cinnabar Foundation! August 02, 2023

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

Help Push Back on the Commercialization of the Flathead National Forest! May 23, 2023

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

Winter Spring Newsletter: Government and Industry Set to Log it All! April 17, 2023

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.

Help Stop DNRC Logging in Krause Basin Today! April 12, 2023

MT DNRC intends to log more of what little native hemlock forest it hasn't logged already in Krause Basin! Please help us stop this phony "forest restoration" now!

Double Your Donation Now! March 23, 2023

Wake up! A generous donor has agreed to match $5,000 in donations to Swan View Coalition! So DONATE NOW and see your donation doubled!

Holidays Newsletter: Learning from Our Past and Moving Forward! November 30, 2022

Our Holidays 2022 newsletter looks at how recreation gets out of control on public lands and what we can do about it. It also provides a brief summary of our work in 2022 and why your membership is important!

Giving Thanks! November 23, 2022

This Thanksgiving we are thankful to have public lands worth protecting and your support of our work to do so!

Summer-Fall Newsletter: Plunder Blunders! October 17, 2022

Our Summer-Fall 2022 newsletter examines two major public relations blunders by the Flathead National Forest as it attempts to force recreational development on a public that is tired of seeing its public lands turned into playgrounds for the rich and racy! We also announce the resumption of our biweekly Swan Range Community Potlucks and Music Jam Sessions - and our Annual Membership Meeting to be held November 20.

Insist Now on Full Public Review of Holland Lake Lodge Mega-Expansion! September 06, 2022

The Flathead National Forest is attempting to approve a mega-expansion of the Holland Lake Lodge on public land without informed public input and with no Environmental Assessment or Impact Statement. Tell the Flathead NOW to back up and start again!

Second Round of Flathead Forest Plan Lawsuits Filed! August 11, 2022

Swan View Coalition and Friends of the Wild Swan are in the process of filing three new lawsuits against the revised Flathead Forest Plan's building of logging roads in threatened grizzly bear and bull trout habitat!

Winter-Spring Newsletter: To Wonder or Plunder? May 13, 2022

Our Winter-Spring 2022 newsletter takes a sobering look at how, contrary to the way forest ecosystems function and the need to keep carbon stored in trees to combat climate warming, the government and industry instead want to log/thin all the forests they can get their hands on while building all the more logging roads to get it done!

Help Stop Commercial Crowding of the Flathead National Forest! May 10, 2022

Your comments are needed to object to commercial permits that promote crowding of the Flathead National Forest!

FS Cannot Seek Consensus from Krause Basin Collaborative February 13, 2022

The Forest Service cannot ask the Krause Basin Collaborative for group/consensus recommendations, only individual advice.

Forest Service Reneging on Promises to Prohibit Motorized Trails in Krause Basin! December 13, 2021

This page documents promises made by the Flathead National Forest to close all trails in Krause Basin to motorized use after designating it a Wildlife Management Area and mandating that the trails "not be marked on the ground."