View of Swan Range
Your Comments Needed Today to Protect Wildlife Near Hungry Horse Reservoir!

Your comments are needed today to secure wildlife habitat on the east side of Hungry Horse Reservoir!

The Flathead National Forest has invited comments on its Betty Baptiste Project Environmental Assessment, which covers the Logan Dry Park grizzly bear management subunit.

Alternative 4 in the EA would at long last close enough of the old logging roads to provide the level of grizzly bear security required by the Forest Plan since 1995!

It is tied, however, to a timber sale that industry is not likely to even bid on because of poor economic conditions.

Please email the Flathead today and urge it to implement Alt. 4 with the following modifications:

a) Drop the logging/timber sale portions of Alt. 4 and independently fund the road closure work to benefit fish and wildlife. Even if the timber sale is purchased by industry, the EA shows it will build more roads to haul away habitat and further spread noxious weeds - while not raising enough money to pay for the ecosystem restoration work!

b) Fully decommission and revegetate, not just "store," the roads necessary to reduce Total Road Density and meet Forest Plan standards. You can't reduce road density by leaving those roads on the landscape!

Please take a few minutes and send your email today to comments-northern-flathead-hungry-horse-glacier-view@fs.fed.us! Put "Betty Baptiste Project" in the subject line. Comments are due no later than Monday, July 23!

Click here to read Swan View Coalition's comment letter.

Click here if you wish to look into more details on the Betty Baptiste Project.

GOOD NEWS: We've been awarded another $4,000 matching grant from Cinnabar Foundation, so DONATE NOW to support our work and have your donation doubled by Cinnabar!

THANK YOU for supporting our work with your emails, letters and donations!

This article published on July 18, 2018 • [Permalink]


Winter-Spring Newsletter: Forest Plan Objections Separate Wheat from Chaff!

Our Winter-Spring newsletter reports on how Objections to the Flathead Forest Plan show who's fighting for fish and wildlife and who's selling them out to make it appear consensus has been reached on forest management!

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!

THANK YOU!

This article published on March 15, 2018 • [Permalink]


Groups File Objections to Protect Fish, Wildlife in Northern Rockies!

Conservation groups wanting better protection for fish and wildlife in the Northern Rockies filed Objections to the revised Flathead Forest Plan and Amendments to four other Forest Plans in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.

The plan revision and amendments are intended to pave the way for delisting of threatened grizzly bear in the NCDE, which would remove their Endangered Species Act protection.

The groups launched a letter writing campaign in 2016. This resulted in 98% of the 33,744 comments the Forest Service received on its Draft Environmental Impact Statement calling for protection of all remaining roadless lands as wilderness and continuation of the road decommissioning program that agencies credit with improving grizzly bear security and helping restore critical bull trout watersheds.

The revised Flathead Forest Plan instead abandons its road decommissioning program and recommends for wilderness designation only 30% of the areas it found suitable for wilderness. The Kootenai, Lolo, Lewis and Clark, and Helena Forest Plans would similarly be amended to abandon road removal as a primary means to restore fish and wildlife habitat that has been damaged.

The groups rallied around the principles of the Citizen reVision alternative Swan View Coalition and Friends of the Wild Swan asked the Forest Service to include in its DEIS. The DEIS included some of these principles in its Alternative C, which it then assigned the highest marks for maintaining water quality and wildlife habitat connectivity. The FEIS and revised Flathead Forest Plan, however, select Alternative B-modified even though it is assigned "the highest risk of impact to aquatic species" and "is likely to adversely affect" already threatened grizzly bear, bull trout, and Canada lynx!

The Objections were due at Forest Service Region One headquarters in Missoula on February 12. The Region now has ten days to "publish a notice of all objections in the applicable newspaper of record and post the notice online." The Region's responses to the Objections are due within 90 days, unless it grants itself extensions.

Below are links to some of the Objections filed by groups supporting the principles of the Citizen reVision:

Swan View Coalition Objection and Supplemental Objection.

Friends of the Wild Swan Objection.

Independent Wildlife Consultant Brian Peck Objection.

WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project and Sierra Club Objection.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Montana Ecosystems Defense Council, Friends of the Wild Swan Objection.

Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot Citizen Task Force, Wilderness Watch, WildWest Institute, Friends of the Bitterroot, Friends of the Rattlesnake, Friends of the Clearwater, Independent Consultant Mike Bader Objection.

Citizens' Objection filed by WildEarth Guardians on behalf of 4,000+ signors.

Montana Chapter Sierra Club Objection.

PRESS COVERAGE:

Click here for a Missoulian article on the 74 Objections filed.

Click here for Montana Public Radio coverage of the 74 Objections filed.

Click here for a Missoula Independent article on Objections filed.

The 3,000 pages of FEIS, Forest Plan and Forest Plan amendments can be found here.

 

This article published on February 13, 2018 • [Permalink]


Swan View Testifies at Grizzly Bear Habitat Workshop - You Can Help!

UPDATE: Swan View Coalition testified on behalf of 15 other groups and organizations at a July 7, 2016 Grizzly Bear Habitat Workshop in Missoula, MT. We submitted more comments in January 2018 when FWS asked for comments, this time on its Draft Supplement to include HBRC in the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan.

Click here for our 1/3/18 comments. 

Click here for our 1/23/18 comments.

Please email your support for grizzlies to Fish and Wildlife Service (Jennifer_fortin-noreus@fws.gov) by July 22, 2016.

All you need to say is that you want grizzly bear recovery based on the promised security of grizzly bear habitat and key bear foods - and that you want FWS to abandon its current plan to instead reduce grizzly bear security in the face of growing human populations and impacts.

Remember, while the grizzly bear population in the entire Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem was estimated to be 765 bears in 2004 and has hopefully increased by a couple hundred bears since then, the human population of Flathead County alone grew by 1,800 people in 2014 and is estimated to reach 100,000 by 2018

Click here to read Swan View's testimony or to help fine-tune your email to FWS.

Click here to watch NBC's coverage of the workshop.

Click here to read the Missoulian newspaper article about the workshop.

Click here to watch KPAX coverage of the workshop.

Click here (then scroll down) to view a list of links to the 26 documents attached to Swan View Coalition's testimony.


(Read Full Article)

This article published on January 23, 2018 • [Permalink]


Your Objection to the Flathead Forest Plan Due Feb 12!

If you commented, signed our petition or form letter in 2015 or 2016 on the draft Flathead Forest Plan in favor of more Wilderness and a non-motorized Krause Basin, you have until February 12 to express your disappointment with the final Forest Plan and ask for changes!

This alert will make it easy for you.

The final Plan would designate and promote Krause Basin as a Focused Recreation Area and mark the old system of ATV trails on-the-ground, in violation of past promises to instead ban motorized use of the old trail system.

While the final Plan recommends a bit more wilderness than the draft (0.4% more) it shrinks the size of the Jewel Basin proposed wilderness by 3,500 acres to allow mountain bikes. It also blasts a biking corridor smack through the middle of its meager Bunker Creek proposed addition to the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Thanks to folks like you, 98% of the 34,000 public comments the Flathead received asked for all roadless lands to be recommended for Wilderness and for the continued implementation of Forest Plan Amendment 19, which would remove 520 miles of road and close more trails to motorized use, including in Krause Basin, to provide better security for wildlife.

It is important you take a few minutes to file an Objection because it is obvious the Flathead is swayed by industrial-strength logging and industrial-strength "wreckreation." Only 30% of wilderness-suitable lands are recommended for Wilderness. Forest Plan standards to reduce logging roads and motorized trails in order to protect fish, wildlife and quiet recreation are abandoned!

Click here and/or scroll down for more information and step-by-step instructions on how to find your comments and file your Objection!


(Read Full Article)

This article published on January 14, 2018 • [Permalink]


HELP! Feds Dump Documents on Public Over Holidays!

The Flathead National Forest dumped 3,000 pages of documents on the public over the holidays and Fish and Wildlife Service piled more on - all intended to strip Endangered Species Act and other protections from Glacier- and Yellowstone-area grizzly bears!

So we are under federal deadlines in January and February to file formal objections to the revised Flathead Forest Plan (pictured at right), other Forest Plan amendments and FWS's delisting efforts.

Please DONATE NOW to support our work. We are working overtime and have contracted a wildlife consultant to help!

Click here for a Missoulian article about the "Document Dump" and various deadlines for public involvement.

We'll send out an alert in early January about how you can be involved.

Meanwhile, you can visit the Flathead Forest Planning web page to learn more about the planning documents and the Objection process.

Thank you for your support in 2017 and don't forget to have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This article published on December 27, 2017 • [Permalink]


Happy Solstice, Holidays and New Year!

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

May you find yourself among family, friends and beautiful surroundings!

Maybe you'll find yourself skiing the Swan Range's Infinity Ridge.

Maybe you'll travel to a distant city to be with loved ones.

Wherever you are, know that the Swan Range is there, bringing comfort and well-being to all!

This article published on December 19, 2017 • [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. 

UPDATE: The Flathead did release its revised Forest Plan and NCDE amendments on December 14, 2017, posting them, the BAs and the BiOps on its Forest Planning page.

Click here for the groups' 12/12/17 press release, which secured us coverage in the following news:

Click here for the 12/15/17 Daily Inter Lake news article.

Click here for the 12/16/17 Flathead Beacon news article.

Click here for the 12/16/17 Missoulian news article.

Click here for the 12/14/17 MTPR radio story.

 

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]


Supplements Issued to
Nokio Creek culvert blowout - Flathead NF photo.

Keith Hammer has issued three Supplements to his "Roads to Ruin" and "TMRD" reports, providing documents showing logging roads must have their stream-bearing culverts removed, then the roads must be removed from the Flathead Forest Road System and revegetated before they can be omitted from calculations of Total Motorized Route Density.

The Flathead National Forest has been violating these requirements that it wrote into its 1995 Forest Plan Amendment 19 based on grizzly bear research. These requirements were intended to improve habitat for threatened bull trout and other aquatic life while securing habitat for threatened grizzly bear and other terrestrial wildlife. The Flathead intends to do away with Amendment 19 altogether in its revised Forest Plan, largely by reneging on/denying the scientific basis for what Amendment 19 requires!

Click here for the Third Supplement. It describes how Total Motorized Route Density evolved from Total Road Density, how it is based in the South Fork Grizzly Bear Study (Mace and Manley 1993), and how in Flathead Forest Plan Amendment 19 it requires that roads be decommissioned, revegetated and removed from the "system" to lower TMRD. It also shows how Mace and Manley 1993 answered the Flathead's questions about how to calculate road densities, showed that Total Road Density must be considered in addition to Open Road Density, and points to why A19 capped the total miles of road that can exist in griz habitat due to the importance of roadless areas to female griz.

Click here for the Second Supplement, which reviews Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service documents since 1995, confirming that Amendment 19 requires roads be decommissioned and no longer serve as a road or trail in order to not be counted in TMRD - serving as a cap on the miles of road that can exist in grizzly bear habitat. It also details how the Flathead NF has invented a new category of "impassable" roads to unlawfully substitute for road decommissioning. This leaves the roads available for both motorized and non-motorized use various parts of the year, without being counted in TMRD and hence allowing an unlimited number of such roads to exist in the habitats of threatened species like grizzly bear, lynx, bull trout, and threatened-candidate wolverine!

Click here for the First Supplement to Keith Hammer's "Roads to Ruin" and "TMRD" Reports, which details requirements that reclaimed/decommissioned roads be revegetated and no longer serve as a motorized or non-motorized trail.

Click here for the "Roads to Ruin: The Flathead National Forest Shirks its Road Reclamation Duties," which includes the TMRD report as an appendix.

Click here to read how Swan View Coalition, Friends of the Wild Swan, and WildEarth Guardians have put the Flathead on notice they will sue over its lack of adequate road and culvert management!

This article published on December 06, 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]


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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."