View of Swan Range
Help Stop Deaths by Mountain Bike Today!
Flathead NF and Hungry Horse News/Daily InterLake photos

Please tell the Flathead National Forest to not approve high-speed mountain bike trails in the area where one of its employees was killed in July when he literally ran into a grizzly bear while "riding his mountain bike at high speed!"

As stupid as it may sound, the Flathead proposes to add 12 miles of user-created bike trails, like the one it photographed above left, to its trail system in the Desert Mountain and Lion Hill areas near Hungry Horse and West Glacier.

One of these "informal" trails was in fact closed temorarily while authorities looked for the bear that killed Brad Treat, a Flathead NF law enforcement officer that ran into the bear with his bike. Things were looking equally grim for the bear, as pictured in the Chris Peterson/Hungry Horse News photo in the Daily Inter Lake (above right), though the bear was not found.

Local mountain bike advocates are now clambering to have these user-created trails sanctified by the Forest Service, as they have for non-permitted trails on other federal, State and private lands in the area, claiming no conflicts with wildlife exist!

Please take a moment to send a short email to help save the lives of bears, mountain lions and people! Tell the Flathead National Forest:

-To not authorize high-speed bike trails in the habitats of bears and mountain lions, as recommended by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee!

-To not reward reckless trail building that endangers other trail users, horses and wildlife!

-To honor the memory of Brad Treat with a public safety program, rather than promote reckless and potentially fatal behavior!

Click here to locate maps and more info about the Hungry Lion Project (a timber sale, road and trail management project).

Comments are due by December 21!

This is not a drill, it is not April Fools, it's a really stupid idea!

Thank you for taking a few moments to speak up for the wellbeing of wildlife and people!

This article published on December 19, 2016 • [Permalink]


Please Support Our Work With a Year-End Donation!

Please DONATE NOW to help us secure quiet habitats for fish, wildlife and people! In 2016 we:

-Helped coordinate overwhelming public support for more wilderness and more watershed restoration in the Flathead Forest Plan!

-Worked with a Swan Valley collaborative to decommission 26 miles of damaging logging roads in Jim and Cold Creeks!

-Filed a lawsuit to decommission more roads to meet Forest Plan standards and get Jim Creek off the list of "impaired watersheds!"

-Filed notice for a similar lawsuit in Coal Creek, another "impaired" critical bull trout watershed, where the Flathead left culverts to blow out in a long-abandoned logging road!

Our work is funded primarily by people like you, not big foundations!

Won't you please join others in supporting our work and help us prepare for the challenges of 2017?

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

This article published on December 18, 2016 • [Permalink]


Holiday Newsletter: Renewing Spirit and Dedication!

Our Holiday Newsletter renews our pledge to fight for public wildlands and restoration, reports on the growing national support for it, and notes the pitfalls of local collaboration!

Please check out our newsletter and DONATE NOW to support our work!

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

We hope you are encouraged by the good news and will join others in supporting our work!

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

This article published on December 06, 2016 • [Permalink]


Support Swells for Citizen reVision of Flathead Forest Plan!

Thanks to your comments and grassroots networking, support is growing for our Citizen reVision of the Flathead Forest Plan!

As our Fall 2016 newsletter reports, the Flathead National Forest has received some 35,000 comments supporting the protection of all roadless lands as wilderness and continued wildland recovery via road decommissioning in its revised Forest Plan!

We hope to have more specifics in our Holiday newsletter, but know for now that our Citizen reVision has also been endorsed by 39 Tribal Nations acting together as GOAL: Tribal Coalition to Protect the Grizzly, that our annual meeting is November 13, and that this is your last chance this year to have your donation to Swan View doubled by Cinnabar Foundation!

Below is our newsletter's table of contents and you can click here to view or download it as a pdf.

We hope you are encouraged by the good news and will join others in supporting our work!

This article published on October 30, 2016 • [Permalink]


Last Day to Speak up for Wildlife and Wilderness!

Let the Flathead National Forest know TODAY that you support Alternative C's new wilderness recommendations and prohibiting mechanized vehicles in those 507,000 acres/all roadless lands!

The Flathead finds "this alternative would provide the highest habitat security and connectivity for species that may be sensitive to higher levels of human disturbance." (DEIS Vol. 1, p. 27)

But be sure to add that you want the reclamation of grizzly bear habitat security in roaded lands, as promised in the current Forest Plan's Amendment 19, carried forward in Alt. C!

The Flathead NF map above shows in light green Alt. C's recommended wilderness providing habitat connectivity the full length of the Swan Range and improvements thoughout the Whitefish Range, among other areas.

In asking the Flathead to adopt and improve Alt. C, know that you will be expanding wildlife habitat security and connectivity greatly, while also conserving quiet, non-mechanized recreation.

As mentioned in our last alert, BEWARE the Whitefish Range Partnership Agreement you may be asked to support. It asks for little wilderness and would increase logging in grizzly bear and lynx habitat through a combination of de-listing and relaxed management standards! (WRPA pdf page 28).

Simply enter your comment here. If you have any trouble with that web page form, simply email your comment to Planning Officer Joe Krueger at jkrueger@fs.fed.us .

You can also submit our form letter if you wish, or chose the parts of it you like best. A mailing address is included in the form letter if you wish to mail in a hard copy.

Click here for more information and links to the Forest Plan documents.

Comments are due TODAY, October 3!

This article published on September 28, 2016 • [Permalink]


Your Forest Plan Comments Needed Now!

Your short emails and letters are needed NOW to protect wildlands and wildlife habitat in the revised Flathead Forest Plan!

Anti-wilderness letters are flooding in and, BEWARE, the Whitefish Range Partnership Agreement you may be asked to support asks for little Wilderness and increased logging in grizzly bear habitat via de-listing from the Endangered Species Act. It would also "challenge existing lynx management strategies" to increase logging in threatened lynx habitat! (WRPA pdf page 28)

You can counter these bad ideas with one simple sentence:

“I support Alternative C's recommendation of all roadless areas as Wilderness and ask that the current Forest Plan's Amendment 19 be included to finish securing the grizzly bear habitat it promised.”

If you have any trouble, simply email your comment to Planning Officer Joe Krueger at jkrueger@fs.fed.us .

You can also submit our form letter if you wish, or chose the parts of it you like best. A mailing address is included in the form letter if you wish to mail in a hard copy.

Click here for more information and links to the Forest Plan documents.

Comments are due by October 3, but do it NOW!

Please also Donate Now to support our work and Cinnabar Foundation will double the first $2,000 in donations with a matching grant!

Your support is greatly appreciated and we think the bears and lynx will appreciate it too!

This article published on September 20, 2016 • [Permalink]


SVC's Comments on Draft Flathead Forest Plan

Below are links to SVC's comments on the Draft Revised Flathead Forest Plan, proposed grizzly bear amendments to four other NCDE Forest Plans, and their Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEISs).

We submitted 12 letters prior to the October 3, 2016 deadline, biting off a few issues at a time. We continue to submit more letters as new information becomes available.

For more background on how and why we commented, see our Summer 2016 alert and newsletter!

Click here for our 8/15/16 letter, which provides a photo of ATV damage in Krause Basin and asks that DEIS Alternative C be applied to finally ban ATVs from the old trail system there.

Click here for our 9/7/16 letter, which asks for a refinement and combining of DEIS Alternatives A and C to follow through on past promises of grizzly bear habitat security and increased wildlife habitat connectivity through the protection of roadless lands as recommended wilderness.

Click here for our 9/8/16 letter, in which we ask that all references to grizzly bears having met Recovery Plan parameters be stricken from the EISs due to the lack of legally mandated habitat-based recovery criteria in the Recovery Plan. This letter also details a number of ways in which all 3 DEISs and the proposed revised Flathead Forest Plan will not maintain grizzly bear habitat security at 2011 levels as promised.

Click here for our 9/9/16 letter regarding budgets, products, jobs, income, and associated bias in the DEISs.

Click here for our 9/12/16 letter regarding how the DEISs lie about definitions and requirements for managing Total Motorized Route Density, reclaimed roads, decommissioned roads, and revegetation of those roads. This letter attaches our Objection to the Trail Creek Fire Salvage Project and our 2/7/16 TMRD paper, which help illustrate with photos and facts why this is a big deal for fish and wildlife.

Click here for our 9/13/16 letter regarding the inadequate range of alternatives in the DEIS, the inappropriate linkage to grizzly bear delisting, and the failure to carry forward essential unfinished programs from the current Forest Plan. Included with the letter is our "Roads to Ruin" report that helps illustrate our point.

Click here for our 9/15/16 submission attaching a letter to the Flathead Conservation District explaining how restoring Krause Basin and removing ATVs will have positive effects on downstream private landowners.

Click here for our 9/19/16 letter regarding how the DEIS and its alternatives fail to use the best available science and fail to propose revision and actions consistent with monitoring and evaluation of the current Forest Plan.

Click here for our 9/23/16 letter regarding mountain bikes and their impacts on public safety, wildlife and other forest users.

Click here for our 9/29/16 letter PDF that summarizes and includes four research papers concerning ecological traps, source-sink populations, and the genetic effects of dispersing grizzly bears.

Click here for our 9/30/16 letter as a pdf that attaches documents showing the Flathead must provided grizzly bear habitat security according to the "3 and 7 Rule" until such time as it meets fully its Amendment 19 "19/19/68" standards in each subunit.

Click here for our 10/3/16 letter following up on tidbits and the overall complexity of the planning documents.

Click here for our 11/23/16 letter finding that the DEIS does not adequately address the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail proposal, its impacts to grizzly bear Security Core and other wildlife habitat, nor disclose that the Forest Service and National Park Service in 1980 found this proposal to be "neither economically feasible nor desirable."

Click here for our 4/20/17 letter finding there is inadequate regulation of mountain biking and the human use of "stored" logging roads in the NCDE Grizzly Bear Ecosystem.

 

This article published on September 07, 2016 • [Permalink]


Act Now to Protect Wildlands and Wildlife in the Flathead Forest Plan!

Want to protect all wildlands and restore damaged habitats on the Flathead National Forest? We make it simple in our Summer 2016 newsletter!

The Flathead National Forest is considering an alternative for its revised Forest Plan that would recommend Wilderness designation for almost all roadless lands, immediately protect those lands from motorized vehicles and mountain bikes, and lower the timber sale program to save taxpayers $2.2 million each year!

Your comments are needed by October 3 to see that Alternative C is refined and combined with essential parts of the current Forest Plan to insure damaged fish and wildlife habitats are restored!

Please ACT TODAY and we'll issue further alerts before October 3 to help you refine additional messages to the Flathead!

Our Summer 2016 newsletter provides you a quick summary of the Flathead's Draft Environmental Impact Statement and provides links to important maps.

It also includes a sample letter that you can print and mail - and all the better if you personalize it with remarks about your favorite parts of the Forest!

If you have trouble, simply send an email to Joe Krueger at jkrueger@fs.fed.us.

Below is our newsletter's table of comments and you can click here to view or download it as a pdf.

We hope you enjoy the newsletter, follow the few easy steps to make your voice heard, and will join others in supporting our work (make a donation today and Cinnabar Foundation will double it)!

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

This article published on August 16, 2016 • [Permalink]


Please Attend Flathead Forest Plan and Grizzly Bear Meetings!
It's time to reaffirm wildlife protection, not abandon it!

The Forest Service is holding open houses in Kalispell and Missoula, June 20 and 22, to unveil its Draft EISs for a revised Flathead Forest Plan and grizzly bear management amendments on four other Forests.

Fish and Wildlife Service is holding a hearing in Missoula July 7 to take public comment on grizzly bear de-listing in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem that includes these five Forests!

While you have until October 3 to comment on how five National Forests, including the Flathead, propose to manage the NCDE grizzly bear, NOW is the time to start learning about it.

At either the Kalispell or Missoula open houses you'll be able to look at maps much larger than you'll find on-line and ask questions of Forest Service staff. Both are from 2 - 6 pm and don't involve formal presentations, so you can attend as long or little as you wish. The Kalispell open house is at the Forest Supervisor's Office, 650 Wolfpack Way. The Missoula open house is at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3720 N. Reserve Street.

You can read two pages about the various documents and open houses here and can download the planning documents here

We want to keep Flathead Forest Plan Amendment 19 from Alternative A to retain the best management of roads to protect grizzly bears, bull trout and other fish and wildlife. But we want the much larger areas of recommended wilderness that are included in Alternative C, which was written in part to reflect our Citizen reVision alternative and would finally ban motorized vehicles from the old trail network in the Krause Basin Wildlife Management Area pictured above!

We'll have more specific recommendations for your comments later in the summer. But make no mistake about it, Alternatives B, C and D as currently proposed would greatly reduce the broad protection of grizzly bear habitat from what is in the current Forest Plan, pave the way for their de-listing from the federal Endangered Species Act and result in sport killing of them under Montana State hunting management!

To help right away, you can SIGN UP NOW for a ten-minute slot to speak out July 7 in Missoula against this weakening of grizzly bear management and against plans to de-list them! Swan View Coalition will be speaking first-up at the FWS hearing, which runs from 1 - 4 and from 6 - 8 pm at the Double Tree Hotel, 100 Madison Street. Simply email Jennifer Fortin-Noreus to schedule a time slot to speak. You can also submit written comments to FWS by July 22 to Jennifer_fortin-noreus@fws.gov or to Grizzly Bear Recovery Office, USFWS, University Hall, Room 309, Missoula, MT  59812.

You can learn more about the July 7 hearing here and you can email keith@swanview.org if you want suggestions for what to say or write to FWS.

Don't be intimidated by all this - we are here to help you navigate the bureaucracy and do good things for fish and wildlife! THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!

This article published on June 16, 2016 • [Permalink]


The Problem is Too Many Roads, Not Too Many Trees!

Our Winter-Spring 2016 newsletter releases our new report "Roads to Ruin," describes how our investigations have already helped secure more road decommissioning for bull trout in the Swan Valley, and describes how the report will help us all wrestle with the revised Flathead Forest Plan and Grizzly Bear De-Listing DEISs due out May 27!

Our "Roads to Ruin" report also describes how "collaborative" groups are being misused to promote the notion that the biggest problem in our public forests is too many trees, when research clearly shows the biggest problem is too many logging roads!

Below is our newsletter's table of contents and you can click here to view or download it as a pdf.

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

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

This article published on May 23, 2016 • [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."