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Oppose Defense Bill's Public Land Give-Aways Today!

Grassroots environmental groups from across the country have issued a letter to the U.S. Senate demanding the removal of damaging public land give-away "riders" attached to the must-pass Defense Authorization Bill!

The "rider" package has far too many give-aways of public lands and resources to merit support for its very meager designations of Wilderness.

Yes, the North Fork Flathead River and Rocky Mountain Front deserve protection from oil, gas and minerals mining - but not at the expense of removing protection from Wilderness Study Areas in eastern Montana near Otter Creek and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge to benefit the coal, oil and gas industries!

Nor should these bills be packaged in the dead of night with provisions to give 70,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest to Sealaska Corporation for logging, nor granting National Forest land in Arizona to a foreign-owned mining company, among other horrible provisions!

Please take a quick minute TODAY to phone Senator Harry Reid (202-224-3542) and the Senators from your state (find phone numbers here).

Simply tell them you oppose the inclusion of public land provisions in the Defense Bill and want them removed!

Take action today before the Senate acts tomorrow!

Swan View Coalition is among the 47 organizations that signed the letter to the Senate, which you can read here.

Click here to read Montana Environmental Information Center's assessment of the rider's impact to eastern Montana.

Click here to read the Missoulian article about the late-night horse-trading by which Montana Senators Tester and Walsh, along with Representative Daines, made even more 11th-hour compromises to the already heavily compromised Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act - with no pubic hearings whatsoever.

Click here to read more details about the "Cost of Compromise" in the Missoula Independent!

Click here to read the 449-page Defense Bill public lands rider!

Make no mistake, these types of public land give-aways will become the norm by which big Wilderness groups get a little bit of Wilderness without telling you the true and unacceptable costs - unless you put a stop to it!

This article published on December 08, 2014 • [Permalink]


A Heartfelt Thanksgiving!

We are blessed with a beautiful Swan Range that is home to rare fish and wildlife. Thank you for your help protecting them!

Did you know the Swan Range is reported to have a higher density of rare wolverine than Glacier National Park?

Your support of our work has removed unlawful snowmobile trails and bridges from the Swan Range and our Citizen reVision of the Flathead Forest Plan protects more wolverine habitat than any other!

Your support helped us end the trapping of wolverine in Montana and is helping us use the courts to secure protection for them under the Endangered Species Act!

We thank you, the wolverine thank you - as do the grizzly bears, bull trout, pine marten, fisher, westslope cutthroat trout, pileated woodpeckers, and all the other critters that depend on clean water, wild country and big old trees.

May your Thanksgiving include time with family and friends - and maybe a hike on the wild side!

This article published on November 27, 2014 • [Permalink]


Let's Restore Threatened Bull Trout!

Your short email TODAY can help restore threatened bull trout via a better Recovery Plan!

When bull trout were listed as a threatened species in 1999, their numbers had already been reduced by 60%.

Yet the Revised Draft Bull Trout Recovery Plan would allow another 25% of local populations to disappear!

That's NOT recovery, and Fish and Wildlife Service needs to hear that from you loud and clear!

Please send a short email TODAY to fw1bulltroutrecoveryplan@fws.gov (comments due by December 3)!

Tell FWS to establish firm population, habitat and monitoring standards in its Recovery Plan that will ensure bull trout thrive in all areas they are found today and that will restore them to significant portions of their former range.

Click here for a more detailed 3-page alert prepared by Friends of the Wild Swan.

Click here to download a copy of the Revised Draft Recovery Plan.

THANK YOU for taking a moment to help protect the clean, cold waters needed by bull trout, other native fish and people!

(Photo credit: Joel Sartore/National Geographic Stock with Wade Fredenberg)

This article published on November 23, 2014 • [Permalink]


Snowmobile Disaster Planned for Anna Creek and Jewel Basin!

Your quick email is needed TODAY to avert a snowmobile disaster being planned for Jewel Basin and the northern Swan Range!

The Flathead National Forest wants to add its Anna Creek Cabin on the West Side Reservoir Road to its Cabin Rental Program.

But snowmobilers also want the West Side Reservoir Road snow-groomed in winter for quicker snowmobile access to the Anna Creek and Jewel Basin areas - even though snowmobiling is illegal in the Jewel Basin Hiking Area!

The inevitable result will be an increase in snowmobile violations of Jewel Basin and a flood of snowmobile activity in the essential habitats of grizzly bear, lynx, wolverine, and other sensitive wildlife in the northern Swan Range!

Please write a quick email to the Flathead at comments-northern-flathead-hungry-horse-glacier-view@fs.fed.us .

Urge the Flathead to 1) not rent the Anna Creek Cabin during wintertime and 2) not allow snow-grooming of the West Side Reservoir Road!

This is a disaster in the making and you can help stop it in its tracks! Please comment TODAY even though comments will be accepted until November 26!

Click here for the Flathead's letter inviting comments, though it is misleading in saying the area around the cabin is open to snowmobiling and by not mentioning simultaneous pressure to groom the road for quicker snowmobile access.

See the map above: the high country above Anna Creek Cabin is the Jewel Basin Hiking Area, which is closed to snowmobiles! Anna Creek Cabin is no place for a snowmobile base camp!

We've seen this deplorable situation develop along the Continental Divide, where grooming of the Skyland Road and wintertime rental of the Challenge Cabin is contributing to illegal snowmobile trespass into the Great Bear Wilderness and the Badger-Two Medicine, including near females grizzly bears with cubs just emerging from their winter dens. When required by its own Forest Plan to shut down the Skyland area, the Flathead instead simply shifts snowmobiling to the equally sensitive northern Swan Range!

We simply can't let this happen in the Swan Range!

This article published on November 09, 2014 • [Permalink]


Wilderness and Wildlife: Celebrate, Protect, Advocate, Restore!

Our Fall 2014 edition of Swan View's News describes our recent accomplishments and continuing challenges in protecting wildlife, wilderness and people!

It includes news of our recent lawsuit victory in the Swan Valley, calculates the carbon footprint of snowmobiling, asks you to write a quick note to keep DNRC and Stoltze Lumber from logging the Broken Leg and Crater Notch Trails, and announces our 30th Anniversay membership meeting for November 16th!

Remember to support our work by Nov 30 and Cinnabar Foundation will match your donation, doubling your money!

Click here to view or download our Fall 2014 newsletter.

Here is the table of contents:

Please DONATE NOW to support the critical work described in our newsletter!

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

This article published on October 13, 2014 • [Permalink]


Stoltze/DNRC to Log Jewel Basin Area Trails!

UPDATE 2/21/15:

The Crater Notch Trail has been trashed by logging and not repaired!

Click here for more photos and a concise alert because YOUR EMAILS ARE NEEDED NOW to get the trail repaired and insure bare-ground logging is not allowed!

UPDATE 12/24/14:

DNRC issued its decision to indeed log along the lower reaches of the Broken Leg and Crater Notch trails, adding a decision (page 11) and responses to public comments at the end of its Environmental Assessment.

While we didn't succeed in stopping this logging, we won several major concessions that will help protect the trails:

1. Huge, heavy feller-buncher machines will not be used to cut the "diseased" trees. They will be hand-felled using chain saws, greatly reducing machine traffic on the ground.

2. Skidding of the logs will be done using cable-winch skidders, rather than grapple/tong skidders - and it will be done on frozen ground and snow. The greater "reach" of the cables will greatly reduce the soil area traveled on by the skidders and frozen ground will lessen damage to the soil and trails.

3. DNRC will mark the trees to be cut, rather than leaving the choice up to Stoltze Lumber.

4. Public comments from 50 people let DNRC know there are lots of eyes on this project and should help insure a more careful job is done.

We took lots of "before" photos of the trails and we will take "during" and "after" photos as well in order to document whether DNRC and Stoltze followed through on the promises made.

Big thanks to all of you that wrote in on this. The results will be better for it!

UPDATE 12/15/14:

THE GOOD NEWS: Fifty folks like you told DNRC to protect the Broken Leg and Crater Notch Trails, including the nearby aesthetics and wildlife habitat - and DNRC has halved the acreage it proposes to let Stoltze Lumber Company log there.

THE BAD NEWS: Rather than likewise reduce the "salvage" logging volume from the initial proposal of 55 truck loads, DNRC has proposed to now log some green trees along with the dead and dying trees in order to "sanitize" the forest (by removing up to 50% of the trees)!

DNRC has posted a brief Environmental Assessment and has invited public comment again until December 19, 2014.

We urge you to email DNRC's Nick Aschenwald today (naschenwald@mt.gov) and let him know DNRC's trickery is not appreciated: halving the logging area while increasing the logging per acre is insincere and is not going to protect these trails!

Urge DNRC to select the "No Action" alternative in the EA, which would simply leave the area alone and natural.

Click here to read SVC's comments to DNRC on its EA.

Many thanks to those of you that are writing in on this!

(From October 5, 2014, below).

Your email message is needed today to keep F.H. Stoltze and DNRC from logging the Broken Leg and Crater Notch Trails that access the Jewel Basin Hiking Area!

While logging its neighboring land near the Jewel Basin Road this fall and winter, Stoltze wants to take feller-bunchers and grapple skidders onto Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation land to "salvage" 55 log truck loads of reportedly dead and dying trees.

DNRC says this beautiful, healthy forest may be reduced to as little as 8-10 trees per acre!

Please email DNRC's Nick Aschenwald today (naschenwald@mt.gov) and tell him you want the public trees on State Land left for wildlife and people while Stoltze saws its trees into boards!

DNRC in 2006 agreed to protect the recreational and aesthetic values of these trails by moving its Foothills Timber Sale downhill and out of sight of them. Click here to read that letter of agreement!

The Forest Service's Broken Leg and Crater Notch Trails lie on DNRC easements in the exact area Stoltze wants to log and are highly valued, non-motorized recreation trails leading to Jewel Basin and the historic Alpine Trail #7. This is simply the wrong choice of an area to be logged!

The Broken Leg Trail has already been turned into a logging road where it crosses Stoltze Land. Let's convince DNRC to again respect the value of these trails where they cross State Land and not allow logging there!

Click here for a map of the proposed logging.

Comments are due by October 20th!

Click here for our recent letter to the editor for more information.

Click here and scroll down to "Scoping Notices - Birch Creek" for DNRC's invite of public comment.

UPDATE: Click here for SVC's letter to DNRC in this matter.

This article published on October 05, 2014 • [Permalink]


Celebrating 50 Years of The Wilderness Act!

UPDATE: Click here to watch the video of Stewart Brandborg's keynote address and click here for a transcript of his concluding "call to arms!"

UPDATE: In a related matter, click here for a PDF summary of Keith Hammer's 9/12/14 presentation to the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center's Wilderness 50 Conference.

Today we mark the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, but mark your calendars for September 20 and join us in a big celebration of it at the Flathead County Fairgrounds!

Come meet and be encouraged by Stewart Brandborg (above), who worked for eight years alongside Howard Zahniser to pass the Wilderness Act on September 3, 1964!

This foresighted Act initially designated 9.1 million acres of public lands as Wilderness, including the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and in the hands of hard working citizens has since brought the total to nearly 110 million acres.

But many of America's wildest public lands remain at risk of development and the "expanding settlement and growing mechanization" foreseen by the Wilderness Act.

We look forward to Brandborg's words urging all of us to keep up the good fight!

Click here for our short biography of Stewart Brandborg.

Click here for the Missoulian's more detailed accounting of Brandborg's efforts to pass the Wilderness Act.

Click here or see below for the Flathead's Wilderness 50 Celebration agenda!


(Read Full Article)

This article published on September 03, 2014 • [Permalink]


30th Anniversary Hike and Call to Action!

Our recent hike along the Swan Crest commemorates Swan View Coalition's 30th anniversary and asks for your short email supporting Wilderness designation for the area!

Enjoy these 27 photos taken from Napa Ridge to Trinkus Lake, then please send a quick email to flatheadplanrevision@fs.fed.us .

Urge the Flathead National Forest to manage and recommend the entire wildlife-rich Swan Crest as Wilderness in its Forest Plan, perhaps highlight your favorite areas, then add your name.

You can also watch three minute-long videos highlighting the wilderness qualities of the Bunker, Sullivan and Trinkus portions of the Swan Crest.

Your voice matters and the Swan Crest needs your help - Thank You!

This article published on August 24, 2014 • [Permalink]


Your Email Will Help Decommission Old Logging Roads That are Trashing Fish!

Your email to the Flathead National Forest will help stop more of these logging road landslides from trashing fish and wildlife habitat!

Please send a quick email to Shawn Boelman at sboelman@fs.fed.us and tell him you want old logging roads decommissioned to protect water quality, fish and wildlife - not simply closed and ignored.

The Flathead already has 2,000 miles of roads like this one in Sullivan Creek demoted to Maintenance Level 1 Basic Custodial Care, where they don't receive the care needed to keep their ditches and culverts from plugging and then washing the roads into your trout streams!

(Another 1,400 miles are open to public motor vehicle use and have their own costly maintenance issues).

The Flathead is accepting public comments on its draft Travel Analysis Report, which would simply abandon even more old logging roads rather than carefully decommission them to remove culverts and sediment source problems.

Click here to visit the Flathead's Travel Analysis Report web page.

Click here to read our comments on the Travel Analysis Report.

Click here to read our additional comments on the Travel Analysis Report, made in light of our discovery of slumps in the Sullivan and Quintonkin Creek roads.

Click here to read the Hungry Horse News Article about our discovery of the recent Sullivan Creek landslide.

Click here to read our press release about the Sullivan Creek landslide.

Click here for our letter to state and federal agencies urging that all old logging roads in Sullivan Creek be decommissioned.

Click here to read the Flathead's "Assessment of the Sullivan Creek Mass Failure," which claims it was nature's fault.

Click here to read our response to the Flathead's "Assessment of the Sullivan Creek Mass Failure."

Click here to read the Flathead Beacon's article about the Flathead National Forest still insisting it is an innocent bystander and intends to ignore this road as it continues to collapse, rather than promptly fixing more potential problems further up the road!

Click here to see our video of the Sullivan Creek landslide.

This article published on July 25, 2014 • [Permalink]


SVC and Hammer Featured in Flathead Beacon!

Swan View Coalition and its president, Keith Hammer, were recently featured in the Flathead Beacon!

Did you know Keith Hammer is a former logger and Forest Service employee (as are other members of the board of directors)?

Click here for a really good article about the history and background of Swan View Coalition and co-founder Keith Hammer!

This article published on July 20, 2014 • [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."