Help Stop Commercial Crowding of the Flathead National Forest!

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

The Flathead National Forest has proposed 23 summertime commercial Special Use Permits that promote over-crowding and the disruption of wildlife!

Please send an email by May 18 to the following addresses:

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Consider making the following points:

1. Thank you for not proposing a permit for guided motorized dirt bike tours in the wildlife rich Krause Basin area, as you did last year. We hope that, through the Krause Basin Collaboration, NEPA and travel planning processes you will ban commercial tours, motorized vehicles and mountain bikes permanently.

2. I object to all of the permits intended to provide motorized recreation as an end in itself. It is one thing to use an automobile to get to a trailhead or lake to then hike, bike or swim. Intentionally promoting motorized dirt bike, ATV, UTV, and watercraft rentals and tours does not work toward the goal of reducing greenhouse emissions. Indeed, each gallon of gasoline burned puts 20 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere! Electric vehicles also have a large carbon footprint due the energy and materials used in their production, charging and maintenance.

3. I object to the permits intended to promote trail running, bike and foot races. 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. An interagency team has advised against trail running and fast mountain biking at: 

4. I am not necessarily opposed to bike tours or running events that stick to roads open to motorized vehicles, but I object to those that would utilize roads closed to protect wildlife security.

5. I support the Montana Outdoor Science Academy permit for small-group hikes in quiet, unhurried nature. These stand in stark contrast to the majority of the 23 SUPs being proposed, which instead spew forth crowds (including the Highlander 100-person “hiking event”), haste, noise, and exhaust fumes that destroy other peoples’ ability to enjoy their National Forests and the planet.

6. I 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 and scroll down for the Flathead's description of the proposed SUPs and their maps "Under Analysis."

THANK YOU for taking a few moments to comment on these issues important to the health of people and wildlife!

This article published on May 10, 2022 • [Permalink]