Tell the Flathead NF today to not issue Special Use Permits for irresponsible recreation! It only taks a couple minutes.
The Flathead has asked the public to comment on four Special Use Permits (SUPs), two of which are for trail-running races that have caused injury and/or death to runners and bears!
Here's what we wrote to the Flathead today. We urge you to consider making similar points in a quick email:
The Board of Review (BOR) reports on the death of Brad Treat when he slammed into a grizzly bear while mountain biking at high speed must be regarded as the best available science and expert advice for reducing surprise encounters between people and bears:
"Don’t Run - jogging in bear country increases the odds of surprise encounters at close distances and surprised bears are more likely to be aggressive.
Slow Down [when mountain biking]- Encounters with bears are much more likely to occur when riding at high speed. Surprised bears are more likely to be defensive and to cause injury to bike riders."
- Do not issue the Whitefish Trails and Foys to Blacktail ultra-marathon SUPs. To do so amounts to a Forest Service endorsement of the commercial promotion of irresponsible behavior in bear habitat and runs contrary to the BOR recommendations that the Forest Service is party to. The public education intended by the BOR will essentially be nullified by the commercialization and expansiveness of the irresponsible behavior endorsed in such SUPs!
- Issue the Whitefish Shuttle and Guiding SUP only if the business is willing and required to abide by and distribute the BOR recommendations to its passengers and clients. These materials should be developed by the Forest Service and approved by the BOR, insuring that permittees are positive ambassadors for human-bear safety.
- We see no red flags for the more modest Journey to Wellness Program SUP, provided the permitted activities are indeed hikes and not trail running. This SUP offers another opportunity for the permittee to abide by and distribute the BOR recommendations.
To make it simple, send a single or the same email to these two email addresses:
Click here to read our full letter to the Flathead.
Click here to read the Flathead's invitation for public comments and background info.
Your quick email will help promote responsible recreation on our public lands and help avert 100- and 200-person trail running races that promote just the opposite!
Thanks for helping! Comments are due June 19!
Click here to read the Daily Inter Lake article "Bear Expert Opposes Permits for Running Events" and click here for the comments submitted by Dr. Chris Servheen, former Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator for USFWS.
Click here to read the Missoulian article on our efforts.
Click here to read the Missoula Current article on our efforts.