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The Flathead National Forest is proposing to issue ten Special Use Permits for commercial winter guiding. Most of them would continue after April 1 when grizzly bears and their young are emerging from their winter dens (if not earlier) and looking for something to eat!
The permits are for everything from snowmobiles and snowbikes (motorcycles converted to snowmobiles) to skiing and snowshoeing, all of which can disturb grizzly bears and other wildlife during the crucial Spring months following a winter of little or no food! (MDFWP photo at right).
Click here for the Flathead's list of permits being considered and maps of the proposals. You'll find permit proposals for commercial guiding on Tally Lake Ranger District (including the Round Meadows Winter Trails), the Blacktail Mountain area, the north end of the Swan Range, the south end of the Whitefish Range, and near the Great Bear Wilderness in the Middle Fork Flathead.
We are particularly opposed to a permit that would allow commercial skiing and snowshoeing trips on the old Paola Creek Road that was decommissioned in 1997 so it would no longer facilitate human intrusions into key grizzly habitats adjacent to the Great Bear Wilderness. Worse yet, the trips would be allowed through all of April even though grizzly bears are out of their dens and, like wolverine, looking for winter-killed carrion in the streamside and avalanche chute habitats that were to be protected by decommissioning the Paola Creek Road! Click here for our letter about these permits.
THANK YOU for taking a few moments to speak up for wildlife and mindful recreation!