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!
Your email to the Flathead National Forest will help stop more of these logging road landslides from trashing fish and wildlife habitat!
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.
Swan View Coalition testified before a Federal Advisory Committee on May 29, 2014, detailing how “collaboration” on the Flathead National Forest is being used to marginalize the best available science and those who use it to protect fish and wildlife. Click here to read Keith Hammer’s testimony.
Hammer’s testimony includes links to sources indicating the Whitefish Range Partnership intended to front-load the Flathead National Forest’s Forest Plan revision collaborative by being “first out of the chute.” His testimony and that of F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber’s Paul McKenzie (a Partnership member) showed that the Partnership’s proposal to nearly double the lands slated for logging in the Whitefish Range was indeed applied across the Forest during the Forest-wide collaborative and involves relaxing standards for the protection of threatened grizzly bear and lynx habitat.
Frances Alderson, George Alderson, Sandra Babich, Bill Baum, Roger Benson, Edd Blackler, Denise Boggs, Stephen Braun, Henry Bright, William Browne, Larry Campbell, Linda Christensen, Bob Clark, Philip Crissman, Norma DeLang, Ralph DeLang, Sheryl Eaglewoman, Paul Edwards, Larry Evans, Donald Gee, Chris Gotschalk, Reverend Joan Grant, Alan Gratch, Sallie Gratch, Bob Hammer, Kathy Hammer, Keith Hammer, Jon Heberling, Robert Hermes, Joel Holliday, Dr. Brian Horejsi, Cindie Jobe, Todd Johnson, Chris Jolly, Lloyd Jones, Jeff Juel, Steve Kelly, Darlene King, Dennis King, Matthew Koehler, Robert Korechoff, Gayle Langford, Norma Linsky, Norma Lockwood, Gary Macfarlane, Donna Marx, Thomas Marx, Pat McClelland, Dr. Riley McClelland, Eileen McGurty, Brian Mehall, Jill Mehall, Gail Metcalf, Arlene Montgomery, W.R. Montgomery, Anne Morley, Greg Morley, Bob Muth, Laurie Muth, Claudia Narcisco, Laura Negin, George Nickas, Marylin Olsen, Brian Parks, Brian Peck, Helen Pilling, Thomas Powell, Dr. Thomas M. Power, Steve Raiman, Ernie Reed, David Richmond, Kathy Richmond, Joni Schumann, Roger Sherman, Susan Sherman, Jeff Smith, Phyllis Sobczyk, Terry Sobczyk, Edward Sohl, Leslie Stoltz, Margaret Strainer, Jan Verhoef, Joel Vignere, Susan Waldron, Pam Willison, Howie Wolke, Edward Zyniecki.
Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Big Wild Advocates, Conservation Congress, Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot Citizen Task Force, Friends of the Bitterroot, Friends of the Clearwater, Friends of the West, Friends of the Wild Swan, GOAL - Tribal Coalition to Protect the Grizzly, Jimmy St. Goddard - Blackfoot Tribe's Medicine Chief, Montana Chapter Sierra Club, Montana Ecosystems Defense Council, Rocky Mountain Blues, Swan View Coalition, Wilderness Watch, Wildlands Defense, WildWest Institute.
Big Wild Adventures, Coon Hollow Canvas, Morley Canoes, Silvertree Inc.
Swan View Coalition has issued its General Assessment and Prescriptions for Flathead Forest Plan Revision and, along with Friends of the Wild Swan, its more specific Citizen reVision of the Flathead Forest Plan.
Click here for our Citizen reVision of the Flathead Forest Plan or click here for its two-page summary. The Citizen reVision includes the Wildlands Recovery Plan for the Flathead National Forest, below. Click here to see who supports the Citizen reVision.
Click here for the Annotated Bibliography of research supporting the Assessment and Prescriptions and the Citizen reVision.
Click here for a map of abundant public access to the Flathead National Forest.
Click here for our Wildlands Recovery Plan for the Flathead National Forest.
Click here for our more specific Wildlands Recovery Plan for the Northern Swan Range.
Click here to view damage done to the Swan Range by snowmobiles and ATVs, as exhibits to our prior comments on the 2006 Draft Revised Flathead Forest Plan.
Click here to read our letter to the Flathead Forest Supervisor outlining serious concerns with the contracting of Meridian Institute for $285,000 to help conduct Forest Plan revision meetings, but without requiring accurate records and without the Flathead firstly completing its requisite Assessment of the Management Situation.
Click here for our guidance on Recreation Quality in Flathead Forest Plan Revision.
Click here for our comments on Flathead National Forest's draft Wilderness Suitability Inventory.
Click here for our case study showing areas burned by wildfire should be considered suitable for Wilderness designation because prior logging is no longer "substantially noticeable."
Click here for our comments on Flathead National Forest's final Wilderness Suitability Inventory and its Evaluation of those areas for potential recommendations as Wilderness in the Revised Forest Plan. Our comments include 63 great photographs highlighting the wilderness values of the Swan Crest, so it's worth the moment it takes to download the nearly 18 MB pdf!
Click here to read the Flathead and Montana Snowmobile Associations' objections to Flathead Forest Plan Amendment 24 and their withdrawal from the settlement agreement of Montana Wilderness Association's lawsuit.
Click here to read Flathead National Forest's clarification that Montana Wilderness Association did not agree to Amendment 24 allowing snowmobiling in grizzly bear denning habitat as late as May 31, when females with cubs remain near their snowbound winter den sites, rather than cease snowmobiling at den emergence March 15 or April 1 as prior to Amendment 24.
This page lists a number of .kml files for use with Google Earth.
They are compressed into .zip files so your browser will automatically download them to your computer.
They may download in a flash and your browser may display a blank page to indicate it has happened.
If your computer does not automatically decompress the .zip file to a .kml file, you may need to use Stuffit Expander or a similar decompression application on it.
Once you locate the .kml file on your computer, double-clicking on it should automatically start up Google Earth and display the .kml map overlay - be it a point, line or polygon/area, with the file placed and selected in your Temporary Places folder.
If you don't have Google Earth installed on your computer, it is free here.
Here's the list of .kml files:
Click here for our Flathead National Forest Wildlands Recovery Areas.kml
Click here for just our Northern Swan Wildlands Recovery Area.kml (The Northern Swan kml is already included in the above Flathead National Forest-wide kml).
Click here for Quintonkin - Sullivan Example.kml (referenced on page 8 of our Wildlands Recovery Plan for the Northern Swan Range).
Click here for our Roadless Areas Omitted from Flathead NF IRAs.kml. This map layer should be viewed in conjunction with the Inventoried Roadless Areas kmz/kml file available on the Flathead National Forest's Geospatial Data Page.
Click here for the place marks that are companion to our comments on Flathead National Forest's draft Wilderness Suitability Inventory.
Click here for our Sullivan Wildfire example of how wildfire renders logging units no longer "substantially noticeable" when identifying lands suitable for Wilderness designation.
Click here for the Flathead National Forest's Fire History Map 1980-2013.
Swan View Coalition and Friends of the Wild Swan have compiled an Annotated Bibliography for Conserving Native Ecosystems, generally finding public forests suffer from too many roads and mechanized vehicles, not too many trees.
1. Bicycling is a great way for people to enjoy the outdoors and get healthy exercise.
2. Flathead National Forest has over 3,500 miles of road open to bicycling, with nearly 2,000 of those miles closed to motor vehicles but open to biking without the hassle of dust and traffic.
3. Bikers, hikers and horseback riders share many miles of "leave no trace" trail on the Flathead. This should not be a problem unless bikers insist on high speeds and/or leave behind unlawful jumps and ramps that are unsightly and increase risks to all trail users.
4. The pursuit of free-ride and other mountain bike speed sports should not occur on multiple use trails due to the potential for conflicts between bikers, other trail users, and wildlife. Big Mountain already has facilities for free-ride and high-speed mountain biking - and plans for more. We urge Flathead National Forest to redirect these activities there.
5. We encourage lower impact hiking instead of mountain biking in Inventoried Roadless Areas because they qualify for future designation as Wilderness (which does not allow biking) and provide some of the Forest's best and most secure wildlife habitat.
6. Bicycling can and should provide a healthy and safe link between our urban areas and public lands if everyone minds their manners, obeys the law, and all agencies pursue meaningful public planning.