It's time to reaffirm wildlife protection, not abandon it!
The Forest Service is holding open houses in Kalispell and Missoula, June 20 and 22, to unveil its Draft EISs for a revised Flathead Forest Plan and grizzly bear management amendments on four other Forests.
Fish and Wildlife Service is holding a hearing in Missoula July 7 to take public comment on grizzly bear de-listing in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem that includes these five Forests!
While you have until October 3 to comment on how five National Forests, including the Flathead, propose to manage the NCDE grizzly bear, NOW is the time to start learning about it.
At either the Kalispell or Missoula open houses you'll be able to look at maps much larger than you'll find on-line and ask questions of Forest Service staff. Both are from 2 - 6 pm and don't involve formal presentations, so you can attend as long or little as you wish. The Kalispell open house is at the Forest Supervisor's Office, 650 Wolfpack Way. The Missoula open house is at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3720 N. Reserve Street.
We want to keep Flathead Forest Plan Amendment 19 from Alternative A to retain the best management of roads to protect grizzly bears, bull trout and other fish and wildlife. But we want the much larger areas of recommended wilderness that are included in Alternative C, which was written in part to reflect our Citizen reVision alternative and would finally ban motorized vehicles from the old trail network in the Krause Basin Wildlife Management Area pictured above!
We'll have more specific recommendations for your comments later in the summer. But make no mistake about it, Alternatives B, C and D as currently proposed would greatly reduce the broad protection of grizzly bear habitat from what is in the current Forest Plan, pave the way for their de-listing from the federal Endangered Species Act and result in sport killing of them under Montana State hunting management!
Don't be intimidated by all this - we are here to help you navigate the bureaucracy and do good things for fish and wildlife! THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!
Logging road landslide into Sullivan Creek bull trout habitat!
Keith Hammer photo.