Your Email Will Help Decommission Old Logging Roads That are Trashing Fish!

Your email to the Flathead National Forest will help stop more of these logging road landslides from trashing fish and wildlife habitat!

Please send a quick email to Shawn Boelman at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and tell him you want old logging roads decommissioned to protect water quality, fish and wildlife - not simply closed and ignored.

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 until July 31 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 see our video of the Sullivan Creek landslide.

This article published on July 25, 2014 • [Permalink]


SVC and Hammer Featured in Flathead Beacon!

Swan View Coalition and its president, Keith Hammer, were recently featured in the Flathead Beacon!

Did you know Keith Hammer is a former logger and Forest Service employee (as are other members of the board of directors)?

Click here for a really good article about the history and background of Swan View Coalition and co-founder Keith Hammer!

This article published on July 20, 2014 • [Permalink]


Trading More Logging for a Bit of Wilderness?

The Hungry Horse News has reported on our contention that areas to be logged on the Flathead National Forest should not be nearly doubled in trade for a bit of recommended wilderness!

This is what would happen under the Whitefish Range Partnership Agreement and the Flathead is proposing to similarly increase logging areas (the suitable timber base) forest-wide.

If you haven’t already, please send a quick email to Flathead Forest Supervisor Chip Weber at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and tell him you oppose relaxing protections for threatened grizzly bears and threatened lynx in order to increase the suitable timber base - under the Whitefish Range Partnership or elsewhere on the Forest!

F.H. Stoltze Lumber Company, a Whitefish Range partner, sued the Flathead in 1976 when it tried to decrease its suitable timber base to better protect water quality and because “taxpayers couldn’t afford road building costs necessary to cut old growth” that extensively! And now it has partners Montana Wilderness Association and Headwaters Montana saying “all parts of the [Whitefish Range Partnership] Agreement must move forward together,” which is otherwise known as horse trading!

Fish, wildlife and people cannot afford to have the Flathead’s suitable timber base inflated once again and they need more than a handful of roadless lands protected as wilderness!

Again, please email the Flathead Forest Supervisor at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and tell him fish and wildlife need all roadless lands recommended for Wilderness and a reduced suitable timber base to protect critical habitats, not a bunch of horse trading!

This article published on June 30, 2014 • [Permalink]


Backpacker Magazine Shares Wilderness Hopes for Swan Crest!

When Backpacker Magazine called wanting to promote Alpine Trail #7 along the Swan Crest, we were hesitant to help because more human use is not always a good thing. We insisted that the article also promote designation of the Swan Crest as Wilderness in order to counterbalance Backpacker’s promotion of the area. The writer agreed.

Other than misquoting our “little used” description of Alpine 7 south of Thunderbolt Mountain, instead calling it “underused,” Backpacker did a good job and we appreciate the focus on securing Wilderness protection for this delicate alpine area. When it comes to protecting quiet, peaceful habitat for fish, wildlife and people there is no such thing as “underused.”

You can help turn this media exposure into a major step toward Wilderness designation by sending a short email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) . Urge the Flathead National Forest to recommend Wilderness designation for all public roadless lands in its Revised Forest Plan, including the entire Swan Crest!

Your help is doubly important because Montana Wilderness Association and some others are not advocating Wilderness protection for all roadless lands, instead allowing snowmobiles in vast roadless areas, especially along the Swan Crest!

You can see a clipping of the May 2014 Backpacker article here and find an Action Alert similar to this one here!

Thank you for taking a short moment to help protect the Swan Range!

This article published on May 05, 2014 • [Permalink]


Big Trees Storing Most Carbon!

“Many foresters have long assumed that trees gradually lose their vigour as they mature, but a new analysis suggests that the larger a tree gets, the more kilos of carbon it puts on each year.”

This new study reported in the journal Nature helps counter the Forest Service and industry argument that logging native and old forests will help sequester more carbon in the younger vegetation and help reduce global warming.

Even more work remains to be done, however, to convince the Forest Service and industry to leave dead trees in the forest to continue sequestering and recycling carbon. The Department of Agriculture recently awarded a $10 million grant to five universities and Northern Rockies research stations to figure out how to turn dead trees into biofuels. Read the Missoulian article here and our response to it here.

It is time to work with nature, not against it!

This article published on January 21, 2014 • [Permalink]


Flathead Skews Forest Plan Revision Process!

The Flathead National Forest has front-loaded its Forest Plan Revision process to reduce wildlife security while increasing motorized access and logging, playing favorites of folks willing to go along with it!

After telling its newly convened Forest Planning collaborative to use its draft 2006 Plan revision as a starting point, the Flathead has now instead distributed a Modified 2006 revision to the collaborative.

The modifications most importantly would:

1. Abandon Forest Plan Amendment 19 and its securing of grizzly bear habitat through limits on roads and motorized vehicles.

2. Greatly expand the “suitable timber base” where commercial logging is scheduled, partly by logging in areas previously set aside as grizzly bear “security core” under Amendment 19.

3. Retain and expand already extensive snowmobile areas established by Forest Plan Amendment 24, while not proposing to reduce snowmobile areas to protect grizzly bear denning, wolverine and lynx.

To make matters worse, the Flathead is playing favorites to the Whitefish Range Partnership collaborative, which has already largely agreed with the Flathead’s modifications for the North Fork Flathead.

Click here or below to read our letter to local newspaper editors, which includes links to a couple news articles demonstrating the Flathead’s unacceptable favoritism and skewing of the Forest Planning process.

We’re working hard to insure your voice can be heard during the Flathead Forest Plan revision process and will advise you of specific points when your comments will be most useful.

Meanwhile you can track or join the revision process at the Flathead National Forest’s web site and at Meridian Institute, the contractor the Flathead has hired to attempt to sidestep certain requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (the Forest Service cannot ask for collective advice during meetings that it controls, so it hires a contractor to control the meetings).


This article published on December 17, 2013 • [Permalink]


Support “No-Wake” for Echo Lake!

Please take a moment to email Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in support of its proposed “no-wake” rules for Echo Lake (and its adjoining Abbott and Peterson Lakes) when it is above flood stage - as it has been the past two summers!

Wakes from motor boats during high water is causing damage to Flathead County’s Causeway Road, its public boat launch, and to private property and shoreline around the lake.

No-wake rules during high water will still allow slow motor boating, offer unique quiet time for paddling on these otherwise busy lakes, and help protect private and public property from unnecessary erosion.

Please send a short email in support of the proposed rules to FWP’s Martha Abbrescia at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by Feb. 22!

Or attend FWP’s public hearing in the matter at 7 pm, Feb 19, at the Hampton Inn, 1140 Hwy 2 West, Kalispell.

Click here to read the Flathead Beacon article.

Click here to read FWP’s press release.

Click here to access the proposed rules and/or submit a comment via FWP’s web site.

This article published on February 14, 2013 • [Permalink]


Protected Federal Lands in Non-Metro West Increase Per Capita Income!

Headwaters Economics Graphic

A new report by Headwaters Economics finds three economic measures to be positively associated with protected public lands: per capita income, growth in per capita income, and growth in per capita investment income.

The study finds that, on average, counties with national parks, wilderness, and other forms of protected public lands benefit with increased economic performance.

Click here to read Headwaters Economics’ release of its report.

Click here to read or download the report.

This article published on January 30, 2013 • [Permalink]


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