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.
Or attend FWP’s public hearing in the matter at 7 pm, Feb 19, at the Hampton Inn, 1140 Hwy 2 West, Kalispell.
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.
Photo by Kallerna (Those big feet are for snow travel!)
A Montana District Court has issued an order effectively ending this winter’s wolverine trapping season, in anticipation of the imperiled wolverine being listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.
“This is great news that this year’s wolverine trapping season is over,” said Swan View Coalition Chair Keith Hammer. “Hopefully, wolverine will soon gain the threatened species protections they need so desperately, including a permanent ban on the intentional killing of wolverines.”
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, however, says it will oppose ESA status for wolverine in Montana and, barring that, try to keep its trapping season in spite of federal listing. Click here to read the San Francisco Chronicle article.
Our thanks go out to Western Environmental Law Center and the other plaintiffs in this lawsuit for hanging tough for wolverine - and to all of you that support our work!
Flathead National Forest has withdrawn its Griffin Creek logging project in the face of appeals filed by Swan View Coalition and others.
On November 26th, 2012, the Flathead refused to modify the project during a meeting to attempt resolution of the appeals.
Already heavily logged, heavily roaded and riddled with invasive weeds, the majority of the Griffin Creek watershed is already considered by Flathead National Forest to be “functioning at risk.”
Swan View Coalition and other appellants argued more logging and road building will simply make matters worse.
They also argued the project is an irresponsible burden on the American taxpayer, building more new roads when the Flathead already receives less than one-sixth of the funds it needs to maintain its existing road system.
The project would build another 12 miles of permanent road, cut logs from 2,300 acres of forest and cut smaller trees on another 2,800 acres.
Four-frame photo by Chad Harder
Swan View Coalition and others in July petitioned Montana to stop trapping wolverine, a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks denied the petition.
Left with no other option, the same groups today filed a lawsuit to stop the trapping.
Montana is the only lower-48 state to still allow trapping of wolverine.
“We’re lucky to see wolverine on rare occasions here in the Swan Range of northwest Montana, where they were first studied back in the 1970s, but trapping killed five times more wolverine than natural causes and killed nearly two-thirds of the wolverines being studied in just five years.” said Keith Hammer, chairman of the Swan View Coalition. “Trapping must stop if these rare and wonderful animals are to return from the brink of extinction.”
Read the petition here to learn more about the habits, needs and threats to wolverine.
A proposed mountain bike stage race to be held in the Tally Lake Ranger District is being met with opposition from a local environmental group.
Keith Hammer, chairman of the Swan View Coalition, submitted a four-page comment to the Forest Service contending the bike race will promote conflicts and collisions between cyclists and wildlife. . .
“Trail runners and bikers alike have been swatted, butted, mauled and killed during surprise encounters with bears, lions, wildebeests, and other wildlife,” Hammer said in his comments to the Forest Service. “While folks can get hurt hiking, wildlife and land management officials have become fully aware of and advise against the added risk of increased trail speeds involved in running and biking.” . . .
“We urge Flathead National Forest to confine speed sports to the developed Big Mountain area so the negative impacts to fish, wildlife and human safety do not spread across the forest,” he wrote.
Jerry Sprunger Cartoon
Freeride mountain biking has become an increasingly popular sport in the Missoula area over the past decade or so. Advancements in suspension technology have allowed for bikes specifically tailored to more “technical” terrain: steep slopes, jumps, rock drops and log ramps. But Missoula’s legal trail system doesn’t have much of that. The void is filled by an outlaw culture of freeriders bent on meeting their own demands, even if it means breaking the law. . .
“Historically, the Forest Service has allowed sort of conventional uses: walking down the trail, taking your horse, driving your ATV on a road,” [Lolo National Forest’s Boyd] Hartwig explains. “The mountain bikers who want a more challenging experience, they’ve taken it to the next step and said, ‘That’s not enough for us. We want to construct things. We want to build jumps and bridges,’ or whatever. That takes us outside the bounds of what we’re allowed to do.”
Forest Service photo of road and culvert removal in Big Creek.
“The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Flathead National Forest announced the news Thursday that Big Creek had been removed from the state’s list of impaired waters. . .
Practices for reducing sediment . . . included decommissioning 60.6 miles of forest logging roads, removing 47 culverts and replacing 19, improving 89 miles of roads to decrease stormwater runoff; revegetating 25 acres of eroding uplands, and working with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to improve the amount of large wood in headwater streams that feed Big Creek. . .
Road building and timber harvesting led to accelerated soil erosion and substantial increases in the amount of sediments delivered to Big Creek.”