Welcome to the Swan View Coalition

Our work and play are dedicated to conserving community
and quiet habitat for fish, wildlife and people.
Established in 1984, we work to:

  • Conserve the Peace and Quiet essential to public health and the health of our native ecosystems.
  • Ensure timber sale programs on public lands truly sustain water quality, fish and wildlife.
  • Pursue these goals through public education and public involvement whenever possible, and through administrative appeals and litigation when necessary.
This article published on July 05, 2011 • [Permalink]


Spring Newsletter: A Springtime Update!

Our Spring 2020 newsletter reports on how we are dealing with COVID-19, a federal judge twice thwarting the Flathead's efforts to hide its Forest Planning records, the downward spiral of forest thinning and commercial recreation, and Cinnabar Foundation once again willing to match/double your donations!

Below is our newsletter's table of contents. Click here to view or download it as a pdf.

A big THANK YOU to those of you who have made donations that support our continuing work!

Won't you join them and make a donation here? Be among the first and Cinnabar Foundation will match/double your money!

Fish, wildlife and people are counting on us - and you!

 

This article published on June 08, 2020 • [Permalink]


Help Protect Trails and Forest from Blowdown Logging!

Fallen trees are important for storing carbon and renewing the forest and soil!

Your emails are needed to help protect the Hall Creek, Bond Creek and other trail areas from blowdown "salvage" logging!

The Hall Creek and Bond Creek trail areas were logged/thinned under the Sixmile Fuels Reduction Project a few years ago, allowing recent wind storms to penetrate the forest canopy and topple even more trees.

Now the Swan Lake Ranger District wants to remove the fallen trees in the name of "fuels reduction salvage logging" even though it is the tree limbs that burn during a fire, not the trunk the logs are cut from!

Under this fuels reduction "logic," the forest won't be healthy or safe until all the trees are gone!

Please take a moment to email your comments by June 5th on the March Madness Blowdown Salvage to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Here are some suggestions:

1. Remove or move aside only those portions of blowdown trees that are blocking roads and trails.

2. Leave the tree trunks in the forest where they continue to store carbon for decades and renew the next generation of trees and soils.

3. As little as 15% of a logged tree's carbon is stored in a forest product for a short time, the rest is burned and goes into the atmosphere!

4. If you want to reduce the flammable fine fuels found in the limbs and needles, please do this by hand-slashing, hand-piling and burning them.

5. Please protect all area trails and thank you for not proposing salvage logging in Krause Basin's unique hemlock forests!

Click here for our letter with more details and rationale.

Click here for our supplemental comment letter with photos comparing heavy blowdown in previously logged forests to little or no blowdown in unthinned forests!

Click here for the March Madness Blowdown Salvage brochure, map and announcement of May 30 field tours.

Thank you for taking a few moments to speak up for the safekeeping of your public trails and forests!

 

This article published on May 22, 2020 • [Permalink]


Increase Social Distance While Hiking, Running, Biking!

Research shows COVID-19 social distancing must be increased while hiking, running and biking!

Distances to avoid particle contamination must be increased up to 65 feet as speed is increased and/or by moving to the side of the slipstream of the person in front of you.

The latter is difficult or impossible to do on narrow forest trails and roadway shoulders, so be safe when seeking a breath of fresh air and some exercise outdoors!

This article in WIRED magazine explains why the standard 6 feet of social distance isn't enough as we breath harder and move more rapidly.

Enjoy our public lands and roadways but do so safely!

 

 

This article published on May 05, 2020 • [Permalink]


Help Stop Large Commercial Events on the Flathead National Forest!

Your comments are needed NOW to help stop a 700-person trail-running event and help shape commercial guiding on the Flathead National Forest!

The Flathead has requested public comment on 12 Special Use Permits it is proposing for recreational events, shuttles and guiding services this summer.

Among them is Whitefish Legacy Partners' request for a permit to again run its trail-running race from Whitefish to the top of Big Mountain and back, but this time with up to 400 runners and an additional 300 spectators and volunteers! (These numbers provided by the Forest Service are inconsistent with WLP's permit application).

Foys to Blacktail Trails appears to be repeating the 100-trail-runner-maximum race it held last year, when retired FWS Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator Chris Servheen wrote in opposition to these risky foot races in bear habitat.

UPDATE JULY 11, 2020: A trail-runner physically collided with a grizzly bear in Glacier National Park, but was lucky to escape with minor injuries as the forgiving bear ran off. This should not become a huge spectator sport via Forest Service special use permits!

Also among the slew of SUPs are requests for guided tours for ATVs, hikers and bikers, as well as shuttle services - in critical wildlife habitats and some on roads closed to protect wildlife security!

Here are some suggestions for your comments, which must be submitted by May 1:

1. Do not permit trail-running races due to the documented increased risk to people, bears and other wildlife. It also sends the wrong message about how people should safely recreate in the habitat of bears and mountain lions.

2. Do permit slow-paced hiking and biking activities that help people get heart-healthy exercise while teaching responsible conduct in the habitat of bears and mountain lions.

3. Do not permit ATV tours, van tours and other motorized events that burn fossil fuels and hasten climate change in the name of recreation.

4. Do not permit commercially guided hiking and biking tours on roads closed to motorized use to provide wildlife security. These roads already receive non-commercial human use. Additional commercial use will result in even less wildlife security.

5. Do not permit large group tours and events where COVID-19 social distancing requirements cannot be met. Montana is currently among the least infected states in the country and we'd like to keep it that way.

Please send your comments by May 1 to all three of the following Ranger District addresses:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Click here to read our 4-page letter to the Flathead.

Click here for our single page of additional concerns after seeing the permit applications.

Click here for the Flathead's brief description of the proposed permits.

THANK YOU for taking a moment to comment on these issues important to the health of people and wildlife!

Click here for the Daily Inter Lake news article.

Click here for the Hungry Horse News article.

Click here for two critical letters to editors: 1. Robert Hermes led and largely funded the establishment of the Lakeside to Blacktail Trail and, though a long-distance runner himself, says "trails in the national forest are just not the right venue" for marathon races; 2. Carol Edwards, a resident of Polebridge, lays out how the public has been given "short shrift and silenced before they ever got a chance to speak" on these permit issues.

Click here for a Hungry Horse News column opposing the SUPs and process.

Click here for a Missoulian article about Forest Service directives to issue more special use permits more quickly to "be more responsible to customer needs."

Scroll down to view the maps and supplemental information we've been able to obtain from the Forest Service thus far. (You may need to click on "Read Full Article" to make them appear).

 


This article published on April 26, 2020 • [Permalink]


Advise MT’s Governor Not to Allow Grizzly Bear Hunting!

Grizzly Bears aren't even a blip on the chart compared to the people living, working and playing in their habitat!*

Now is your chance to advise Governor Steve Bullock that you don't want Montana to authorize the sport hunting of grizzly bears!

The Governor's Grizzly Bear Advisory Council is meeting electronically on April 9 to formulate their advice on this subject. 

Please take a moment now and submit your thoughts to the Council here, so Council members have time to download your comments from the survey site prior to their April 9 meeting!

Below is what Swan View Coalition submitted today. We encourage you to submit comments in your own words, though you are of course free to borrow from ours. Please include your name when submitting comments so they don't get devalued as anonymous comments.

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Swan View Coalition urges the GBAC to advise Governor Bullock to not consider grizzly bear sport hunting as a viable means to manage grizzly bears and to rescind the language in his Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM 12.9.103). Those rules require a sport hunt of grizzly bears as “the most desirable method of balancing grizzly bear numbers with their available habitat” should the bear lose its federal ESA protection.

Grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem number about 1,000 while 100,000 people live in Flathead County alone. Nearly 400,000 people live in the 12 counties that contain the NCDE and the number of people visiting Glacier National Park’s bear habitat each year is still climbing from the 2.4 million that visited in 2015!

Grizzly bears are struggling with increasing numbers of people living, working and playing in their habitat. You can’t balance out this problem by killing grizzly bears without halting or reversing the recovery of the grizzly bear population.

Urge the governor instead to beef up his Administrative Rules of Montana to better protect grizzly bears and their habitat so that grizzly bear numbers can increase and the various grizzly bear ecosystems can be reconnected. Population experts say it will take 5,000 grizzly bears in a reconnected NCDE-Yellowstone-Selway Bitterroot-Cabinet-Yaak-Selkirks ecosystem to maintain genetic diversity over the long term.

Shooting grizzly bears runs contrary to increasing grizzly bear numbers and their reoccupation of essential habitats. And sport hunting does not target the bears that may need to be killed on occasion as a matter of human safety.

It took a lawsuit by Swan View Coalition and Fund for Animals to end Montana’s former grizzly bear hunt in 1991, which was then responsible for 48% of all known human-caused grizzly mortality in the NCDE. Montana simply can’t be trusted to manage grizzly bears through hunting, especially in light of increasing human and development pressures being applied to bear habitat.

————

THANK YOU for taking a few moments during this difficult time to advocate for wildlife! Threats to them and their habitat never cease!

*Graph data sources are https://www.montana-demographics.com/counties_by_population and 
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd566349.pdf 
(pages 281-288).

 

This article published on April 05, 2020 • [Permalink]


Group Gatherings Suspended, Staff Hard at Work!

Swan View Coalition has suspended until further notice its every-Saturday Swan Ranger Outings and its every-other-Sunday Community Potluck and Music Jam Sessions, due to coronavirus concerns.

We want to do our part to help "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus pandemic and protect our friends and families by suspending these group activities.

We encourage folks to get out into the woods for a breath of fresh air and to recognize that our public wildlands provide a spirit-calming place to practice social distancing!  

Meanwhile, know that our single staff person continues working remotely from his home office and says "I don't like sitting indoors in big meetings anyway!"

All kidding aside, we wish you and yours the very best during this time of prescribed "social distancing."

We look forward to when we can safely resume these popular group activities and will post another announcement then.

 

This article published on March 17, 2020 • [Permalink]


Winter Newsletter: A Time to Reflect!

Our Winter 2020 newsletter reports on the Forest Service's return to its road-building binge, how it is trashing our climate, what we are doing about it, and how the government is trying to use executive privilege to hide Flathead Forest planning documents from public and judicial review!

Below is our newsletter's table of contents. Click here to view or download it as a pdf.

A big THANK YOU to those of you who have made donations that support our continuing work!

Won't you join them and make a donation here?

Fish, wildlife and people are counting on us - and you!

 

This article published on February 09, 2020 • [Permalink]


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