Join us for our biweekly Community Potluck Dinners and Music Jam Sessions at Mountain Brook Community Library*, 2353 Foothill Road.
The sessions are open to all skill levels and to those wishing to listen rather than play.
We meet on alternating Sundays, with exceptions for holidays and other events, so check the list of dates below for upcoming sessions.
Potluck begins at 5 pm, followed by acoustic music until 8-ish.
Sept 21 (Saturday) Pie Social at the Library 5-8pm
*Library rental fees go to restore the historic Mountain Brook Schoolhouse next door and meet Library operating expenses.
We issue our Newsletter 3-5 times per year and post a link to view or download it on this web page, along with occasional Action Alerts. Or, you can Subscribe to receive our Newsletter and occasional Action Alerts automatically.
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.
Words from our supporters!
Dr. Chris Servheen says he opposes the issuance of Special Use Permits for ultra-marathon trail-running races in bear habitat and wants permits for mountain bike guiding to comply with interagency recommendations for minimizing bear-human conflicts.
His comments were submitted to the Flathead National Forest during a public comment period on several such permits.
Dr. Servheen was Chair of the Board of Review investigating the death of Brad Treat when he slammed into a grizzly bear while mountain biking at high speed on the Flathead NF.
The Board of Review, which included two Flathead NF staff, recommends that people not run or bike fast in bear habitat. The BOR based its recommendations on numerous instances of people and bears being injured or killed due to surprise encounters during running and biking.
Dr. Servheen wrote "Issuing such permits will send the public a very conflicting message about how to recreate in bear habitat and send a bad message about the veracity of agency advice about how to recreate safely where there are bears . . . doing so will contradict years of agency educational efforts."
Flathead Forest Supervisor Chip Weber objected to the recommendations of the BOR at the June 25 meeting of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and in an opinion piece to newspapers. He falsely claims that trail running and fast mountain biking are no more likely to cause a human-bear encounter than walking or hiking.
News accounts and Swan View's response to Weber note that the BOR cites substantial research in support of its findings and recommendations.
Click here to read the Daily Inter Lake article "Bear Expert Opposes Permits for Running Events."
Click here for Dr. Servheen's comments.
Click here for the Board of Review Recommendations.
Click here for MT Dept. of Fish Wildlife and Parks' findings: "Increased speed can increase the likelihood of surprising a bear at close range. Even during planned events with numerous participants, negative encounters including fatalities, can and have occurred."
Click here for MTPR's story on the IGBC meeting.
Click here for the Missoulian article about Supervisor Weber's objections.
Click here for Supervisor Weber's guest opinion.
Click here for Swan View Coalition's letter to editors in response to Weber's objections.
Click here for "When Cyclists Collide with Bears," an excellent summary of bike-bear collisions and the research showing fast travel results in increased risk of surprise encounters between people and bears!
Click here for Swan View's press release expressing disappointment in the approval of the Whitefish Legacy Partners and Foys to Blacktail trail marathon permits and the dangerous precedent they set on the Flathead NF.
Click here for more background on this issue.
Tell the Flathead NF today to not issue Special Use Permits for irresponsible recreation! It only taks a couple minutes.
The Flathead has asked the public to comment on four Special Use Permits (SUPs), two of which are for trail-running races that have caused injury and/or death to runners and bears!
Here's what we wrote to the Flathead today. We urge you to consider making similar points in a quick email:
The Board of Review (BOR) reports on the death of Brad Treat when he slammed into a grizzly bear while mountain biking at high speed must be regarded as the best available science and expert advice for reducing surprise encounters between people and bears:
"Don’t Run - jogging in bear country increases the odds of surprise encounters at close distances and surprised bears are more likely to be aggressive.
Slow Down [when mountain biking]- Encounters with bears are much more likely to occur when riding at high speed. Surprised bears are more likely to be defensive and to cause injury to bike riders."
- Do not issue the Whitefish Trails and Foys to Blacktail ultra-marathon SUPs. To do so amounts to a Forest Service endorsement of the commercial promotion of irresponsible behavior in bear habitat and runs contrary to the BOR recommendations that the Forest Service is party to. The public education intended by the BOR will essentially be nullified by the commercialization and expansiveness of the irresponsible behavior endorsed in such SUPs!
- Issue the Whitefish Shuttle and Guiding SUP only if the business is willing and required to abide by and distribute the BOR recommendations to its passengers and clients. These materials should be developed by the Forest Service and approved by the BOR, insuring that permittees are positive ambassadors for human-bear safety.
- We see no red flags for the more modest Journey to Wellness Program SUP, provided the permitted activities are indeed hikes and not trail running. This SUP offers another opportunity for the permittee to abide by and distribute the BOR recommendations.
To make it simple, send a single or the same email to these two email addresses:
Click here to read our full letter to the Flathead.
Click here to read the Flathead's invitation for public comments and background info.
Your quick email will help promote responsible recreation on our public lands and help avert 100- and 200-person trail running races that promote just the opposite!
Thanks for helping! Comments are due June 19!
Click here to read the Daily Inter Lake article "Bear Expert Opposes Permits for Running Events" and click here for the comments submitted by Dr. Chris Servheen, former Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator for USFWS.
Click here to read the Missoulian article on our efforts.
Click here to read the Missoula Current article on our efforts.
Our Winter-Spring 2019 newsletter reports on how the revised Flathead Forest Plan is ushering in lawlessness - and why we are suing over it!
It also reports on how collaboration and public-private partnerships are over-promoting recreational developments and activities of great risk to people and wildlife, using the southern Whitefish Range as just one example!
Below is our newsletter's table of contents. Click here to view or download it as a pdf.
A big THANK YOU to those who have made donations that support our continuing work!
Won't you join them and DONATE NOW?
Fish, wildlife and people are counting on us - and you!
You are cordially invited to participate in the Swan Crest Crawl, a mindful practice to see how long you can take to hike 70 miles (the length of the Swan Crest from Inspiration Point near the Bob Marshall Wilderness to Columbia Mountain).
You can hike, walk or crawl the 70 miles wherever you wish, but you are encouraged to take your time and enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer:
- Sit in the shade by a mountain stream and listen to the songbirds.
- Look around for wildlife big and small. The outdoors is their only home.
- Walk slowly and talk to the wildlife that might be just around the corner in the trail so you don’t have a surprise encounter with a bear, mountain lion or mama moose! Keep your lightweight bear spray handy just in case.
- Keep an eye out for wildflowers and definitely stop to smell the wild roses.
- Bring along kids and elders, sharing enthusiasm and knowledge.
- Carry lots of heavy plant and bird ID books to help slow you down!
- Better yet, bring a bit of camping gear and spend a night or two under the stars!
You can track your 70 miles of progress (and mindful delays) using our Swan Crest Virtual Trek, where you’ll find links to a map and a chart on which you can track your progress.
The interactive map you’ll find there is also a great way to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the Swan Crest. And, it will get you thinking about even more ways to appreciate and spend time in the great outdoors wherever you are!
Happy trails, sights, sounds, and smells!