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Wilderness and Wildlife: Celebrate, Protect, Advocate, Restore!

Our Fall 2014 edition of Swan View's News describes our recent accomplishments and continuing challenges in protecting wildlife, wilderness and people!

It includes news of our recent lawsuit victory in the Swan Valley, calculates the carbon footprint of snowmobiling, asks you to write a quick note to keep DNRC and Stoltze Lumber from logging the Broken Leg and Crater Notch Trails, and announces our 30th Anniversay membership meeting for November 16th!

Remember to support our work by Nov 30 and Cinnabar Foundation will match your donation, doubling your money!

Click here to view or download our Fall 2014 newsletter.

Here is the table of contents:

Please DONATE NOW to support the critical work described in our newsletter!

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

This article published on October 13, 2014 • [Permalink]


Stoltze/DNRC to Log Jewel Basin Area Trails!

UPDATE 2/21/15:

The Crater Notch Trail has been trashed by logging and not repaired!

Click here for more photos and a concise alert because YOUR EMAILS ARE NEEDED NOW to get the trail repaired and insure bare-ground logging is not allowed!

UPDATE 12/24/14:

DNRC issued its decision to indeed log along the lower reaches of the Broken Leg and Crater Notch trails, adding a decision (page 11) and responses to public comments at the end of its Environmental Assessment.

While we didn't succeed in stopping this logging, we won several major concessions that will help protect the trails:

1. Huge, heavy feller-buncher machines will not be used to cut the "diseased" trees. They will be hand-felled using chain saws, greatly reducing machine traffic on the ground.

2. Skidding of the logs will be done using cable-winch skidders, rather than grapple/tong skidders - and it will be done on frozen ground and snow. The greater "reach" of the cables will greatly reduce the soil area traveled on by the skidders and frozen ground will lessen damage to the soil and trails.

3. DNRC will mark the trees to be cut, rather than leaving the choice up to Stoltze Lumber.

4. Public comments from 50 people let DNRC know there are lots of eyes on this project and should help insure a more careful job is done.

We took lots of "before" photos of the trails and we will take "during" and "after" photos as well in order to document whether DNRC and Stoltze followed through on the promises made.

Big thanks to all of you that wrote in on this. The results will be better for it!

UPDATE 12/15/14:

THE GOOD NEWS: Fifty folks like you told DNRC to protect the Broken Leg and Crater Notch Trails, including the nearby aesthetics and wildlife habitat - and DNRC has halved the acreage it proposes to let Stoltze Lumber Company log there.

THE BAD NEWS: Rather than likewise reduce the "salvage" logging volume from the initial proposal of 55 truck loads, DNRC has proposed to now log some green trees along with the dead and dying trees in order to "sanitize" the forest (by removing up to 50% of the trees)!

DNRC has posted a brief Environmental Assessment and has invited public comment again until December 19, 2014.

We urge you to email DNRC's Nick Aschenwald today (naschenwald@mt.gov) and let him know DNRC's trickery is not appreciated: halving the logging area while increasing the logging per acre is insincere and is not going to protect these trails!

Urge DNRC to select the "No Action" alternative in the EA, which would simply leave the area alone and natural.

Click here to read SVC's comments to DNRC on its EA.

Many thanks to those of you that are writing in on this!

(From October 5, 2014, below).

Your email message is needed today to keep F.H. Stoltze and DNRC from logging the Broken Leg and Crater Notch Trails that access the Jewel Basin Hiking Area!

While logging its neighboring land near the Jewel Basin Road this fall and winter, Stoltze wants to take feller-bunchers and grapple skidders onto Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation land to "salvage" 55 log truck loads of reportedly dead and dying trees.

DNRC says this beautiful, healthy forest may be reduced to as little as 8-10 trees per acre!

Please email DNRC's Nick Aschenwald today (naschenwald@mt.gov) and tell him you want the public trees on State Land left for wildlife and people while Stoltze saws its trees into boards!

DNRC in 2006 agreed to protect the recreational and aesthetic values of these trails by moving its Foothills Timber Sale downhill and out of sight of them. Click here to read that letter of agreement!

The Forest Service's Broken Leg and Crater Notch Trails lie on DNRC easements in the exact area Stoltze wants to log and are highly valued, non-motorized recreation trails leading to Jewel Basin and the historic Alpine Trail #7. This is simply the wrong choice of an area to be logged!

The Broken Leg Trail has already been turned into a logging road where it crosses Stoltze Land. Let's convince DNRC to again respect the value of these trails where they cross State Land and not allow logging there!

Click here for a map of the proposed logging.

Comments are due by October 20th!

Click here for our recent letter to the editor for more information.

Click here and scroll down to "Scoping Notices - Birch Creek" for DNRC's invite of public comment.

UPDATE: Click here for SVC's letter to DNRC in this matter.

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


Celebrating 50 Years of The Wilderness Act!

UPDATE: Click here to watch the video of Stewart Brandborg's keynote address and click here for a transcript of his concluding "call to arms!"

UPDATE: In a related matter, click here for a PDF summary of Keith Hammer's 9/12/14 presentation to the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center's Wilderness 50 Conference.

Today we mark the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, but mark your calendars for September 20 and join us in a big celebration of it at the Flathead County Fairgrounds!

Come meet and be encouraged by Stewart Brandborg (above), who worked for eight years alongside Howard Zahniser to pass the Wilderness Act on September 3, 1964!

This foresighted Act initially designated 9.1 million acres of public lands as Wilderness, including the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and in the hands of hard working citizens has since brought the total to nearly 110 million acres.

But many of America's wildest public lands remain at risk of development and the "expanding settlement and growing mechanization" foreseen by the Wilderness Act.

We look forward to Brandborg's words urging all of us to keep up the good fight!

Click here for our short biography of Stewart Brandborg.

Click here for the Missoulian's more detailed accounting of Brandborg's efforts to pass the Wilderness Act.

Click here or see below for the Flathead's Wilderness 50 Celebration agenda!


(Read Full Article)

This article published on September 03, 2014 • [Permalink]


30th Anniversary Hike and Call to Action!

Our recent hike along the Swan Crest commemorates Swan View Coalition's 30th anniversary and asks for your short email supporting Wilderness designation for the area!

Enjoy these 27 photos taken from Napa Ridge to Trinkus Lake, then please send a quick email to flatheadplanrevision@fs.fed.us .

Urge the Flathead National Forest to manage and recommend the entire wildlife-rich Swan Crest as Wilderness in its Forest Plan, perhaps highlight your favorite areas, then add your name.

You can also watch three minute-long videos highlighting the wilderness qualities of the Bunker, Sullivan and Trinkus portions of the Swan Crest.

Your voice matters and the Swan Crest needs your help - Thank You!

This article published on August 24, 2014 • [Permalink]


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 sboelman@fs.fed.us 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 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 read the Flathead's "Assessment of the Sullivan Creek Mass Failure," which claims it was nature's fault.

Click here to read our response to the Flathead's "Assessment of the Sullivan Creek Mass Failure."

Click here to read the Flathead Beacon's article about the Flathead National Forest still insisting it is an innocent bystander and intends to ignore this road as it continues to collapse, rather than promptly fixing more potential problems further up the road!

Click here to see our video of the Sullivan Creek landslide.

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


Keeping Wilderness, Fish, Wildlife and People Connected!

Our Summer 2014 edition of Swan View's News describes how new Forest and Travel planning rules dovetail with the Wilderness Act of 1964!

It explains how now, more than ever, we need to advocate for more Wilderness designations and wildland recovery!

Be among the first to DONATE NOW and Cinnabar Foundation will again double your money!

Click here to view or download the Summer 2014 newsletter.

Here is the table of contents:

Please DONATE NOW to support the critical work described in our newsletter!

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

This article published on July 11, 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 flatheadplanrevision@fs.fed.us 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 flatheadplanrevision@fs.fed.us 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]


Support the Flathead's Grizzlies and Lynx Today!
Photo credit MDFWP

If you recently received an alert from Montana Wilderness Association and Headwaters Montana, we urge you to NOT endorse the logging increase called for in the Whitefish Range Partnership Agreement.

As the alert indicates, the substantial increase in the Flathead National Forest's "suitable timber base" would require the removal of Endangered Species Act protection of the threatened grizzly bear.

Here's what the alert does not detail about the Agreement:

1. Existing protection of grizzly bear habitat would then be relaxed to allow more logging!

2. The Agreement would "challenge existing lynx management strategies" to increase the suitable timber base in this threatened species' critical habitats also!

The Flathead National Forest seized on this idea the moment it was announced and has proposed to increase the suitable timber base forest-wide, not just in the Whitefish Range!

Don't let the government use your endorsement of the Whitefish Range Partnership as a vote to "de-list" the grizzly bear and weaken protections for griz and lynx forest-wide.

Tell Forest Supervisor Chip Weber you don't support the Agreement's proposal to increase logging at the expense of grizzly bear, lynx and other wildlife - email flatheadplanrevision@fs.fed.us !

Click here and a bit more on why this is such a bad idea will appear below.


(Read Full Article)

This article published on June 24, 2014 • [Permalink]


Anniversaries and a Citizen reVision to Celebrate!

Our Winter-Spring 2014 edition of Swan View's News announces our 30th anniversary, the Wilderness Act's 50th, and invites you to join our Citizen reVision of the Flathead Forest Plan!

It also describes how corruption at the Udall Foundation, a federal agency charged with managing collaboration and conflict resolution, has helped poison the Flathead Forest Plan "collaboration."

Click here to view or download the Winter-Spring 2014 newsletter.

Here is the table of contents:

Please DONATE NOW to support the critical work and investigations described in our newsletter.

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

This article published on May 13, 2014 • [Permalink]


Act Today to Protect Wilderness in the Northern Swan Range!

Please send a quick email today to help secure Wilderness in the Northern Swan Range!

Email the Flathead Forest Plan Revision Team at flatheadplanrevision@fs.fed.us .

Urge them to recommend Wilderness designation for all roadless lands in the Northern Swan Range in their new Forest Plan!

Thank you!

Visit our swanrange.org page for more information.

This article published on April 15, 2014 • [Permalink]


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Logging Road Landslide
Logging road landslide into Sullivan Creek bull trout habitat! Keith Hammer photo.

What's New
Join Us for Our 40th Anniversary Potluck and Gathering! May 21, 2024

We hope you can come join us for our 40th Anniversary potluck and gathering on June 9 at the Creston Fish Hatchery pavilion on the shore of Jessup Mill Pond! There will be cake and we get to eat it too!

Winter-Spring Newsletter: Swan View Celebrates 40 Years! April 24, 2024

Our Winter-Spring newsletter celebrates our 40th anniversary with news of recent victories, a look at what we've accomplished in 40 years, a reminder of the work that still lies ahead, and an invitation to our celebratory outdoor potluck and gathering on June 9!

Happy Solstice, Holidays and New Year! December 20, 2023

Swan View Coalition wishes you a Happy Solstice, Holidays and New Year, and has a gift suggestion!

Holidays Newsletter: Things to Celebrate in 2023! December 07, 2023

Our Holidays newsletter announces wolverine are finally given ESA protection, an ESA recovery plan is drafted for lynx, there are promising signs for the management of Krause Basin, and POWDR Corp has withdrawn its plans to super-size Holland Lake Lodge, but reminds us of huge "fuels reduction" logging projects on the horizon!

Summer-Fall Newsletter: Pushing Back Against All Odds! October 12, 2023

Our Summer-Fall newsletter announces the release of our latest Forest Service road closure effectiveness report, describes how the Forest Service is keeping the public in the dark while permitting private corporations to conduct business on public lands, provides graphic proof that "thinning" as "restoration" logging amounts to more clearcuts, and calls on the public to carry and learn to use bear spray when outdoors!

Swan View Report Shows Road Closure Effectiveness Far Lower than Forest Service Claims! September 12, 2023

Swan View Coalition recently released a report based on its 2022 inspection of 303 Forest Service road closure devices in the Flathead National Forest’s Swan Valley Geographic Area. The group found only 53% of the gates, berms and boulders showed no signs of motor vehicle use behind them. When adjusted to account for Forest Service exceptions allowing administrative and logging contractor use behind closures, effectiveness rose to only 68%, far short of the 92% effectiveness claimed by the Flathead NF for 2019-2020.

Your Prompt Donation Matched by Cinnabar Foundation! August 02, 2023

Your prompt donation to support our work will be matched/doubled by Cinnabar Foundation!

Help Push Back on the Commercialization of the Flathead National Forest! May 23, 2023

Your email is needed today to push back on 25 commercial Special Use Permits being issued on the Flathead National Forest!

Winter Spring Newsletter: Government and Industry Set to Log it All! April 17, 2023

Our Winter-Spring newsletter asks you to send a quick email to help stop DNRC from logging the last of its hemlock forests in Krause Basin, then shows how DNRC's proposal aligns with federal proposals that also promote logging to "restore" forests to false "historic" conditions. We provide links to a growing body of research revealing a "falsification of the scientific record in government-funded wildfire studies" that are being used to promote the logging of native forests.

Help Stop DNRC Logging in Krause Basin Today! April 12, 2023

MT DNRC intends to log more of what little native hemlock forest it hasn't logged already in Krause Basin! Please help us stop this phony "forest restoration" now!

Double Your Donation Now! March 23, 2023

Wake up! A generous donor has agreed to match $5,000 in donations to Swan View Coalition! So DONATE NOW and see your donation doubled!

Holidays Newsletter: Learning from Our Past and Moving Forward! November 30, 2022

Our Holidays 2022 newsletter looks at how recreation gets out of control on public lands and what we can do about it. It also provides a brief summary of our work in 2022 and why your membership is important!

Giving Thanks! November 23, 2022

This Thanksgiving we are thankful to have public lands worth protecting and your support of our work to do so!

Summer-Fall Newsletter: Plunder Blunders! October 17, 2022

Our Summer-Fall 2022 newsletter examines two major public relations blunders by the Flathead National Forest as it attempts to force recreational development on a public that is tired of seeing its public lands turned into playgrounds for the rich and racy! We also announce the resumption of our biweekly Swan Range Community Potlucks and Music Jam Sessions - and our Annual Membership Meeting to be held November 20.

Insist Now on Full Public Review of Holland Lake Lodge Mega-Expansion! September 06, 2022

The Flathead National Forest is attempting to approve a mega-expansion of the Holland Lake Lodge on public land without informed public input and with no Environmental Assessment or Impact Statement. Tell the Flathead NOW to back up and start again!

Second Round of Flathead Forest Plan Lawsuits Filed! August 11, 2022

Swan View Coalition and Friends of the Wild Swan are in the process of filing three new lawsuits against the revised Flathead Forest Plan's building of logging roads in threatened grizzly bear and bull trout habitat!

Winter-Spring Newsletter: To Wonder or Plunder? May 13, 2022

Our Winter-Spring 2022 newsletter takes a sobering look at how, contrary to the way forest ecosystems function and the need to keep carbon stored in trees to combat climate warming, the government and industry instead want to log/thin all the forests they can get their hands on while building all the more logging roads to get it done!

Help Stop Commercial Crowding of the Flathead National Forest! May 10, 2022

Your comments are needed to object to commercial permits that promote crowding of the Flathead National Forest!

FS Cannot Seek Consensus from Krause Basin Collaborative February 13, 2022

The Forest Service cannot ask the Krause Basin Collaborative for group/consensus recommendations, only individual advice.

Forest Service Reneging on Promises to Prohibit Motorized Trails in Krause Basin! December 13, 2021

This page documents promises made by the Flathead National Forest to close all trails in Krause Basin to motorized use after designating it a Wildlife Management Area and mandating that the trails "not be marked on the ground."