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Sign Up NOW to Speak Up for Krause Basin!
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Please sign up today to help plan recreation management in the wildlife-rich Krause Basin!

The Swan Lake Ranger District has announced it will begin a public planning process and is asking interested people to sign up for it by August 15.

We need lots of individual voices to get the Forest Service to honor its past promises to get motorized vehicles out of Krause Basin and to not turn the area into one more crowded tourist trap!

Email your name, phone number and mailing address to Darlene Bridges at comments-northern-flathead-swan-lake@usda.gov . Put "Krause Basin" in the subject line.

See our Winter/Spring Newsletter for more background on recreation management in Krause Basin.

These public lands and wildlife belong to everyone. You don't need to live near Krause Basin to be an "interested participant."

You don't have to commit to participating in the process until the Forest Service describes it more completely after August 15, but you do need to sign up now to have the option and receive further information.

THANK YOU for taking a few moments to speak up for the health of people, wildlife and their habitat!

This article published on July 11, 2021 • [Permalink]


Help Stop Motorized Dirt Bike Tours in Krause Basin Now!

Your email today can help stop motorized dirt bike tours in Krause Basin and other harmful Special Use Permits (SUPs) on the Flathead National Forest!

The Flathead National Forest wants your comments on 19 proposed Special Use Permits. Among them are guided tours on motorized dirt bikes, ATVs and UTVs - including in the wildlife rich Krause Basin enjoyed by walkers and horseback riders!

Please send an email by May 12 to the following addresses:

sadie.wehunt@usda.govanthony.butterfield@usda.gov, darlene.bridges@usda.gov, elizabeth.pargman@usda.gov, william.wehunt@usda.gov

Consider making the following points:

1. Object to issuing a permit for guided motorized dirt bike tours, especially in the wildlife rich Krause Basin area. Motorized dirt bikes, let alone dirt bike tours, don’t fit in with Krause Basin’s popularity for walking and horseback riding!

2. Object to all of the permits intended to provide motorized recreation as an end in itself. Intentionally promoting motorized dirt bike, ATV, UTV, and watercraft rentals and tours does not work toward the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Each gallon of gasoline burned puts 20 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere! And the noise spoils the outdoors for everyone else!

3. Object to the permits intended to promote trail running, bike and foot races - with up to 400 participants and 300 spectators! These displace others from the trails and promote recreation that increases the risk of surprise encounters between people and bears, which have resulted in the deaths of both.

4. Ask that non-motorized bike tours stick to roads open to motorized vehicles and not use roads closed to protect wildlife security.

5. Support the Journey to Wellness and Montana Academy permits for healing hikes in quiet, unhurried nature. These stand in stark contrast to the majority of the 19 SUPs being proposed, which instead spew forth crowds, haste, noise, and exhaust fumes that destroy other peoples’ ability to enjoy their National Forests and the planet.

6. Ask that an Environmental Impact Statement be prepared that looks at the cumulative impacts of the Flathead's SUPs and Rental Cabins expansion program, which are pumping hordes of people into far flung corners of the Forest without adequate concern for fish, wildlife, peace, and quiet.

For more detail on these six points, see our letter here.

Click here for the Flathead's description of the proposed SUPs and their maps.

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

This article published on May 04, 2021 • [Permalink]


Protect the Remote Bunker Creek from Cabin Development!
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UPDATE 3/9/21: Forest Service pauses to read the over 250 comments it received on this proposal! Click here for the Daily Inter Lake article. THANK YOU to all of you that wrote in opposition to this ill-conceived idea!

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Please take five minutes to tell the Forest Service not to build four rental cabins adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness in the remote Bunker Creek area!

Spotted Bear Ranger District wants to displace traditional semi-primitive tent camping at Bunker Park with 4 rental cabins, 1 trailer pad, a livestock corral, and a childrens playground! This will turn the area into a nearly year-round snowmobile and mountain bike outpost smack in the middle of some of the best wildlife habitat on the Flathead National Forest!

Please send a quick email by April 6 to comments-northern-flathead-spotted-bear@usda.gov and put "Bunker Park Rental Cabins" in the subject line. Consider making the following points:

1. The remote Bunker Creek area is adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness and is no place to promote recreation through rental cabins!

2. The development would be right in the middle of "some of the most dense grizzly bear and carnivore habitat on the Flathead Forest," not to mention prime habitat for elk, mountain goats and bull trout!

3. The develpment would promote snowmobiling in an area currently seldom reached by people in winter and inevitably result in motorized trespass of unpatrolled closed areas!

4. The development would become a destination for mountain biking from Napa Point and other access along the Swan Crest!

5. The development would displace tent campers and folks without $85 to rent a cabin!

6. No "Categorical Exclusion" shortcuts! Either drop this idea or give it the full and public environmental analysis required by law!

Click here for Swan View Coalition's comments and those of a grizzly bear expert.

Click here to see the proposal on the Forest Service web site.

THANK YOU for taking a few minutes to keep the backcountry a secure place for fish and wildlife!

Press coverage:

3/11/21 Missoulian

3/14/21 Kalispell Daily Inter Lake

3/17/21 Hungry Horse News

3/19/21 NBC Montana TV

This article published on March 24, 2021 • [Permalink]


Winter-Spring Newsletter: We Need Your Help Protecting Krause Basin!

Our Winter-Spring 2021 newsletter gives the history of the wildlife-rich Krause Basin, including past threats and current threats, along with our plan to restore calm, reverence and respect for people and wildlife - in the face of Forest Service plans to instead develop it into a Focused Recreation Area.

Below is our newsletter's table of contents. Click here to view or download our newsletter 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 today?

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

This article published on March 17, 2021 • [Permalink]


You Can Object to Huge Clearcuts Near Swan Lake Today!

You can send a two-minute email today objecting to half-square-mile clearcuts proposed above Swan Lake!

It may be too late to object to the above "landscape restoration" clearcuts on Sixmile Mountain, but you have until Feb 9 to object to huge clearcuts being planned to "reduce fire danger" on the other side of Swan Lake!

Please send a quick email today to Swan Lake District Ranger Chris Dowling (chris.dowling@usda.gov) and Regional Forester Leanne Marten (leanne.marten@usda.gov). Put "Bug Creek - Exceed Max Opening" in the subject line.

Tell them you object to the oversized clearcuts being planned under the Bug Creek Project on Crane Mountain because:

1. They violate the Flathead Forest Plan standard limiting the maximum size to 40 acres.

2. They will be ugly.

3. They will leave wildlife without hiding cover or shade, leaving them more vulnerable to poaching and heat stress, and will leave birds with no trees to nest in.

4. They will greatly increase the spread of wildfire because they dry out the forest floor, produce more ignitable fuels like grass, brush and dense stands of little trees, and are conducive to higher wind speeds that fan the flames.

5. They don't decrease the spread of wildfire by keeping forest openings limited to the 15 meters recommended by science.

Click here for our email summarizing and attaching the most recent fire science.

Click here for our comment letter detailing other problems with excessive clearcut sizes.

Click here for the Forest Service's invitation for you to comment on its excessively sized clearcuts on Crane Mountain.

THANK YOU for taking a few moments to fight massive clearcutting on the Flathead National Forest!

This article published on February 02, 2021 • [Permalink]


Holidays 2020 Newsletter: Looking Forward to 2021!

Our Holidays 2020 newsletter remembers Jack Tuholske, reports on new research on the impacts of mountain bikes and roads, details how the Flathead NF is ramping up its road building and logging, presents a poem and warm thoughts from our members, and thanks you for your kind words and financial support in 2020!

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 today?

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

This article published on November 30, 2020 • [Permalink]


Protect Grizzlies as they Emerge from their Winter Dens!

Your quick email is needed by November 6!

The Flathead National Forest is proposing to issue ten Special Use Permits for commercial winter guiding. Most of them would continue after April 1 when grizzly bears and their young are emerging from their winter dens (if not earlier) and looking for something to eat!

The permits are for everything from snowmobiles and snowbikes (motorcycles converted to snowmobiles) to skiing and snowshoeing, all of which can disturb grizzly bears and other wildlife during the crucial Spring months following a winter of little or no food! (MDFWP photo at right).

Please send a quick email today to comments-northern-flathead@usda.gov and let the Forest Service know you want all commercial winter recreation permits confined to the the grizzly bear denning period Dec 1 - March 31 and not allowed after April 1 den-emergence!

Click here for the Flathead's list of permits being considered and maps of the proposals. You'll find permit proposals for commercial guiding on Tally Lake Ranger District (including the Round Meadows Winter Trails), the Blacktail Mountain area, the north end of the Swan Range, the south end of the Whitefish Range, and near the Great Bear Wilderness in the Middle Fork Flathead.

We are particularly opposed to a permit that would allow commercial skiing and snowshoeing trips on the old Paola Creek Road that was decommissioned in 1997 so it would no longer facilitate human intrusions into key grizzly habitats adjacent to the Great Bear Wilderness. Worse yet, the trips would be allowed through all of April even though grizzly bears are out of their dens and, like wolverine, looking for winter-killed carrion in the streamside and avalanche chute habitats that were to be protected by decommissioning the Paola Creek Road! Click here for our letter about these permits.

Please take a few moments to email the Flathead and let them know you want grizzly bears and all other wildlife protected from commercial recreation during the critical Spring months! Our short letter and the Flathead's list of Special Use Permits may provide you with more ideas about areas special to you that you want protected.

THANK YOU for taking a few moments to speak up for wildlife and mindful recreation! 

This article published on October 21, 2020 • [Permalink]


Your Emails Needed to Stop Massive

This is not a joke! This graphic is from the Flathead National Forest’s proposed 272-square-mile Mid-Swan Landscape "Restoration" Project, which would intentionally fragment the forest further by building more roads and removing 60,000 log trucks full of trees over the next 15 years!

UPDATE 10/14/20 - With the DEIS comment period now closed, here are links to some major comments opposing the Mid-Swan Project:

Click here for comments by Swan View Coalition and 11 others.

Click here for comments by Friends of the Wild Swan.

Click here for comments by Wilderness Watch.

Click here for comments by six retired Forest Service Wilderness Specialists.

Click here for comments by WildEarth Guardians and Center for Biological Diversity.

THANK YOU to all of you that sent in comments on this egregious project!

Click here for a press release issued by Wilderness Watch, Swan View Coalition and Friends of the Wild Swan.

______________________________________

Your emails objecting to this “restoration” scam are needed by October 13! Below are suggested comments for your email to comments-northern-flathead-swan-lake@usda.gov. Include “Mid-Swan Project” in the subject line:

1. Further fragmenting forest habitat in the already highly fragmented Swan Valley is not “landscape restoration” and doing so in threatened lynx habitat violates the revised Flathead Forest Plan, as admitted in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

2. The Project would build over 40 miles of new roads even though the area is already highly fragmented with 567 miles of Forest Service logging roads and another 578 miles of state and private roads. Storing or decommissioning a handful of those roads still leaves the majority of those road templates on the landscape to harm grizzly bear, bull trout, other fish and wildlife.

3. Restoring this landscape to historic conditions would remove all of the logging roads, but the DEIS does not analyze such an alternative at all, not even as a point of comparison.

4. Nor does the DEIS look at reducing the road network to levels where research shows they no longer significantly harm threatened grizzly bears, as was required under former Forest Plan Amendment 19. Those thresholds still apply to effects analyses like the DEIS!

5. The “no new road” alternative in the DEIS still builds new roads and retains all but 40 miles of the existing road network. It does not provide the adequate range of alternatives required by the National Environmental Policy (NEPA).

6. The DEIS does not disclose the specific locations of the timber sales that will cut down trees to fill 60,000 log trucks over the next 15 years. Once those specifics become known, the public will have no NEPA process to review the estimated impacts of those timber sales. The courts have already ruled this violates NEPA!

7. The Project is an arrogant attempt to dominate the natural landscape with taxpayer subsidized make-work projects. The DEIS claims that 85% of the area needs logging or other forms of human manipulation, including 36,000 acres of designated and recommended Wilderness where natural processes are by law supposed to unfold on their own and without mechanical intrusions.

8. To restore this landscape, remove the logging roads, not the trees!

If you’d like to read this “restoration” scam yourself, click here for the 500+ page DEIS and other documents.

Click here for our 6-page photo comparison of two Swan Valley fires demonstrating that logging and road building do not prevent the spread of wildfires!

Click here for more detailed "talking points" with citations to Mid-Swan DEIS page numbers.

Thank you for taking a few moments to let the Forest Service know you care about keeping native forest ecosystems intact!

This article published on September 29, 2020 • [Permalink]


Summer-Fall Newsletter: Keeping Our Eye on the Ball!

Our Summer-Fall 2020 newsletter reports on how we are not distracted by COVID-19 and the run-up to the November elections, how the "Good Neighbor Authority" is just another "Good Ol' Boy" privatization of public resources, bids farewell to Jim Posewitz, announces our October 11 membership meeting, and reminds you that your prompt donations will be matched/doubled by Cinnabar Foundation!

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 August 21, 2020 • [Permalink]


UPDATE: Help Protect Trails and Forests from USFS and DNRC
Recent DNRC logging in Krause Basin.

UPDATE: Both USFS and DNRC want to "salvage" log blown-down and still-standing trees along Swan Range trails.

The Forest Service is still pursuing its March Madness Salvage logging along the Hall Lake and Bond Creek trails!

Now MT DNRC is proposing its Jewel Basin Salvage logging in Sections 2 and 11, which include the Echo-Broken Leg and Crater Notch trails!

Click here for our letter and photos of recent logging showing why this salvage logging is unacceptable!

Email the Forest Service and DNRC today and let them know their logging "cure" is worse than the alleged problem - and that you especially don't want to see it along these trails!

Email the Forest Service at comments-northern-flathead-swan-lake@usda.gov by August 17.

Email DNRC at pseigmund@mt.gov by August 21.

Thank you for taking a moment to speak up for the forests themselves and for your ability to enjoy them!

CLICK HERE for a great Bigfork Eagle article about our efforts to protect these trails from salvage logging!

See below for more background on why these trees should be left in place:

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 comments-northern-flathead-swan-lake@usda.gov.

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 August 10, 2020 • [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."