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Action Alert: Grizzly Bears Need Your Help Now!
Grizzly bears aren't even a blip on the chart compared to the people living, working and playing in their habitat!*

Please tell the State of Montana you want far more than 800 grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem so it can reconnect with Yellowstone and other isolated ecosystems!

Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is trying to write into law that it will maintain 800 grizzly bears in the NCDE/Glacier-Bob Marshall area, fewer than the 1,000 thought to exist today and far fewer than the 5,000 bears population viability experts say need to exist in an interconnected ecosystem in order to maintain genetic diversity!

This would be one of the final steps in removing Endangered Species Act protections from the bear (delisting)!

You can help by sending an email, writing a letter, or attending a meeting next week in Kalispell or Missoula! Comments are due by October 26.

Email FWPGRIZZLYBEARARM@mt.gov or write to Grizzly Bear ARM, MDFWP, PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701!

If you live nearby, please speak up at a meeting in Missoula on Sept. 26, 6:30pm, Holiday Inn Downtown, 200 S. Pattee St. or in Kalispell on Sept. 27, 6:30pm, FVCC Arts and Technology Bldg., 777 Grandview Drive!

Here are some suggested talking points:

1. A 90% probability of maintaining 800 bears in the NCDE core is an inadequate target. How many bears and how much habitat is needed for a single, connected population in the Yellowstone, NCDE, Cabinet-Yaak, Selkirks, and Selway-Bitterroot ecosystems?

2. The "lower 48" grizzly bears were listed under the ESA as "threatened" with extinction. Why are MDFWP and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trying to "divide and conquer" rather than "connect and recover" these ecosystems?

3. Grizzly bears are currently confined to about 2% of their former range and numbers. MDFWP should be ashamed to try and write into Montana law that this constitutes bear "recovery."

4. Grizzly bear hunting would kill bears needed for population expansion and ecosystem connectivity. If you want to write a law, make grizzly bear trophy hunting illegal in Montana forever.

For more background, see page 2 of our Summer-Fall newsletter.

For more talking points, see our recent letter to the editor.

For information on MDFWP's proposed law or to comment on-line, click here.

THANK YOU for taking a moment to speak up for grizzly bears!

*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 September 21, 2018 • [Permalink]


Summer-Fall Newsletter: Federal and State Agencies in Lockstep to Reduce Grizzly Bear Protections!

Our Summer-Fall newsletter reports on how federal and state agencies are in lockstep to delist the NCDE grizzly bear and reduce its habitat protections in Forest Plans!

But we provide two short action alerts where, in minutes, you can object to grizzly bear delisting and help get motor vehicles out of Krause Basin in the revised Flathead Forest Plan!

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

Join others in supporting our work now and Cinnabar Foundation will double your donation!

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

THANK YOU!

This article published on September 06, 2018 • [Permalink]


Last Chance to Get Motors Out of Krause Basin in Forest Plan!
Illegal mud-bogging in Krause Basin!

Please take 5 minutes today to urge the Flathead Forest Supervisor to select the Forest Plan option that removes motor vehicles from Krause Basin!

Send a quick email to cweber@fs.fed.us, urging him to incorporate the following option into his final Decision, as provided by the Regional Forester in her Response to Forest Plan Objections:

"Another option to resolve objectors’ concerns over unauthorized motor vehicle use and address their desire for the area to be non-motorized would be to remove the desired condition for existing trails to provide summer wheeled motorized trail experience and motorized winter recreation opportunities close to local communities. A suitability plan component could be added indicating the area is not suitable for motor vehicle use."

You don't need to have filed an Objection to send this email to Supervisor Chip Weber. Every message helps!

Please send a copy of your email to Swan Lake District Ranger Chris Dowling, cdowling@fs.fed.us, who walked parts of Krause Basin with us on August 10.

Click here to read our short letter to the Forest Supervisor and District Ranger in this regard.

Click here for more information on the Krause Basin issue.

Click here for the 121-page Response to Objections. The Krause Basin discussion is on page 19.

This is our last chance to get motors removed from Krause Basin in the revised Forest Plan!

THANK YOU for taking 5 minutes to help make it happen!

This article published on August 26, 2018 • [Permalink]


Your Comments Needed Today to Protect Wildlife Near Hungry Horse Reservoir!

Your comments are needed today to secure wildlife habitat on the east side of Hungry Horse Reservoir!

The Flathead National Forest has invited comments on its Betty Baptiste Project Environmental Assessment, which covers the Logan Dry Park grizzly bear management subunit.

Alternative 4 in the EA would at long last close enough of the old logging roads to provide the level of grizzly bear security required by the Forest Plan since 1995!

It is tied, however, to a timber sale that industry is not likely to even bid on because of poor economic conditions.

Please email the Flathead today and urge it to implement Alt. 4 with the following modifications:

a) Drop the logging/timber sale portions of Alt. 4 and independently fund the road closure work to benefit fish and wildlife. Even if the timber sale is purchased by industry, the EA shows it will build more roads to haul away habitat and further spread noxious weeds - while not raising enough money to pay for the ecosystem restoration work!

b) Fully decommission and revegetate, not just "store," the roads necessary to reduce Total Road Density and meet Forest Plan standards. You can't reduce road density by leaving those roads on the landscape!

Please take a few minutes and send your email today to comments-northern-flathead-hungry-horse-glacier-view@fs.fed.us! Put "Betty Baptiste Project" in the subject line. Comments are due no later than Monday, July 23!

Click here to read Swan View Coalition's comment letter.

Click here if you wish to look into more details on the Betty Baptiste Project.

GOOD NEWS: We've been awarded another $4,000 matching grant from Cinnabar Foundation, so DONATE NOW to support our work and have your donation doubled by Cinnabar!

THANK YOU for supporting our work with your emails, letters and donations!

This article published on July 18, 2018 • [Permalink]


Winter-Spring Newsletter: Forest Plan Objections Separate Wheat from Chaff!

Our Winter-Spring newsletter reports on how Objections to the Flathead Forest Plan show who's fighting for fish and wildlife and who's selling them out to make it appear consensus has been reached on forest management!

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

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and will join others in supporting our work!

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

THANK YOU!

This article published on March 15, 2018 • [Permalink]


Swan View Testifies at Grizzly Bear Habitat Workshop - You Can Help!

UPDATE: Swan View Coalition testified on behalf of 15 other groups and organizations at a July 7, 2016 Grizzly Bear Habitat Workshop in Missoula, MT. We submitted more comments in January 2018 when FWS asked for comments, this time on its Draft Supplement to include HBRC in the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan.

Click here for our 1/3/18 comments. 

Click here for our 1/23/18 comments.

Please email your support for grizzlies to Fish and Wildlife Service (Jennifer_fortin-noreus@fws.gov) by July 22, 2016.

All you need to say is that you want grizzly bear recovery based on the promised security of grizzly bear habitat and key bear foods - and that you want FWS to abandon its current plan to instead reduce grizzly bear security in the face of growing human populations and impacts.

Remember, while the grizzly bear population in the entire Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem was estimated to be 765 bears in 2004 and has hopefully increased by a couple hundred bears since then, the human population of Flathead County alone grew by 1,800 people in 2014 and is estimated to reach 100,000 by 2018

Click here to read Swan View's testimony or to help fine-tune your email to FWS.

Click here to watch NBC's coverage of the workshop.

Click here to read the Missoulian newspaper article about the workshop.

Click here to watch KPAX coverage of the workshop.

Click here (then scroll down) to view a list of links to the 26 documents attached to Swan View Coalition's testimony.


(Read Full Article)

This article published on January 23, 2018 • [Permalink]


Your Objection to the Flathead Forest Plan Due Feb 12!

If you commented, signed our petition or form letter in 2015 or 2016 on the draft Flathead Forest Plan in favor of more Wilderness and a non-motorized Krause Basin, you have until February 12 to express your disappointment with the final Forest Plan and ask for changes!

This alert will make it easy for you.

The final Plan would designate and promote Krause Basin as a Focused Recreation Area and mark the old system of ATV trails on-the-ground, in violation of past promises to instead ban motorized use of the old trail system.

While the final Plan recommends a bit more wilderness than the draft (0.4% more) it shrinks the size of the Jewel Basin proposed wilderness by 3,500 acres to allow mountain bikes. It also blasts a biking corridor smack through the middle of its meager Bunker Creek proposed addition to the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Thanks to folks like you, 98% of the 34,000 public comments the Flathead received asked for all roadless lands to be recommended for Wilderness and for the continued implementation of Forest Plan Amendment 19, which would remove 520 miles of road and close more trails to motorized use, including in Krause Basin, to provide better security for wildlife.

It is important you take a few minutes to file an Objection because it is obvious the Flathead is swayed by industrial-strength logging and industrial-strength "wreckreation." Only 30% of wilderness-suitable lands are recommended for Wilderness. Forest Plan standards to reduce logging roads and motorized trails in order to protect fish, wildlife and quiet recreation are abandoned!

Click here and/or scroll down for more information and step-by-step instructions on how to find your comments and file your Objection!


(Read Full Article)

This article published on January 14, 2018 • [Permalink]


HELP! Feds Dump Documents on Public Over Holidays!

The Flathead National Forest dumped 3,000 pages of documents on the public over the holidays and Fish and Wildlife Service piled more on - all intended to strip Endangered Species Act and other protections from Glacier- and Yellowstone-area grizzly bears!

So we are under federal deadlines in January and February to file formal objections to the revised Flathead Forest Plan (pictured at right), other Forest Plan amendments and FWS's delisting efforts.

Please DONATE NOW to support our work. We are working overtime and have contracted a wildlife consultant to help!

Click here for a Missoulian article about the "Document Dump" and various deadlines for public involvement.

We'll send out an alert in early January about how you can be involved.

Meanwhile, you can visit the Flathead Forest Planning web page to learn more about the planning documents and the Objection process.

Thank you for your support in 2017 and don't forget to have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This article published on December 27, 2017 • [Permalink]


Holiday Newsletter: Recognizing and Protecting Nature's Gifts!

Our Holidays Newsletter looks at recognizing and protecting nature's gifts, rather than simply imposing our will on the world!

Please check out our newsletter and DONATE NOW to support our work and help us raise $15,000 to meet our year-end budget!

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

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and will join others in supporting our work!

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

Happy Holidays, Happy Solstice, Happy New Year - and THANK YOU!

This article published on November 21, 2017 • [Permalink]


Groups Put Forest Service on Notice: Logging Roads Trashing Bull Trout Habitat, Will File Lawsuit
Nokio Creek culvert blowout - Flathead NF photo.

Swan View Coalition, Friends of the Wild Swan and WildEarth Guardians put the Flathead National Forest on notice they will file suit over logging road impacts to bull trout.

Below is the press release with links to the Notice of Intent to File Suit and Keith Hammer's "Roads to Ruin" report providing photos and background on the failure of the Flathead NF to adequately inspect and maintain its logging roads and culverts.

Click here for the resulting KAJ-TV coverage using photos like the one above.

Click here for the resulting Daily Inter Lake news article by Patrick Reilly.

Click here to read our rebuttal to the Flathead Forest Supervisor's claim that there are no "impaired" watersheds on his Forest due to proactive management.

Click here for the resulting Missoulian news article by Perry Backus.

---------------                                                                                   

Failures in Road Management Place Bull Trout at Risk

Conservation Groups Send Notice of Intent to File Suit to Flathead National Forest

November 16, 2017

 

Contacts:

Marla Fox, WildEarth Guardians, 651-434-7737, mfox@wildearthguardians.org

Keith Hammer, Swan View Coalition, 406-755-1379, keith@swanview.org

Arlene Montgomery, Friends of the Wild Swan, 406-886-2011, arlene@wildswan.org

 

Kalispell, MT – Yesterday three conservation groups warned the Forest Service of their intent to file suit under the Endangered Species Act in order to protect threatened bull trout and its critical habitat. The Forest Service’s inadequate management and monitoring of logging roads on the Flathead National Forest in northwest Montana threatens to degrade bull trout streams by increasing the risk of culvert failure, leading to road washouts that smother streams in road sediment, destroy fish eggs and prevent young fish from growing.

The notice letter outlines the Forest Service’s failure to comply with numerous biological opinions written by the Fish and Wildlife Service during the past fifteen years. These biological opinions directed the Forest Service to remove stream-aligned culverts from closed logging roads—or, alternatively, to monitor them annually to insure they do not plug. Plugged culverts are prone to fail over time due to accumulation of dirt and debris in the small openings. A plugged culvert is likely to blow out during a rain or snowmelt event, depositing sediment into bull trout streams.

Though the Forest Service has largely failed to follow either of the Fish and Wildlife Service directives, records show it is aware that far more culverts are failing or are at high risk of failing than initially thought, and that failing roads and culverts put the bull trout and its habitat in peril.

In addition to its history of inadequate road management, the Forest Service proposed to relax culvert monitoring from annual monitoring to monitoring once every six years. Best science and a history of culvert failures on the Flathead and other national forests do not support such a move: culverts can plug and blow out in a single season if not inspected and cleaned.

Swan View Coalition Chair Keith Hammer has spent the last couple of years requesting the Flathead’s annual culvert monitoring reports. “The Flathead has failed pretty much across the board to conduct annual culvert monitoring,” he said. “The monitoring it has done shows that up to two-thirds of the culverts inspected are at high risk of failure. Rather than dedicate the funding and staff to do the inspections and either fix or remove the culverts, the Flathead is looking to eliminate the requirement for annual inspections.”

“Our native fish require cold, clean water to spawn and rear,” said Arlene Montgomery of Friends of the Wild Swan. “Unmaintained culverts are like ticking time bombs in our streams; when they plug up and blow out they dump tons of sediment into spawning gravels, impacting reproduction and growth of fish. By ignoring the required monitoring the Flathead is endangering our water quality and fish habitat.”

“We hope the Fish and Wildlife Service rejects the Forest Service’s attempt to move the goal posts by abandoning annual culvert inspections,” said Marla Fox of WildEarth Guardians. “Rewarding poor performance with lower expectations would set a horrible precedent for other forests to bypass legally required protections that the Service determined necessary for bull trout survival and recovery.”

Background:

The notice letter cites to agency documents showing that agency assumptions that only 10-15% of culverts were at high risk of failing were replaced with findings of 35-40% and as high as 67% of culverts at high risk of failing. Notice, page 14.

The letter also cites to documents acknowledging 22 culverts had failed on the roads that had been inspected and that more failures were expected. Notice at 12-13.

This article published on November 17, 2017 • [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."