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Big Creek Restoration: The Rest of the Story

The Winter-Spring 2012 issue of Swan View's News describes the interplay of science, litigation, politics, and collaboration in the restoration of the Big Creek watershed on the Flathead National Forest.

You'll want to read this issue cover-to-cover if you'd like to know why citizen advocacy and litigation are so often necessary to give voice to the needs of fish, wildlife and people!

Winter-Spring 2012 Swan View's News (pdf).

This article published on May 30, 2012 • [Permalink]

Big Creek Restored by Removing Logging Roads
Forest Service photo of road and culvert removal in Big Creek.

"The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Flathead National Forest announced the news Thursday that Big Creek had been removed from the state's list of impaired waters. . .

Practices for reducing sediment . . . included decommissioning 60.6 miles of forest logging roads, removing 47 culverts and replacing 19, improving 89 miles of roads to decrease stormwater runoff; revegetating 25 acres of eroding uplands, and working with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to improve the amount of large wood in headwater streams that feed Big Creek. . .

Road building and timber harvesting led to accelerated soil erosion and substantial increases in the amount of sediments delivered to Big Creek."

Read the full Daily Inter Lake article here.

This article published on May 11, 2012 • [Permalink]

Large Scale Forest Bioenergy Neither Sustainable nor Greenhouse Gas Neutral

"Owing to the peculiarities of forest net primary production humans would appropriate ca. 60% of the global increment of woody biomass if forest biomass were to produce 20% of current global primary energy supply.

We argue that such an increase in biomass harvest would result in younger forests, lower biomass pools, depleted soil nutrient stocks and a loss of other ecosystem functions.

The proposed strategy is likely to miss its main objective, i.e. to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, because it would result in a reduction of biomass pools that may take decades to centuries to be paid back by fossil fuel substitution, if paid back at all.

Eventually, depleted soil fertility will make the production unsustainable and require fertilization, which in turn increases GHG emissions due to N2O emissions.

Hence, large-scale production of bioenergy from forest biomass is neither sustainable nor GHG neutral."

Read or download the full Bioenergy paper here.

Read the Oregon State University article about this paper here.

This article published on April 19, 2012 • [Permalink]

Research: The Beauty of a Burned Forest

Dr. Richard Hutto summarizes his research into the ecological effects of severe wildfire as follows:

"The very fires often regarded as 'unnatural' and 'destructive' are the very fires that provide the best conditions for the most fire-dependent plant and animal species.

Land managers can't create the magic through severe cutting, fire is critical. . . many people believe that the conditions present after a clearcut or following one of the newer green-tree retention or forest restoration cuts are basically the same as those present after a severe fire. They are wrong."

(Read Full Article)

This article published on April 18, 2012 • [Permalink]

Help Save Big Larch Trees Today!

Flathead National Forest wants to cut down 270 of its genetically best, big larch trees simply to collect their cones for seed one time, rather than pick the cones or drop select branches to the ground!

Please write a short email or letter today and urge the Flathead to use time-proven, non-lethal methods to collect larch cones and seed for its nurseries!

See here and at right how the Ochoco National Forest uses a lift truck to pick larch cones and lets the trees live to see another day and another generation!

The Flathead has no shortage of big larch trees along roads at various elevations and microclimates to suit its genetic selection process - and there remain plenty of non-lethal options where a lift truck cannot be used!

Tell the Flathead to let 270 of America's best 2-foot diameter larch trees live on to spread their seed for future generations in the wild - and for nursery seed collection in the future!

Email Marsha Moore at, phone her at 406-758-5325, or mail her at Flathead National Forest, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell, MT 59901.

Comments must be submitted by April 16, 2012.

Read Swan View Coalition's comment letter here.

Read Flathead National Forest's press release here.

Learn more about the collection of tree seed than you ever wanted to know here. The meat is on pages 32-34 (PDF pages 39-41)!

This article published on March 26, 2012 • [Permalink]

Moments of Peace and Quiet

Welcome the New Year by enjoying video Moments of Peace and Quiet on Swan View's YouTube Channel! Revisit these short Swan Range videos whenever you need a break from the daily grind, but can't get outdoors!

This article published on December 28, 2011 • [Permalink]

Swan Rangers in Service!

You can help the Swan Rangers maintain trails in the Swan Range.

We have a volunteer agreement with the Forest Service to remove brush and deadfall, improve trail tread, and help control erosion on Swan Range trails in the Swan Lake and Hungry Horse Ranger Districts.

See example 'before and after' Strawberry Lake Trail photos, below. Click here to see more photos of our trail work!


We use hand tools and no power tools.

If you are reasonably physically fit and would like to help, email Keith Hammer at!

This article published on September 26, 2011 • [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."