MTPR

Friends of the Wild Swan

Causes of known and probable documented mortalities of grizzly bear in the NCDE.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks


On Tuesday, grizzly bear managers announced that a representative from Montana’s Department of Transportation will be joining their committee in hopes of reducing a growing number of bear deaths on highways.

The Flathead Forest’s new forest plan was signed in December.
Flathead National Forest

Two conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit this week, challenging the 2018 Flathead Forest Plan.

WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project say the 10 to 15 year management plan for the 2.4 million acre forest decreases habitat protections for wildlife, including grizzly bears, Canada lynx and bull trout.
 

Grizzly bear.
(PD)

Two Montana-based environmental groups Monday announced they’re preparing to sue the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the recently enacted Flathead National Forest Plan.

Swan View Coalition and Friends of the Wild Swan say the new management plan violates the Endangered Species Act by increasing road building in sensitive habitat for grizzly bears and bull trout. They plan to file their lawsuit if the agencies don’t act within the next 60 days.

Courtesy Flathead National Forest

Revisions to the plan that dictates land, recreation and wildlife management on the 2.4 million acre Flathead National Forest have now gone into effect. Interest groups are split on what the plan means for the forest’s future.

The 2018 Flathead National Forest Plan was signed on December 27 during the partial federal government shutdown. It went into effect last Saturday following a mandatory 30-day waiting period.

Despite the government shutdown, U.S. Forest Service supervisors last week signed a new management plan for the Flathead National Forest, along with amendments that standardize grizzly bear management for the Lolo, Kootenai and Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forests.

The Flathead National Forest released the final draft of its new forest plan Dec. 14, 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

The Flathead National Forest is now reviewing all the objections to the final draft of its new forest management plan.

The Flathead National Forest released that draft plan back in mid-December. It’s essentially the blueprint that will guide land use decisions on the forest for at least the next decade. Groups who were involved in writing the plan had two months to file objections. The Flathead’s Forest Plan Revision Team Leader, Joe Krueger, says that objection period closed Monday.

USFWS Says Canada Lynx Are Ready To Be Delisted

Jan 11, 2018
Canada lynx.
(PD)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Canada lynx may have recovered to the point where it could be delisted as a threatened species.

The elusive cat was listed as threatened nearly 20 years ago. But since then, Jennifer Strickland with the Fish and Wildlife Service says the federal government has done a good job of protecting and expanding lynx-friendly habitat.

The Flathead National Forest released the final draft of its new forest plan Dec. 14, 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

The Flathead National Forest released the final draft of its new forest plan Thursday morning after four years of fine-tuning and analysis. The plan will guide land use decision making for the next 10 to 15 years.

Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber says writing a guiding document like this is a balancing act between thousands of stakeholders.

Beaver Creek Project Selected Alternative-North
Flathead National Forest

Environmental conservation groups are suing to block a plan to log, thin, and prescription-burn about 2,900 acres in the Flathead National Forest. The groups say it violates federal laws.

The Beaver Creek Project borders Lindbergh Lake and the Mission Mountain Wilderness. Rich Kehr, the Flathead Forest’s Swan Lake District Ranger, says the biggest driver in the project is wildfire concerns.

A map of lands in the Swan Forest Initiative
Lake County Conservation District

Backers of a proposal to transfer management of 60,000 acres of Flathead National Forest land to the state are making another plea for support after getting mostly negative feedback last month.

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