MTPR

Keith Hammer

The 2019 Whitefish Trail Legacy Run, scheduled for Sept. 22, has roughly 14 of its route's 31 miles set in Flathead National Forest.
Flathead National Forest / U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service approved a special use permit Tuesday for one of two controversial trail running races scheduled in the Flathead Valley later this year. Critics are disappointed, but not surprised. 

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.

A snow bike sits on a cornice near the crest of Spring Slide Mountain in the Swan Range where bikers triggered an avalanche Jan. 5, 2019.
flatheadavalanche.org

The Flathead National Forest is investigating an avalanche involving motorized snow bikes that happened on Jan. 5. The bikers may have been in an area closed to over-snow vehicles.

Keith Hammer is the chair of the Swan View Coalition in the Flathead Valley. Hammer heard about the avalanche on Spring Slide Mountain and recognized the area.

Mid-Swan Project area and vicinity map.
USDA Forest Service

The Flathead National Forest is pitching a new project in northwestern Montana’s Swan Valley that it says would benefit forests, streams and human communities.

And it’s a big project, says Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber.

A record number of grizzly bears are being killed by cars as they roam the roads in and around Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana. At the same time, they're causing an unprecedented amount of damage to crops and livestock.

Nicky Ouellet

Representative Greg Gianforte toured areas affected by the Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park Wednesday morning.

Hungry Lion planning area and general vicinity.
U.S. Forest Service

The Flathead National Forest said Thursday it will move ahead with a commercial logging and hazardous fuels reduction project just north of Hungry Horse Reservoir.

Grizzly bear recovery zones, distributions, and distinct population segments.
Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee

The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission will consider a rule Thursday for maintaining a healthy number of grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, in anticipation of the animal being taken off protections under the endangered species list.

Stacy Courville checks his arm for splatter from the "bait bucket."
Nick Mott

Corrected 08/02/18, 6 p.m.

Grizzly bears in northern Montana are being killed this year at a rate far outpacing what’s typically seen.

On average, 25 grizzlies are removed from the population each year in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. So far this year that number is already at 27.

Grizzly Bear Committee Delays Vote On NCDE Conservation Strategy
IGBC

Wildlife managers are laying the groundwork to remove federal Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears in and around the Continental Divide in northwest Montana later this year.

On Tuesday, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s executive committee was expected to vote on a so-called Conservation Strategy. But the vote was delayed to give members more time to consider public comments.

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