Flathead Rivers Alliance is hosting the Flathead Wild & Scenic River CRMP 101: How does management of Wild & Scenic Rivers work? free live webinar on Wednesday, March 30th, 2022, from 7:00-8:00 pm MST. In anticipation of the public participation portion on the Three Forks of the Flathead CRMP draft, this live webinar provides an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of river management plans from regional and local experts. An opportunity for the public to participate in CRMPs only happens every 15 to 20 years. Registration is required for this FREE webinar. If you don’t plan on attending virtually, you can register to receive a video recording and submit your questions via email ahead of time. Learn more: www.flatheadrivers.org/events
Also, the Flathead Rivers Alliance is ramping up for the 2022 river season and recruiting 20-30 volunteer team members! Are you passionate about the river system that inspired a national protected Wild and Scenic River system? They are expanding their River Ambassador program and officially launching a River Recreation Monitoring Survey program.
April 12th, 2022 6:00-8:00 pm River Ambassador Training
April 14th, 2022 6:00-8:00 pm River Recreation Monitoring Training
There are a number of ways to give your time including helping with their volunteer programs on the North, Middle and South Forks of the Flathead River. Save the above dates and RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in one or both of their volunteer program trainings or other opportunities.
Kalispell, MT, November 4, 2021– The Flathead National Forest, in coordination with Glacier National Park, is excited to announce that after a year-long delay, planning efforts will begin once again on the Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP) for the Three Forks of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River. The project will continue to be coordinated by HydroSolutions Inc, a Helena, Montana natural resource consulting firm.
In the fall/winter of 2020 the project team was working on an initial draft of the CRMP. This plan along with an environmental assessment was anticipated to be released for public comment in January of 2020, with a final decision in the summer of 2020. The CRMP project was delayed due to lack of funding for completing the contract as well as staffing and capacity issues. In January 2021, the Forest Service secured additional funding to extend the contract with HydroSolutions through August 2022.
The purpose of the project is to fulfill the requirements of Section 3(d)(1) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that states that “the Federal agencies charged with the administration of each component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System shall prepare a comprehensive management plan…to provide for the protection of river values and Section 3(d) (2) that requires that river management plans for Wild and Scenic Rivers designated prior to 1986 be reviewed for conformity with the Act. Prior to developing the proposed action, six public engagement sessions were held to discuss water quality, wildlife, cultural and ethnography features, fisheries, geology and botany, and recreation and scenery. The Proposed Action was then drafted and released in late summer 2019, which included a 45-day public scoping period that generated 126 written comments and included two public meetings attended by approximately 180 people.
The purpose and need for the Flathead River CRMP Project, as stated in the proposed action is:
To protect and enhance the outstandingly remarkable values identified in the original designation.
To update the existing river management plan as required to maintain compliance with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and to reflect changes that have occurred since designation (1976) in forest and park management, special status species, and other laws that affect resources within the Wild and Scenic River corridor.
This plan will be implemented through three primary mechanisms including intergovernmental coordination, individual agency action, and partnerships with non-governmental organizations and the public. This plan provides management direction and information on the desired river conditions as well as monitoring indicators, triggers, and thresholds for the Flathead Wild and Scenic River into the future. Future projects and site-specific activities must be consistent with the regulatory guidance provided in the CRMP as well as the Flathead Forest Plan.
Because some time has passed since the release of the proposed action, we encourage interested public to review the proposed action document and project background materials. The Proposed Action document highlights the elements of the CRMP that address the current status of the outstanding remarkable values along these river segments, outlines goals and desired conditions, describes the user capacity determination process, and proposes a monitoring strategy, indicators, and management direction to carry forward. The proposed action can be accessed at the Flathead Comprehensive River Management Plan project website and the CRMP Project Background link on the Flathead NF CRMP Website includes all the materials from the 2018 Pre-scoping public engagement meetings and detailed project background.
The new project timeline anticipates that a Draft CRMP and environmental assessment will be released in the spring of 2022 for public review and comment. The project team plans to hold a public engagement session to provide more information and facilitate public input on the Draft Plan. The final decision and CRMP is expected to be released late summer 2022.
The Forest appreciates the public’s continued engagement and interest in the Flathead CRMP Project and look forward to receiving more input as we move forward. The Three Forks of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River is a nationally and locally important resource. The Forest/Team is committed to developing a CRMP that will meet the requirements of the Wild and Scenic River Act and continue to protect and enhance the rivers free flowing conditions, water quality, and the outstandingly remarkable values for current and future generations.
The next in a series of meetings on the Flathead River Comprehensive Management Plan is on Wednesday, May 16 at the Heaven’s Peak Room of Cedar Creek Lodge in Columbia Falls from 6 to 8 p.m. . . .
On the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Flathead National Forest, in coordination with Glacier National Park, is seeking public input as it develops a comprehensive management plan for the three forks of the Flathead River.
A series of six public meetings are scheduled over the next six months. The first meeting, on May 16 [actually, the first meeting was in March], will focus on water-quality conditions, management and concerns on the Middle, South and North forks of the Flathead River. It will be held at the Heaven’s Peak Room of Cedar Creek Lodge in Columbia Falls from 6 to 8 p.m.
The meeting will include presentations on current water-quality information, as well as “facilitated discussion on how water quality should be addressed” in the comprehensive river management plan (CRMP), according to the U.S. Forest Service. A brief introductory presentation to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act will begin at 5:45 p.m.
The next in a series of meetings on developing a comprehensive river management plan for the three forks of the Flathead River is scheduled for May16. It will be held from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, at the at the Heaven’s Peak room in the Cedar Creek Lodge, Columbia Falls.
Flathead Wild and Scenic River: Comprehensive River Management Plan Meeting to Discuss Water Quality
Kalispell, MT. May 3, 2018- The Flathead National Forest, in coordination and partnership with Glacier National Park, is in the process of preparing a comprehensive river management plan (CRMP) for the 3-forks of the Flathead River.
A series of resource-focused public meetings will be held over the next six months, beginning on May 16th. This meeting will focus on water quality conditions, management, and concerns as part of the efforts to develop the CRMP. The meeting will be held at the Heaven’s Peak room in the Cedar Creek Lodge, Columbia Falls, Montana. The meeting will be from 6 pm to 8 pm and include presentations on current water quality information and facilitated discussion on how water quality should be addressed in the CRMP. For those new to the comprehensive river management plan process, an introductory presentation on the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act will begin at 5:45 pm. Future meeting topics and a preliminary schedule will be posted on the Flathead National Forest website.
The CRMP will address the current status of the river and the surrounding resources, outline goals and desired conditions, determine user capacity and create a monitoring plan for the next 15 to 20 years. In order to reflect the diverse users of the river and surrounding lands, the public is encouraged to help craft the future management of this designated wild and scenic river to ensure the river and its outstanding resources are maintained and protected.
Now that the Forest Plan is in its final stages, the Forest Service and allied agencies are rolling up its sleeves and getting to work on a management plan for the three forks of the Flathead River. Here’s a good overview by the Hungry Horse News. See also the official Comprehensive River Management Plan announcement . . .
Columbia Falls will host the first of several meetings on a new comprehensive river management plan for the three forks of the Flathead River.
The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. March 6 at the Cedar Creek Lodge Conference Room.
The Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park are embarking on a joint plan to track river use on the three forks of the Flathead, with the eventual goal of crafting management plans for the Wild and Scenic rivers.
River recreationists are invited to an open house to learn more about the 3 Forks of the Flathead River, which include the North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Forks. The open house is schedule June 8th from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on June 8th, 2015 at the Flathead National Forest Supervisor’s Office at 650 Wolfpack Way in Kalispell, Montana.
During the open house, river managers will be available to visit and answer questions about river recreation activities, river use and management, and rules and regulations.
For additional information about this open house, contact the Hungry Horse-Glacier View Ranger District in Hungry Horse at 406-387-3800 and the Spotted Bear Ranger District at Spotted Bear at 406-758-5376.
Your friendly web-slinger was away on an extended road trip, so we’re playing catch-up. Here’s the first clutch of articles about significant events over the past couple of weeks . . .
Elk River poisoned by coal mining– Dr. Ric Hauer of the Flathead Lake Biological Station of the University of Montana issued a March 2, 2013 study comparing water quality in the Elk and neighbouring Flathead River Basins. Commissioned by Glacier National Park, the study found nitrogen levels at 1,000 times the background rate, sulphate levels at 40-50 times the background rate and selenium levels at 7-10 times background rate (p.2). The researchers tested above and below mines and used the pristine water quality of the nearby Flathead River to determine background levels and ascertain what aquatic life would normally be present in the Elk River were it not so polluted. Continue reading . . .
FWP: Montana’s wolf population drops 4 percent– At least 625 wolves inhabited Montana at the end of 2012, a 4 percent population drop compared to a 15 percent increase the year before, according to state wildlife managers. The minimum wolf count is the number of wolves actually verified by FWP wolf specialists. The latest population estimate came while Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks comples the federally required annual wolf conservation and management report. The report is expected to be available online by April 12. Continue reading . . .
Agency to target fish in five creeks– Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will continue efforts to suppress rainbow trout and hybrid trout populations in the upper Flathead River system. Region One Supervisor Jim Satterfield signed a finding of no significant impact for the work Monday. That basically approves plans to continue removing hybrids and rainbows from the mouths and channels of Abbot, Sekokini, Rabe, Ivy and Third creeks in the main stem Flathead and North Flathead rivers. Continue reading . . .
A number of local emergency responders, including North Valley Rescue, were called out to help with a woman who took a tumble into the Flathead River yesterday . . .
A woman in her 30s was rescued after falling out of her kayak Friday afternoon on the Flathead River.
According to Brian Heino, search and rescue coordinator with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, she was able to get to shore but not up the bank. Heino said Glacier National Park employees had a boat available nearby and were able to pick her up.“I don’t know where they got [the boat],” Heino said. “They don’t normally have one.” The woman was cold but uninjured and OK.
The incident occurred between Blankenship Bridge and the Coram railroad trestle.