A coalition of conservation groups intends to sue the Flathead Forest over their management of logging roads . . .
In what may be the first shot fired over the bow of the soon-to-be-released new Flathead National Forest land use plan, three conservation groups filed intent to sue over management of the logging roads on the 2.4-million acre forest.
The groups claim the forest hasn’t met its obligations under the Endangered Species Act to protect threatened bull trout due to inadequate management and monitoring of logging roads, in particular the thousands of culverts that can fail and deposit sediment into trout streams.
Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber said that while he can’t comment on the pending lawsuit, he will say the water quality on the Flathead Forest is the most pristine of any place he’s worked before, including Alaska.
Even something as commonplace as roads is a hot topic in the new forest plan . . .
The Flathead National Forest will likely change the way it manages its roads when a new Forest Plan is adopted and at least one environmental group isn’t happy with the change.
Three of the four alternatives listed in a recently released draft forest plan will not utilize provisions in Amendment 19, the controversial standard that has resulted in the closure of more than 700 miles of roads across the forest in the past couple of decades.
Under Amendment 19, biologists divided the Forest habitat into grizzly bear subunits and in each subunit, the Forest was to strive for a formula that allowed for 19 percent open roads, 19 percent total roads, and 68 percent core grizzly habitat with no roads.