Tag Archives: Spotted Bear Ranger District

Scott Snelson to be new Spotted Bear District Ranger

Scott Snelson - USFS photo
Scott Snelson – USFS photo

This is significant. The Forest Service has chosen the replacement for long-time Spotted Bear District Ranger Deb Mucklow. Among other duties, this ranger oversees more than one million acres within the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

From the press release . . .

With the retirement of long-time District Ranger Deb Mucklow earlier this year, the Flathead National Forest is pleased to announce the selection and appointment of Scott Snelson as the new Spotted Bear District Ranger. Snelson will start his tenure on December 10, 2017.

“Snelson brings a wealth of leadership, knowledge and skills to the Forest,” stated Forest Supervisor, Chip Weber. “His background is a wonderful fit for this diverse and complex district.”

Snelson serves as the Deputy Forest Supervisor, for the 3.4 million -acre Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in Dillon, Montana.

Before moving to Dillon, Snelson was the District Ranger for the Laurentian District of the Superior National Forest in the Arrowhead Region of Northern Minnesota. As District Ranger on the Superior he oversaw the 400,000 -acre District, which was actively engaged in large scale vegetation management and restoration programs. Scott is an avid believer in collaboration, and helped catalyze the formation of the Laurentian Divide Collaborative to help guide management on the three west zone districts of the Forest.

Snelson moved to the Superior NF from the White River NF of Colorado where he served as District Ranger for the Aspen and Sopris Districts. There he oversaw a complex mix of wilderness, restoration, vegetation management, mining, gas and oil permitting and several high profile ski hill operations for one of the Nation’s most visited Districts.

He also served as the Forest Staff Officer for Fish, Wildlife, Watershed and Soils and Subsistence on the Tongass National Forest. In this capacity, he oversaw programs for the Nation’s largest National Forest, guiding resource protection and restoration for the 17 million acre temperate rainforest.

Snelson spent 16 years in Montana where he earned both his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from Montana State University in Biological Sciences. Early in his career he worked as a US Forest Service trail crew foreman in the Bob Marshal Wilderness, out of Spotted Bear and Big Prairie, and as a fire fighter.

Snelson’s wife Heidi is a Montana native, having grown up the daughter of a District Ranger in Northwest Montana. Heidi is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast and served special needs children as a para-professional with the Sitka School District as well as working as a botany technician for the Forest Service in Colorado. The couple has two adult daughters, the oldest is a Forestry graduate from the University of Montana in Missoula, and the youngest currently works in Virginia City for the Montana Heritage Commission.

“Thankfully, we’ve had some great leaders step up and fill in as the acting Spotted Bear District Ranger,” said Weber. “Seth Carbonari, the Spotted Bear Fire Management Officer just finished a four month detail and Gordon Ash, from the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest will be filling in for the next few months until Scott arrives.”

Spotted Bear District closes wilderness section due to fire danger

Bear Creek Fire
Bear Creek Fire

The Spotted Bear Ranger District closed its portion of the Bob Marshall Wilderness due to the fire danger . . .

As fires bloom, the options to recreate in the Bob Marshall Wilderness are rapidly diminishing. The Spotted Bear Ranger District will shut down the entire wilderness portion of the district because of fires and fire danger beginning Friday morning, fire information officer Al Koss said. That includes lands in both the Bob Marshall and the Great Bear Wilderness.

The non-wilderness portion remains open, though the Spotted Bear Campground is closed. Koss said wilderness rangers are giving who are already in the backcountry a few days to get out of the area.

The decision came as multiple fires burn in the district. One new fire, detected yesterday, is near Lena Lake in the wilderness. That fire is now 40 acres in size. That forced the closure of the Holland Lake trailhead. The Meadow Creek Trailhead is also closed due to the fires.

Read more . . .

Spotted Bear area fires get big in a hurry

Bear Creek Fire
Bear Creek Fire

The Spotted Bear Ranger District has their hands full. Last Thursday afternoon, the Bear Creek Fire blew up from 465 acres to 17, 755 acres over a few hours. The Trail Fire better than doubled in size from 3,500 to 8,463 acres.

Further reading . . .

Fire near Spotted Bear roars from 465 to 17,755 acres (Daily Inter Lake)

InciWeb page for both fires

Bear Creek Fire Map, 22 Aug, 2015
Bear Creek Fire Map, 22 Aug, 2015

2500-acre Trail Creek Fire among 19 in Spotted Bear District

The folks in the Spotted Bear District have their hands full this fire season . . .

The Spotted Bear Ranger District remains the hot spot for fires on the Flathead National Forest, with eight new fires started by Friday’s lightning storms.

Spotted Bear has 19 fires while the rest of Flathead National Forest has four…

The largest fire is the Trail Creek Fire. By Saturday, it had burned 2,500 acres north of the Spotted Bear River…

Read more . . .