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Flathead National Forest River Protections Open for Comment (MT)

Posted: 05/08/2015
By: Kevin Colburn

The Flathead National Forest has released the list of streams they propose to protect as “eligible” for Wild and Scenic designation in their forthcoming revised Forest Plan.  Paddlers with opinions on the list are encouraged to send the Forest an email or letter before the May 15, 2015 comment deadline. 

A 2004 eligibility assessment found only 10 rivers eligible.  American Whitewater and our partners in Montanans for Healthy Rivers submitted a list of 49 river reaches for consideration last year.  As a result, the proposed Forest Service list has grown to 22 rivers.  This is great news for those rivers, and we think additional streams are worthy. 

To be eligible a stream reach must not have any dams and have at least one rare, unique, or exemplary value that is nationally or regionally significant.  The values can be related to recreation, scenery, fisheries, wildlife, geology, history, or other similar categories.  The best comments will share specific values of specific streams, for both proposed and overlooked streams. 

Wild and Scenic eligibility is among the best ways to protect streams (of any size) on public lands.  Once found eligible the Forest Service will protect the values of the streams and prevent dams from being built.   

Check out the Forest Service inventory here, which contains a table of proposed eligible streams at the end, as well as our proposalSend your comments to: flatheadplanrevision@fs.fed.us, or mail them to Forest Plan Revision, Flathead National Forest, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell, MT 59901.

Below is a list of the streams that American Whitewater has recommended for eligibility.  The streams that the Forest Service has proposed for eligibility are bold.  Note that the 3 forks of the Flathead River are already designated.  Please support the Forest Service proposal and share values and request eligibility for additional streams. 

  1. Aeneas Creek (Source to Graves Creek)
  2. Basin Creek (Source to Middle Fork Flathead River)
  3. Big Creek (Source to North Fork Flathead River)
  4. Big Salmon Creek (Source to South Fork Flathead River)
  5. Bunker Creek (Headwaters to South Fork Flathead River)
  6. Clack Creek (Source to Middle Fork Flathead River)
  7. Coal Creek (Source to North Fork Flathead River)
  8. South Fork Coal Creek (North Fork Flathead River Tributary)
  9. Cyclone Creek (Cyclone Creek to Coal Creek)
  10. Danaher Creek (Limestone Creek to South Fork Flathead River)
  11. Dean Creek (Source to Spotted Bear River)
  12. Dolly Varden Creek (Source to Middle Fork Flathead River)
  13. Elk Creek (Source to Swan River)
  14. Gorge Creek (Source to South Fork Flathead River)
  15. Glacier Creek (Glacier Lake to outlet of Glacier Slough)
  16. Goat Creek (Source to Swan River)
  17. Gordon Creek (Headwaters to South Fork Flathead River)
  18. Granite Creek (Source to Middle Fork Flathead River)
  19. Graves Creek (Source to Hungry Horse Reservoir)
  20. Hallowat Creek (Source to Big Creek)
  21. Lake Creek (Scott Lake to Middle Fork Flathead River)
  22. Unnamed Fork Lake Creek (Flotilla Lake to Scott Lake)
  23. Langford Creek (Mud Lake to Big Creek)
  24. Lion Creek (Source to Trailhead)
  25. Little Salmon Creek (Source to South Fork Flathead River)
  26. Logan Creek (Star Meadow Road to Talley Lake)
  27. North Fork Lost Creek (Forest Boundary to Swan River)
  28. South Fork Lost Creek (Source to Swan River)
  29. Mathias Creek (Source to Coal Creek)
  30. Moose Creek (Source to North Fork Flathead River)
  31. Morrison Creek (Source to Middle Fork Flathead River)
  32. Nokio Creek (Source to Trail Creek)
  33. Quintonkon Creek (Source to Sullivan Creek)
  34. Red Meadow Creek (Source to North Fork Flathead River)
  35. Schafer Creek (Source to Middle Fork Flathead River)
  36. Shorty Creek (Source to Whale Creek)
  37. Spotted Bear River (Source to South Fork Flathead River)
  38. Squeezer Creek (Source to Goat Creek)
  39. Strawberry Creek (Source to Middle Fork Flathead River)
  40. Sullivan Creek (Source to Hungry Horse Reservoir)
  41. Upper Swan River (Crystal Lake to Lindbergh Lake, Lindbergh Lake to Holland Creek)
  42. Lower Swan River (Swan River State Forest to Swan Lake)
  43. Trail Creek (Source to North Fork Flathead River)
  44. Lower Trail Creek (Headwaters to South Fork Flathead)
  45. Upper Trail Creek (Headwaters to South Fork Flathead)
  46. Whale Creek (Source to North Fork Flathead River)
  47. White River (Source to South Fork Flathead River)
  48. Yakinikak Creek (Source to Trail Creek)
  49. Young’s Creek (Source to South Fork Flathead River)


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