Help Protect Flathead River Tributaries (MT)

Posted: 09/26/2016
By: Kevin Colburn

Next month marks the 40th anniversary of the designation of Montana's four Wild and Scenic Rivers (3 Flathead Forks + the Missouri). We now have a once-in-a-generation chance to expand on that incredible legacy of river conservation in Montana.  

The Forest Service is proposing to protect 11 new streams as "eligible" for Wild and Scenic designation, in addition to the dozen streams already protected. This is a strong roster of eligible streams, and we previsoulsy proposed all of them for consideration with our partners in Montanans for Healthy Rivers. With this said, the Forest Service could use some additional information to protect a couple more key streams and values. Here is what they are proposing:

Currently Eligible Streams: Aeneas, Big Salmon, Danaher, Gateway, LeBeau, Little Salmon, Logan, Nokio, Yakinikak and Trail creeks, as well as the Spotted Bear and White rivers. 

Additional New Proposed Eligible Streams: Clack, Elk, Glacier, Graves, Lion, Schafer, Strawberry, Whale, and Youngs creeks, as well as the upper and lower Swan River. 

Take Action: 

  • If you think they missed a stream that merits protection, please tell them about the stream and its rare, unique or exemplary values. As examples, If you have intel on these streams that the Agency did not find eligible, please consider sharing it with the Forest Service: Granite or Morrison creeks (Middle Fork Flathead tribs), Gorge (Film), Quintonkon, Upper Twin (Film), Lower Twin, Gordon or Bunker creeks (South Fork Flathead tribs). 
  • The Forest Service is proposing to protect recreational values on most streams but has failed to recognize the recreational values of the Lower Swan River (just above the lake) and Swan tribs Glacier and Elk creeks, as well as Graves Creek (South Fork Flathead trib).  If you've paddled, fished, or hiked these creeks please share photos, personal accounts and descriptions of recreational values.
  • Thank them for their great work so far, and take the time to back them up on their recommended streams!   

Submit your comment on the "Draft Forest Plan" here by Monday, October 3. Feel free to review the Draft Plan (rivers start on page 100), or go deeper into background documents.  

Lastly, don't forget to endorse our related coalition campaign to designate these streams and more in Montana as Wild and Scenic Rivers to secure permanent protection for them.  

Associated Rivers

Elk Creek (Swan Trib) MT
Hike In IV-V
Graves Creek MT
Logan Creek MT
1. Upper  IV-V
Swan River MT
Upper Twin Creek MT

Associated Projects

Montana Headwaters

The Montana Headwaters Campaign is a creative grassroots approach to conserving some of Montana's and the continents most incredible rivers. American Whitewater is one of the champions of this issue,

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!