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Headwaters Releases Wilderness Studies for Mission and Swan Mountains


Two Reports Released Recommend Over 180,000 Acres of Additional Wilderness in Swan and Mission Mountains.

Headwaters Montana recently released two wilderness study reports for the Swan and Mission mountains, in conjunction with the Montana Wilderness Association.  The reports detail areas within the two mountain ranges that demonstrate outstanding wilderness character and that should be “recommended” for wilderness as an outcome of the ongoing Flathead National Forest management plan revision process.  (Click on images above to go directly to reports.)

Congress created the Mission Mountain Wilderness Area in 1964 as one of the first of a handful of landscapes worthy of wilderness protection.  However, key areas surrounded this protected area need to be made part of the Mission Wilderness.

These areas include Hemlock Creek and Sunset Ridge, among other areas.  The report details recommended wilderness additions and includes maps of those areas, as well as photograph.  The report recommends almost 19,000 acres of additional wilderness for the Missions.

The Bob Marshall Wilderness protects only about one-third of the Swan Mountains.  The Swan report details recommendations for wilderness from the northern boundary of The Bob near Swan Peak to Jewel Basin.

The USFS deliberately built roads into the Bunker Creek area in the mid-1970’s in order to prevent The Bob from expanding, according to FS documents.  The report recommends that Bunker Creek and additional lands in the Sullivan Creek Drainage and Swan Front be included in The Bob.

The Jewel Basin Area has largely been separated from the Bunker area by roads and logging.  However, a substantial area remains wild and highly worthy of wilderness protection.

In all, the Swan-Bunker report recommends some 180,000 acres of additional wilderness.

The full reports may be found here, and downloaded.