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1. South and Middle Fork Flathead Areas (approximately 116,000 acres)

A series of important additions to the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness areas in the South and Middle Forks of the Flathead River would ensure protection for critical big game winter range, bull trout spawning beds, low-elevation old-growth forest, grizzly bear and elk migratory corridors and scenic vistas between Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. These areas include popular trails into existing wilderness, ancient forest groves and secure habitat for elk and grizzly, and are very popular with hunters, anglers, backcountry horse-users, hikers and campers.
Portions of these areas, including Slippery Bill in the Middle Fork Flathead watershed (approximately 26,000 acres) have been included in eight wilderness bills introduced or passed by Congress since 1984.

Key areas include: Flathead Range (approximately 36,222 acres), Slippery Bill (approx. 17,923 acres), Spotted Bear (approx. 31,755 acres), Bear Creek Face (approx. 4,700 acres).



 

2. The Wild Swan – Jewel Areas (approximately 207,000 acres)

The Swan Range, towering above the Flathead, Swan, and Clearwater river valleys, provides the scenic backdrop for tens of thousands of residents and many more annual visitors to northwestern Montana. This rugged band of mountains, with streams cascading into the Swan River, South Fork of the Flathead and Flathead Valley lakes and wetlands, is the westernmost extension of the contiguous Bob Marshall Wilderness System. Although close to the cities of Kalispell, Bigfork, Columbia Falls and Seeley Lake, people find seclusion in alpine meadows, waterfalls and jewel-like lakes. Other notable residents include moose, elk, wolves, mountain goats, lynx, wolverine, fisher, bull trout and westslope cutthroat.

Protection of this area’s wild qualities, including watershed, scenic and wildlife values, are of immense economic value for attracting clean, high-tech and service-oriented businesses to the area. There are few other places so many people can look upon a mountain range from their homes and know there remains a healthy population of grizzly bears.
Portions of the wild Swan-Jewel have been included in every Montana wilderness bill.

Key areas include: Swan – Jewel and Bunker Creek (Combined: approximately 225,267 acres) 

3. Whitefish Range Areas (approximately 225,200 acres)

The Whitefish Range includes the pristine headwaters of the North Fork of the Flathead River, lush old-growth forests and some of most diverse wildlife populations in North America. Hiking trails through old-growth forests to windswept peaks, glaciated valleys, chains of alpine lakes are popular with photographers, backpackers and wildlife observers. Ridgetops offer spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies, Glacier and Waterton National Parks, and the entire Whitefish Range.
This remote area is a major recovery area and prime habitat for a large population of grizzly bears, and it is home to the wolf, wolverine, lynx, marten, fisher, cougar, bald eagle, bull trout, elk, moose and deer. Caribou sightings have been reported within the last decade.

The entire Whitefish and Galton Ranges (485,000 acres) were first proposed for wilderness in 1925 by Fortine tree farmer Winton Weydemeyer, who extolled the area's outstanding wildlife and recreational values in an article published in the journal of the America Forestry Association.

Large parts of the Whitefish Range have been included in every Montana wilderness bill since 1984. The Montana Wilderness Association is building community support for a current proposal that includes 171,000 acres.

Key areas include: Mount Hefty and Tuchuck (Combined acreage approximately 36,209 acres), Thompson-Seton (approx. 102,878 acres), S. Whitefish Range (approx. 68,600 acres), Smoky Range (14,000 acres).

4. LeBeau (approximately 7,076 acres)

LeBeau provides the lowest elevation unspoiled habitat on the Flathead National Forest.  The Lincoln and Flathead County boundary line evenly splits this area between the two counties.  LeBeau contains a unique component of old growth forest habitat, including eight small lakes. This terrain provides excellent secure habitat for moose, and is part of a critical corridor for grizzly bears and other wide-ranging wildlife between the Whitefish Range and the Fisher River country and the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness.

5. Southern Whitefish Range AND Smoky Range (combined):    97,676 acres.