Kerry R. Hubble      March 22, 2011

  Page 8

Spencer  Lake

Whitefish Montana...where will the wildlife go if you change it ?




The mature and muilti-aged, successional stages of forest here is full of wildlife, Whitetail Deer thrive only in thick heavy brush conditions, feeding at night in fields, river bottoms and parked out forests surrounding this  forest sanctuary.  Fisher need old growth, lynx like blow down,  big Pileated wood peckers need tall old snags.

    Some elk here also grazing the crop lands in the Stillwater River Valley bedding and giving birth then protecting their young in these hills.  Eagles, Owls, Martin all need different forests, we do lack big, old growth trees. Indigenous species  bear, moose, lions, lynx, fisher, wolverine, mink, martin, this was once full of these creatures. Also my Dad and Mr. Thomson trapped this area in 50’s to 70’s they had them and dad had taken a wolf near here.  I observe Osprey, Eagles, Owls, Pileated Woodpeckers most all needing tall dead snags to mate and nest.   Loggers  are instructed to leave some snags but until the wood hunters cut’em or the wind that now gets to them, they soon blow  down...then there's none for another 150 years!

    In winter the animals use the south westerly slopes and doug fir to feed and shelter. Deer, lion, lynx travel into the river bottoms in winter and when dogs pressure them they use the thick forest mountain to  escape. When this is logger off and gone where do they go? Page 9 thru 21 mentions there deletion but forest service plans to steam roll over the  last best places, flathead forest ecosystem.

       There's two places you cant see natural wildlife activity in this area, Round Meadows  x-country trails  and now Beaver Lake Bike Trails  ...keep up the good work.


1988 looking east




Rick Hubble photo

Rick Hubble photo

       It’s a last best wild place, edge of town, middle of flathead upper valley, unique location on Stillwater River, south west exposure for vital winter range, surrounded by urban & rural sprawl, industry, farms, molested forests, was old Grizzly bear grounds.

Montana save this as a Wildlife Winter Refuge and migrating Corridor


Help us?

   This area borders almost 5 miles of Stillwater River ...WOW!  Wildlife depends on the relationship with Mountains, Timber, Lakes and River bottom. Unbelievable some folks think it’s not significant to this delicate ecosystem.  Variety of wildlife wintered in this river bottom for thousands of years so  where did it go? where's the Biologists, Conservationist, defenders of wildlife people?  I feel  sorry to loose this, It will harm a lot of wildlife.


    Two mountain Lakes Spencer and Skyles, both spring fed and full of fish that supports the surrounding wildlife. Eagles, fish hawks, falcons, loons, grebes all need these wild mountains to live, breed, nest and thrive.

        When you whittle away little by little all the natural resources the wildlife will not move but perish.  For the last 100 years we were eliminating the wild vital habitat places. They Biologists say “we leave mosaic splotches of timber” is not the same.  I wont fall for it. That won’t help  that  much wildlife, maybe grow some browse for a deer and rabbit. It help sales on salt blocks, game cameras, tree stands, and bullets? That’s your upside.

    You have all the state of Montana to log off  you should stay out of this island of wild timber in the middle of urban sprawl.  Let the locals enjoy it where else in the lower 48 can you find this forest at the edge of a much populated  /farming area in the middle of large vital wintering river valley .


    It’s School Trust Lands for the benefit of the kids? So we shall destroy the wildlife and their habitat for some petty cash for the school board? I wonder what they waste and how much they make compared to the people that pay the taxes?  Sorry I just wish they could compromise and get a 21st century Forest/Habitat/Wildlife policy.  By the way I hunted when younger, I’m a logger, Dad was a trapper, hunter, woodsman, today, my kids hunt.  I try to teach those values, gratitude, respect for the land & nature, conservation, saving resources, being good stewards of the all things put in their charge.

       I strongly support establishing a new wildlife corridor/refuge /reserve.  But its way brushy up there  some open areas would benefit the creatures but  some old standing  timber groves that wont blow down  would be nice.

Please don't say “they just move!” Yea they will disappear.  But if you know animals and habits, wildlife is part of a delicate ecosystem. There at the mercy of weather, seasons, winter food supply, disease, wintering shelter areas, herd sizes, and there predators.  Vital winter habitat has been disappearing for the last 60 years here...where's that address in this environmental assessment?  19th century thinking.

 They will soon die, get hit and killed by traffic, hunters, ranchers, people soon shoot them if and when they move into another unfamiliar habitat. They fight for territory, they aren't very accepted in strange family groups, unaware of the new dangers that could cost their demise. The wintering grounds are usually maxed out for the standard numbers so some will have to perish to make room for another. Most will die the first year. 

  Recommend   Corridor of natural untouched shelter trees left north to south for travel corridor from Salish Mountains to Beaver Lake, upper whitefish, migration.  Wetlands at the small lake-pond leave 100 yards of biodiversity.  The  global warming wind will devastate what's left standing. More snags, two an acre? You need large living and dead, Succession Stage, a supply for the next 150 years for birds and Fisher dens. Leave large nesting trees near Skyles and Spencer lakes for eagles, Osprey, Owls, and Woodpeckers.       

   No  roads dumping onto U.S. 93. It’s not only deadly  but invites vandalism, mischief, insanitation, need for parking lot, out houses, garbage pic-up.   Bikers from town already use a dangerous road that’s narrow, winding, hilly, blind curves and hills. Also think construction of bike lanes, hikers, kids ect.   Possibly leave top of northern boundary mountain top all natural for birds, fisher, owls and lynx.  200 yards south of highway 93, allow power line to grow  young foraging habitat for corridor travel north and south.  Some day think about an  animal bridge.

      But some thinning would be beneficial to keep wintering game up and off the river bottoms and roads.

Spencer Lake  Montana 2011

Spencer 2011   looking north

Spencer Lake  2011 East end turn off unsafe

Farmer to Market side

  Tally Lake turn off...


Woods Lake Montana, Beaver Lake area

        3.5 miles west of Whitefish and you’re at spring fed Spencer Lake.  Park along  the Highway 93 and fish right there or continual to end of lake, turn left onto the Tally Lake road, pull go left there on  a pot hole trail and fish or swim. Right at this photo.  Lots of pan fish, hikers and bikers have 21 miles of trails on public land to explore the deep woods, a feast for the senses but you’re missing the abundant wildlife watching you as your looking at the Montana Mountain Greenery.

    This is my concern, when Montana biologists addressed this 1600 acres that’s scheduled to be logged this year, it lacked an adequate plan to help wildlife. Seams they neglected, or don't care, worry even show little concern about the wildlife being displaced.  It seams the forester Silvicuture  handbook  is ignored...   forgot the critters?  Question...aren't wildlife part of the Forests ?


Vital winter range resource,  sanctuary measures need  be implemented.


 2015, The logging started to destroy some the last natural  wild life sanctuary, linkage, staging area to the natural migration route to transfer wildlife East to West from the upper whitefish/Glacier/North fork/Swift Creek area to the Idaho panhandle.

   This is caused  in part from the Kootenai dam and Hunger Horse dams

 funneling them here and the suburbia of the Flathead valley to Missoula area.

Where's Bonneville Power  helping here?  

New 2015 logging roads, photo from my driveway thanks

1980 Womack's Ranch on Spencer

Tally lake road turn off from 93 N

Say good by the natural cover wildlife need

That's my drive way down there

                         Skyles Lake

Spencer Lake 1980

2015, this soon will be gone, where's the wild life to go now?  Right is where, all along the Salish Mountains Wild Life Corridor Highway