October 7, 2022
Flathead National Forest All Units
650 Wolfpack Way
Kalispell, MT, 59901
Re: Proposed Holland Lake Expansion Project
Dear Mr. Dowling:The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers represents roughly 3,000 dues paying members across the state of Montana, each passionate about conservation, our public lands and waters, and our publicly owned wildlife.
The proposed expansion to Holland Lake Lodge is proving quite controversial. The existing special use permit holders - along with POWDR, a large ski resort operation - is proposing to tear down ten current structures and replace them with 32 new buildings. Included in proposed expansion is a restaurant, over two dozen lakeside cabins and a new 28-room lodge. The controversial nature of this proposal and process has only gown with recently revealed mistakes made by the US Forest Service and POWDR.
While Montana BHA understands the special use permit holders desire to update and expand facilities, many of our members are concerned with the process and environmental impacts this project would have, and the additional recreational pressures this would add to the wild lands that border Holland Lake.
To that end, Montana BHA does not believe this project should move forward under a categorical exclusion. We request that the US Forest Service undergo a full environmental assessment of the project and consider an additional extension to the already extended comment period. At the very least, an additional extension will allow the public time to digest and comprehend new information shared by the US Forest Service during recent public meetings in the Seeley-Swan and use that knowledge to submit well-informed comments.
Missoula Valley Regional Leader
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers