Current Issues We Are Tackling


The US Forest Service is in the process of revising the Flathead Forest Plan. Public meetings to discuss a new plan are currently being held. For more information about this ongoing process, see Flathead Audubon Conservation Committee member Steve Gniadek is attending these meetings. FAS will continue to participate in the process, and review and comment on the Forest Plan Revision as it proceeds.


Researchers Rob Domenech from the Raptor View Research Institute in Missoula and Heiko Langner from the University of Montana Geosciences Department have been studying migratory golden eagles along the Rocky Mountain Front and have documented elevated blood lead levels in a high portion of the birds. Blood samples from 93 birds tested during 2006-2010 showed more than 50 with elevated blood lead levels. It is assumed that the source of lead is lead core bullet fragments left in carcasses and gut piles of game animals eaten by the golden eagles. There is evidence that blood lead level increases rapidly after ingestion of lead fragments and then decreases slowly (half-life is two weeks) due to deposition of the metal in bones and other tissues. However, blood lead levels will remain slightly elevated, as the metal is not being excreted. The following chart of blood lead levels is provided by Rob Domenech and Heiko Langner. golden_eagle_chart

Members are encouraged to contact us about emerging conservation issues and issues of interest to them.