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Is the Flathead Ready for an Oil Train Spill

  JUNE 6, 2018.  Local sportsmen and women and local businesses and conservationists have published a new brochure highlighting the risk and 'ticking timebomb' represented by the daily, weekly, year-in-and-year-out rail-shipment of Bakken crude oil along the Middle Fork Flathead River, Whitefish Lake and other extremely valuable and threatened waterways in northwest Montana.

The Brochure states, "We deserve to know the plan for preventing a disaster."  That disaster would come if a Bakken oil train derailed into the Middle Fork or Whitefish Lake.  As former Flathead Lake Biological Station Director, Dr. Jack Stanford, has stated, "it would be a disaster beyond belief."

Currently, to the best of our knowledge, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) has developed only a "geographic response plan," but even that appears shrouded in corporate mystery.  Despite repeated phone calls to the BNSF state office in Bozeman, we have received no call back.  The secrecy continues.

Headwaters Montana took the unusual step to write directly to Mr. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, the owner and operator of the BNSF rail line.  In that letter, Headwaters Montana executive director Dave Hadden states, "The Middle Fork forms the southern boundary of Glacier National Park and the river flows into Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, and the crown jewel of American Lakes.  The River and Lake are our economy here"

Hadden then asks Mr. Buffett if he can help local folks connect with BNSF leadership in Montana to begin addressing concerns and to develop a community-driven "prevention plan."

"Despite repeated calls to BNSF’s Bozeman, MT, office for engagement on our concerns, we have not received a call back.," states Hadden. "Perhaps you can help us make contact."