America’s Most Endangered Rivers® blog series

The Flathead Lakers and our partners, including American Rivers, Flathead Trout Unlimited, and Headwaters Montana, asked several people familiar with the Middle Fork Flathead River to share with us their perspectives on the threat of a train derailment and spill of Bakken oil in our watershed.

The essays we received eloquently explain why the Middle Fork was designated one of the nation’s Top Ten Endangered Rivers.

Learn why the Middle Fork is so special, what is at risk, and why a site-specific derailment and spill prevention safety plan is needed. With our partners, we are building public awareness about this threat to build support for such a plan.

Oil in the Headwaters


Oil in the Headwaters, by David Brooks and Larry Timchak, Trout Unlimited



Hilary Hutcheson


Is the Flathead Doomed to Suffer an Oil Spill? by Hilary Hutcheson, Fly fishing guide and business owner




New Safety Measures Needed to Protect Montana’s Flathead, by Jack Stanford, Director Emeritus of the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station



Ben Long

The Middle Fork Flathead: Protected and Threatened, by Ben Long, Conservationist, father, and outdoorsman with Resource Media