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Despite Rise in Spills, Hazardous Cargo Rides Rails in Secret


American railroads have long operated under federal laws that shield them from local or state oversight and provide a blanket of secrecy over much of their operations. But now a rapid rise in the number of trains carrying crude oil along with a series of derailments and explosions has brought new concern about the risks of transporting dangerous cargo by rail.

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Click for more information Sniffing for Mussels

This summer, the Flathead Basin Commission will be partnering with Working Dogs for Conservation to pilot a Mussel Sniffing Dog program. The dogs, Wicket and Lily, are trained to sniff ONLY aquatic invaders and will be out and about the basin this summer. Come meet the dogs in Ronan this Fourth of July weekend and read more about the dogs at the following links:
Dogs helping out Montana conservationists
Putting Dogs to Work
Sniffing Out Trouble
Why you may see dogs at boat check station this summer
Conservation Canine Joins the Fight Against Invasive Species

The Flathead Basin Commission, in conjunction with the Governor's Office and the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC), is assisting with the implementation of the B.C.-MT Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU prohibited strip mining in the B.C. Flathead, and focuses on issues ranging from the protection of transboundary fish and wildlife populations to green energy development. The Phase I scope of work for the MOU is currently underway, and focuses on fisheries protection and Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) prevention.

Click for more information Meet the Dogs


Wicket is one of the most accomplished conservation detection dogs in the world right now. The two species of Mussels will be the 21st and 22nd scents that she has learned! An amazing number. Wicket was also one of the fastest dogs ever to be trained, with just 8 weeks from being rescued to the field.

Lily is a yellow lab/southern belle cross and the youngest in the pack, but with a very bright future ahead. Miss Lil was adopted from Smartcritters in Lawrenceville, Georgia and is currently trained on six scents.

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Caryn Miske Executive Director
Flathead Basin Commission
655 Timberwolf Parkway
Kalispell Montana 59901
406-240-3453 e-mail:


Montana Photography provided by Michael Hewston
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