MT #Climate Trial Logistics

This post should tell you everything you need to know about the logistics of attending Leonard Higgins’ Valve Turner trial in Montana. Please encourage others to sign up on the Montana RSVP for trial logistics and updates throughout.

This week we found that we have the historic opportunity to argue the necessity defense in Minnesota! Since we don’t have that opportunity in Montana, we are holding two trials! The first one will be an incredible in-depth look at the justification for action in these times of crises, with expert witnesses and real lawyers arguing before a “judge”, the second one will be Leonard’s actual trial. Check out Leonard's Fair Hearing by the Commons and the Montana #ClimateTrial event pages, and more info below.

See all the plans, ways to travel, sleep, and contribute in person and from afar...


Saturday, Nov 18th, 7pm Missoula

Leonard's Fair Hearing by the Commons, at the University of Montana. You be the jury, come and hear expert testimony from movement luminaries Steve Running and Tom Hastings, with Valve Turner Ken Ward as presiding judge, and Leonard as your favorite defendant. If you’re not in Missoula, tune in on Zoom orFB.

Tuesday, Nov 21st - Wed 22nd 9am Ft Benton

Montana #ClimateTrial in Ft Benton at Chouteau County Courthouse. We do not anticipate the trial will be over before Thxgiving, Nov 23, and it’s not yet determined if court will be open Friday, Nov 24th. We assume and are planning for the trial to continue into the next week, after the holiday weekend, but as always: cannot predict the esoteric machinations of the legal apparatus. We’ll keep you posted.

Thursday, Nov 23rd, Thx-giving in Ft. Benton

Even in a strange world where Leonard’s trial is inexplicably finished in two days (unlikely), many of us will be staying on in Ft. Benton for the holiday.Plans for feast and Ft. Benton location to follow.

Friday, Nov 24th

Unknown if trial will resume this day.

Saturday and Sunday

Montana adventures? It’s only 3 hours to Glacier (oh the irony!) National Park. Just saying.

Monday, Nov 27 - Tues 28th

Trial till the end… up in the air, but we do assume everything will be wrapped up by Tuesday, Nov 28th.

LODGING Fort Benton Map Once you're here, *everything* is walkable!

Recommended:Pioneer Lodge, $65-90 - Supporters are booking here for their low cost apartments and rooms. Folks are also booking at the Grand Union Hotel $100-170. Both are located within walking distance of food, Courthouse, and other airbnbs rented. 

Other Options:

RV Park with camping and 3 sleeper cabins (with no water or bathrooms, but hey… if you have a friend with an RV)

Off the gridRiver Cabin,  $125 nightly, sleeps 6 (Loma, MT)

Fort Motel $60 nightly

Lark and Laurel B&B $650 nightly, sleeps 8

*if you have ideas to add to this list, please share!

**For those travelling to Missoula for the Mock Trial, we are working on hospitality housing or a pile on the floor airbnb.


Coming to the Mock Trial? Travel to Missoula by Saturday, Nov 18th @ 7pm.

Train: take the Empire Builder toWhitefish, MT, take a Greyhound, rent car, orcarpool the 2.5 hours to Missoula.

Bus:Greyhound goes to Missoula

Car: Sign up to carpool. We’ve got folks coming and going from a bunch of places intrastate and interstate. Let’s pile up!

Air: Missoula Airport,MSO

*the Mock Trial team will travel the 3.5 hours to Ft. Benton on Sunday, Nov 19th by car[s].


Going straight to Real Trial? Go to Ft. Benton by Tuesday, Nov 21st @ 9am.

Train: take the Empire Builder to Havre, MT, rent a car (limited availability, schedule soon).

There is a shuttle for hire out of Havre, one group is arranging transport from train to Ft Benton Nov 19th, more details coming soon.

Or, you plan to arrive on the Eastbound Empire Builder, Monday, Nov 10th at 4:45pm, sign up for the massive carpool ferrying people from Havre to Ft Benton. 

Bus:Greyhound goes to Great Falls, MT -carpool the last 45 min to Ft Benton

Car: Sign up tocarpool. We’ve got folks coming and going from a bunch of places intrastate and interstate. Let’s pile up!

Air: Missoula MSO and Bozeman BZN airports are equidistant to Ft Benton, 3.5 hours. Helena Airport HLN is 2 hours from Ft Benton. Great Falls Airport GTF is 45 minutes from Ft Benton. The closer you land to Ft. Benton the more expensive the ticket.


Here is a map to locate all the places and modes of transport, it’ll help.


  • Missoula folks! Do you have spare beds and floors for our team to sleep on Friday, Nov 17th and Saturday, Nov 18th? Email [email protected]

  • Folks staying in Ft Benton! We need volunteers to keep all the people fed. Volunteer to make sack lunches, warm dinners, or a Thx day dish - we have one or two rental houses where we’ll base food operations. Email [email protected]

  • Musicians! Bring your musical instruments for merriment.

  • Photographers! Could you photograph the trial and associated events? Email [email protected]

  • If you need talking through options, please call or email :) Nicky Bradford [email protected]

 Tell all the People

The #ValveTurners action is ongoing, every trial an opportunity to bust open the stories of climate direct action and the compelling, loving people who are called to sacrifice for our world. Share these stories with your communities! Watch and share this video about Leonard by filmmaker Steve Liptay.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Contribute Take Action Now

get updates