Opening of the U.S. Highway 95 Reroute Discussion
Part 1 of the U.S. Highway 95 Reroute Discussion
Part 2 of the U.S. Highway 95 Reroute Discussion
(Also see Tim Hatten’s presentation slides: posted soon)
Part 3 of the U.S. Highway 95 Reroute Discussion
On Monday, October 22, at about 11 pm, Omega Morgan moved a cylindrical water treatment module bound for Sunshine Oilsands bitumen extraction/production operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta, through Lewiston, Idaho. Manufactured in the Portland, Oregon, area, the 236-foot-long, half-million-pound piece of equipment was barged up the Columbia and Snake Rivers to the Port of Wilma near Clarkston, Washington. Dedicated Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists confronted this first and longest tar sands megaload to cross Idaho and Montana via the Highway 12 wild and scenic river corridor, through the largest wildlands complex in the lower 48 states, and up the Blackfoot River valley and Rocky Mountain Front. Just a few miles into its historic 1000-mile-plus journey to its Canadian destination, WIRT demonstrated resistance near the Lewiston, Idaho, intersection of Idaho Highway 128 and U.S. Highways 12/95. There Omega Morgan workers dwarfed by the overlegal-size shipment adjusted transport trailer wheels that separate into independent sections to guide the load between front and rear trucks through road curves. In the third video segment, megaload monitors captured the behemoth squeezing past a Highway 12/95 sign in north Lewiston, followed by its convoy of pilot trucks, flagging teams, portable signs, and an ambulance, the latter included to assuage citizen concerns over megaload blockage of emergency services on narrow and sinuous upriver Highway 12. For the second part of this film, see the YouTube video Omega Morgan Megaload 10-22&23-12.
More footage of the Monday, October 22, passage of an Alberta tar sands water treatment vessel and accompanying convoy in Lewiston, Idaho, as it heads eastward along Highway 12/95. From the Port of Wilma, Washington, gateway through one of America’s greatest wilderness waterways, the Lochsa/Clearwater river corridor coveted by oil companies as a potential industrial route to the Canadian tar sands region, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) monitors followed, videotaped, and documented Omega Morgan transport movements over two nights. Traveling only 45 miles on its first, easiest night, the megaload encountered WIRT protesters near the Port of Lewiston (see the YouTube video Omega Morgan Megaload 10-22-12), before sliding past the former Flying J gas station on the Highway 12/95 frontage road. WIRT activists walked along the nearby Clearwater River pedestrian/bike path to witness another megaload pinch point where the frontage road joins the highway. In the third video segment filmed at the junction of Highways 12 and 95, the convoy traveled east in the westbound lanes to avoid a low underpass. Monitors documented its wrong-way incursion while conversing with an Idaho state trooper, who revised the 15-minute traffic clearance requirement of the transport to disqualify the watchful monitors. The fourth video segment illustrates dangerously rapid megaload travel over the Arrow Bridge spanning the Clearwater River, with both the front and rear trucks attached and escort vehicles awaiting its precariously heavy crossing. Finally, on Tuesday night, October 23, Omega Morgan personnel invited WIRT monitors to accompany the convoy within the river canyon between Orofino and Kamiah, Idaho, to avert the confusion of trailing vehicle drivers not passing when directed, like constantly shadowing rear monitors. WIRT scrutinized 22 miles of convoy movements over three hours, noting half-paved highway sections, durations of convoy stops, highway traffic volumes, and the speeds between 5 and 25 miles per hour and locations of the megaload traversing the Nez Perce Reservation. The transport permitted by the Idaho Transportation Department temporarily stopped mid-street in downtown Kamiah, before resuming its road- and climate-wrecking assault and falling short of its second parking destination near Kooskia later that night.
The Global Frackdown! in Boise appeared on the local Saturday evening, September 22, ABC/FOX television news. Concurrently with anti-fracking demonstrations in 150 worldwide locations, concerned organizers, speakers, and protesters from Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, United Vision for Idaho, Occupy Spokane, Occupy Boise, the Ontario Autonomous American Indian Chapter, and GMO Free Idaho rallied on the downtown Capitol steps to launch and support a statewide ban of hydraulic fracturing and waste ejection wells and to expand awareness and expose the potential risks of these processes and attendant chemicals that could contaminate water, air, and environments. View the KIVI Channel 6 Idaho On Your Side newscast Anti-Fracking Rally Kicks Off on the Steps of the Idaho State Capitol.
(By Jennifer Auh, KIVI TV Boise)
A group of protesters crowded the entrance to the Port of Lewiston Wednesday, chanting and holding up signs in outrage regarding a recent port grant.
Protesters said their anger is directed toward the federal government, who granted the port $1.3 million for the inland port improvement on the Columbia/Snake River System. Protestors said spending millions of taxpayer dollars for a port that’s not producing jobs or enough shipments is a substantial waste of money.
“The port continues to prove that it is not a job maker and it is in fact a money loser,” said protester Brett Haverstick. “Even from a common person’s perspective, dock extension makes no sense. Where is the business?”
Protesters also showed their disapproval of the grant, voicing their concerns about more megaload traffic and the negative impact it inflicts on the environment. The activists also provided onlookers with informational sheets explaining why they believe the Port of Lewiston extension is a bad idea.
See the video at: Protesters Object to Tax Dollars Funding the Port of Lewiston
(By Whitney Hise, KLEW TV Lewiston)
Participant Shannon Ross recorded the Northwest Resource Extraction Resistance Workshop Introduction in Spokane on Friday evening, June 8, when four Blues Skies Campaign colleagues and Portland Rising Tide trainer Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky presented slides and descriptions of coal export train issues from their respective Montana and Oregon perspectives. Off-camera afterwards, Sierra Club organizer Walter Kloefkorn summarized Spokane and Washington coal train concerns and actions, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide activist Helen Yost talked and showed a video about Alberta tar sands operations and Idaho megaload resistance.
A grassroots movement is growing in Spokane to stop coal trains from traveling through the city and across the Northwest.
With the demand for coal rising in Asia, several energy companies are proposing to mine coal in Montana and ship it overseas.
The proposal calls to ship coal by train through Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon and eventually to several export terminals along the West Coast.
On Friday, more than a dozen activists and environmentalists met in Spokane to learn how to peacefully protest the proposal.
Read more/see the TV video: Movement Wants to Stop Inland Northwest Coal Trains
(By Annie Bishop, KXLY Spokane)
Sunday, June 3, marked the last transit of tar sands modules through Spokane and a rambunctious send-off by Wild Idaho and Spokane Rising Tide and Occupy Spokane activists. At 7:30 pm in the Magic Lantern Theatre, about 35 concerned Spokane citizens converged to watch the incisive documentary Tipping Point: The Age of the Oil Sands and to discuss emerging local and continent-wide struggles around one of the most compelling environmental issues of our time: tar sands development near Fort McMurray, Alberta. As we grew weary of uncertain and false ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil shipment finales but nonetheless plotted our last Spokane megaload protest for that night, our Port of Pasco scout informed us just before the public screening that more Big Oil behemoths were poised to rumble through Spokane streets. At the movie showing and lively debate, we alerted attendees of their immediate opportunity to take action against the topic of the film. Considering the last transports’ historical significance, Terry Hill of Occupy Spokane posted a facebook event simply and aptly titled “Megaloads, Sunday, June 3, 2012.” Folks met at the Occupy Spokane Clubhouse at 11 pm before traveling to Third and Regal streets to tell ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil one more time, “not in our town.”
Even though convoy personnel had erected orange cones on the north/freeway side of East Third Avenue, to block our tactical parking on both sides of the street, we crowded the two lane stretch with our banner hanging from the pedestrian bridge and our bodies, protest signs, and vehicles lining the ruined road to America’s Mordor. Mayhem ensued as one of the largest of three tar sands modules passed within inches of outstretched arms and signs and a support vehicle darted back and forth behind it to survey width clearances. A city police officer across the street waved three passenger vehicles following the loads onward with a flashlight, when a stop sign-mimicking protest sign asserting “Stop Tar Sands” inadvertently halted them. One of the demonstrators captured the convoy CB radio chatter with his video, Megaload Spokane 6/4/2012, documenting the (hopefully) last megaloads to challenge the Northwest, available here with a few Wild Idaho Rising Tide photos. WIRT hosted Terry Hill of Occupy Spokane on our June 11 Climate Justice Forum radio program, talking about this final demonstration, other Spokane anti-megaload protests, and the Lilac City’s occupy movement and clubhouse.
Earth Day Award for Megaload Protestors on April 16, 2012
(Tom Hansen video clip of the following minutes)
At the April 16, 2012, Moscow City Council meeting, Mayor Nancy Chaney announced her annual Earth Day Award recipients: Colter’s Creek Winery, Doug Wasankari, Matt Dolkas, Moscow High School Environmental Club, Moscow CommUNITY Walk, Gail DeSantis, Palouse Land Trust, and Margaret and Maynard Fosberg. She also recognized the megaload protesters as Earth Protectors. Watch between 41:08 and 45:15 of the videotaped meeting for our mayor’s remarks and community members’ acceptance of the award.
For an audio news version, listen to Mayor Chaney Hands Out Earth Day Awards between 21:28 and 16:52 of the April 17, 2012, KRFP Radio Free Moscow Evening Report, Earth Day Awards.
Sharon Cousins introduced and performed her song, Everybody’s Mama’s Got the Blues, at the First Annual Celebration of Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), a group of eco-activists centered in Moscow, Idaho. WIRT confronts the root causes of climate change through direct actions such as demonstrations against tar sands megaloads. Jeanne McHale, Joshua Yeidel, and Fritz Knorr accompanied Sharon for this rendition videographed by Liz Foster. To view the lyrics or record this copyrighted music, please see Everybody’s Mama’s Got The Blues.
(Link provided by Joshua Yeidel)