A megaload that started from the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley on Wednesday and had been parked nine miles east of Lowell was expected to scale Lolo Pass late Friday night or early this morning.
A second super-sized rig could have also made progress toward Montana early this morning on U.S. Highway 12 in Idaho. Its departure from six miles east of Lowell, where it arrived late Thursday night or early Friday morning, was dependent on how well the trip went for the rig ahead of it. The second load left Lewiston on Thursday night. Continue reading
A megaload was parked nine miles east of here on Thursday, awaiting the second leg of a journey on U.S. Highway 12 that started Wednesday.
Another extra-large rig was expected to enter Idaho after 10 pm on Thursday and travel an unspecified distance on U.S. Highway 12, said Adam Rush, a spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department in Boise.
The load that left on Wednesday was likely not going to travel again on Thursday night, Rush said, weather conditions permitting. Continue reading
Two more megaloads and their entourage of pilot and support vehicles will brave the winter highways from Lolo Pass and through Missoula early next week.
Duane Williams of the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) said the oversized loads will probably start down U.S. Highway 12 from four miles east of the Idaho line late Monday night, unless weather delays their travel in Idaho.
They will stop at Bonner, then journey up Montana Highway 200 and over Rogers Pass on the next leg. Mammoet, the contract hauler, is taking the ConocoPhillips evaporator vessels from Newberg, Oregon, to northern Alberta. Continue reading
More photos posted by March 6.
A megaload that left the Port of Wilma just west of Clarkston on Wednesday evening is now parked nine miles east of Lowell on U.S. Highway 12 in Idaho.
It is not expected to travel again tonight with the distance depending on weather and road conditions, said Adam Rush, a spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department in Boise.
(By Elaine Williams, The Lewiston Tribune)
Thanks to the difficult, ongoing, behind-the-scenes work of our allies who provided logistical information in December, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) staged a great Idle No More solidarity rally on Sunday, January 27. A few dozen WIRT activists bundled against the relatively mild Idaho/Washington winter, carpooled, and gathered at the Port of Wilma on the Snake River, expecting to encounter two Bantrel/ConocoPhillips tar sands megaloads offloading and staging in the port yards. Instead, the haulers were late again and/or avoiding us, and we noticed only a few railroad workers, chip trucks, and scores of Canadian geese. Nevertheless, we are outrageously proud of all of our heroes who foisted protest signs and the WIRT banner, marched, stood, chanted “Shut Down Tar Sands!”, and composed and sang revised lyrics to Down by the Riverside (“We’re gonna protest those megaloads…Down by the riverside…We’re gonna stand for a cleaner world… Ain’t gonna bow to greed no more!”). Thanks to everyone who participated in showing our solidarity with indigenous allies opposing the devastation wrought by tar sands development across the continent. View more photos of this demonstration in the WIRT facebook album
Megaload-empty Port of Lewiston (Tom Hansen photo)
Offloading protest signs at the Port of Wilma (Tom Hansen photo)
Offloading protest signs at the Port of Wilma (Tom Hansen photo)
Gathering to march at the tar sands megaload-tardy Port of Wilma (Greg Mack photo)
Marching at the tar sands megaload-tardy Port of Wilma (Greg Mack photo)
Urgent Alert and Update:
[The contracted hauler Mammoet is transporting two ConocoPhillips wastewater evaporators manufactured in Newburg, Oregon, to northern Alberta tar sands operations via Highway 12 in Idaho starting Wednesday night, January 30. Each megaload weighing 255,600 pounds and measuring 20 feet tall, 16 feet wide, and 141 feet long will depart the Port of Wilma, across the river from Clarkston, Washington, on separate nights and travel as far as possible toward the Montana border between 10 pm and 5:30 am, depending on road and weather conditions. The Idaho Transportation has not announced when the second load will similarly ravage Nez Perce lands, the Middle Fork Clearwater/Lochsa wild and scenic river corridor, area highways, and traveler safety. Two pilot vehicles and flagging teams will accompany both shipments and limit traffic delays to less than 15 minutes.
On Wednesday and successive evenings, January 30 and beyond, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) monitoring and protesting carpools provisioned with video and still cameras, audio recorders, and notebooks will converge at 9 pm at the corner of Second and Washington Streets in Moscow, to demonstrate our megaload opposition at 10 pm along Idaho Highway 128 near Lewiston. Citizen monitors will then follow each shipment to their stop-over point, likely near Kooskia, where they will park during the day. Because Mammoet’s transportation plan prohibits these transports from delaying other highway vehicles for more than 15 minutes before pulling over to let traffic pass, we intend to also scrutinize their every move on their second nights traveling toward milepost 139 east of Lowell, and on their third nights in Idaho, struggling over the Bitterroot crest and the Idaho/Montana state line, toward the Lolo scale in Montana. All of our plans are subject to the constantly changing dynamics of weather and terrain. For more information and to RSVP as a megaload monitor and protester, contact Wild Idaho Rising Tide at email@example.com, through facebook, at the WIRT Activist House between noon and 8 pm daily, and/or at 208-301-8039.] Continue reading
Two megaloads will be traveling on U.S. Highway 12 in north central Idaho this week, creating traffic delays as long as 15 minutes.
The first is expected to leave the Port of Wilma just west of Clarkston at 10 pm today and travel an unspecified distance toward the Montana border, according to a news release issued by the Idaho Transportation Department in Boise.
The second rig will depart on a different day that has not been set, because it is dependent on the weather. Continue reading
On Thursday, December 13, the Kootenai County Court in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, heard a six-hour, well-argued jury trial that appealed to the public, rather than the government, to defend the civil liberties of a citizen monitoring an Alberta tar sands megaload on Highway 95. Idaho State Police Corporal Ron Sutton accused co-activists Cici Claar and Helen Yost of not wearing safety restraints in a parked vehicle, arrested them for resisting/obstructing an officer, and imposed an inexplicable night in the county jail, when they refused to identify themselves amongst the ExxonMobil police state on Highway 95 on August 26-27, 2011. WIRT’s day in court started at 8:30 am with jury selection from about 30 gathered citizens, as Helen and her defending Moscow lawyer Ben Onosko weighed the odds stacked against them but hoped that a jury could empathize with the shock of sudden imprisonment for no significant reason. Ben worked diligently throughout the trial to help the jury appreciate the precedents for civil liberties violations that they would set by siding with Corporal Sutton, who searched, seized, and jailed vehicle passengers without just cause.
Early in the trial, the prosecutor convinced Magistrate Judge Robert Caldwell to dismiss the evidence and results of the previous seat belt infraction trial and three pre-trial hearings on motions to suppress charges and a motion for reconsideration. Representing the State of Idaho, the prosecutor presented her simple but assertive case that the defendant contested the infraction and ID request at roadside rather than in court. The defense described Helen’s extensive academic and activist background and asserted that Idaho state police targeted the monitoring vehicle and its occupants for protest repression. Although Helen never uttered a word in this court until trial conclusion, Corporal Sutton took the witness stand and noted his officer certifications before he described the place of the disputed incident and his approach of the driver Sharon Cousins’ vehicle and requests of driver and passenger IDs. After commenting on the seatbelt-less state of the back seat passengers Cici and Helen, he explained the reasons for his ID requests and how Ms. Yost denied and debated them. Continue reading
At 8:30 am on Thursday, December 13, the Kootenai County Court in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, will hold a full jury trial of Highway 95 tar sands megaload monitor Helen Yost, community organizer of the Moscow, Idaho-based climate change activist group, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT). Idaho State Police (ISP) Corporal Ronald Sutton charged Yost with an infraction for failure to use a vehicle safety restraint and a misdemeanor of resisting and obstructing an officer early on August 27, 2011, when she refused to present ID and identify herself, citing Idaho codes regarding passenger IDs and seat belts in non-moving vehicles.
The incident occurred as Sutton covered his regular patrol route on Highway 95, about ten miles south of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, just before midnight on August 26. When he noticed a Toyota 4Runner parked for a few minutes near milepost 421, he approached its four female occupants who had been traveling for about an hour in the vicinity of an ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil tar sands transport and convoy of a dozen pilot trucks, flagger vehicles, and state trooper cars. On the previous night, six WIRT activists had sat, stood, laid down, and effectively blocked the same 200-foot-long, 413,000-pound, two-lane-wide megaload for a half hour, as it traversed a gauntlet of 150 protesters in downtown Moscow, Idaho.
Corporal Sutton accused driver and WIRT member Sharon Cousins of the infraction of stopping a vehicle in an emergency lane of a controlled access highway, a charge that a Kootenai County prosecutor dismissed on November 18, 2011. Sutton noticed that WIRT spokesperson Helen Yost and visiting activist Cici Claar were not wearing their seat belts in the back seat and requested their identification. Both passengers refused to present their IDs or give their legal names, stating that they had not violated any laws. Two ISP troopers on the scene issued infraction citations to all three women and arrested and jailed Claar and Yost for alleged obstruction. Continue reading