Weekend, WIRT & Allied Events


Regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully requests your participation in these weekend events and ongoing issues.

Friday & Saturday, October 4-5: Moscow WIRT Meeting & Tabling

Volunteer, grassroots, WIRT organizers would greatly appreciate your help in arranging upcoming presentations, training workshops, demonstrations, and #No2ndBridge litigation, and reaching out to allies, attorneys, and our regional network.  So we encourage you to participate in October potluck gatherings, enjoy climate action documentaries, talk about tactics and strategies, and offer your unique advice and assistance, as we together relentlessly confront the fossil fuel causes of climate change, through direct resistance and frontline solutions.  Starting in October 2019, we are meeting on the first and third Thursday (instead of Wednesday) of every month, except this week on Friday in Moscow.  Activity-planning conversations begin at 6 pm (not the usual 7 pm) on Friday, October 4, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow, and on Thursday, October 17, at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint.

We also hope to talk with you about critical issues, at the Farmers Market outreach tables hosted by Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (PESC) and WIRT, at Friendship Square in Moscow on Saturday, October 5, and near Farmin Park in Sandpoint throughout the rest of the season.  Please check WIRT website and especially facebook pages for posts since September 21, on recent and ongoing, regional, climate strikes and #No2ndBridge protests, and share this information among your associates and contacts [1, 2].  We anticipate forthcoming, WIRT newsletters on railroad bridge expansion document deficiencies, Treasure Valley oil and gas hearings, lawsuits, and driller bankruptcy, and released, federal investigation files on local, fossil fuels opponents.

Sunday, October 6: A Vigil for the Healing of the Earth

The Silver Valley Community Resource Center and tribal and faith leaders, social/environmental justice groups, and elected officials of eastern Washington and north Idaho invite everyone to a gathering from 3 to 5 pm on Sunday, October 6, at Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park, 31732 South Mission Road, at Exit 39 off Interstate 90 in Cataldo, Idaho.  Thousands of regional residents have voiced opposition to the toxic waste site at the Old Mission at Cataldo.  Many concerned citizens within the Bunker Hill Superfund site support establishment of a community lead health clinic, with a portion of multi-million-dollar, settlement funds, for reparation of generations of families living with health conditions imposed by a mining legacy of lead pollution.  See the attached flyer for further event information, and join us in protecting the future of Silver Valley children, community, environment, and economic development. Continue reading

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Climate Justice Forum: Rod Munroe on Coal Plant Protest, Idaho Governor Conflicts, Oil & Gas Leases, Coal Train Pollution, & Bridges EIS Request, Indigenous Capitol Occupation 10-2-19


The Wednesday, October 2, 2019, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a conversation with Rod Munroe of Green Mountain Rising, about protests outside New England’s largest coal power plant, and news and reflections on upcoming and recent, community events, Idaho governor conflicts of interest, a Sandpoint City Council letter requesting stronger environmental review of rail bridges expanding coal pollution, Idaho landowner uncertainty about a bankrupt oil and gas company, and anti-fossil fuels, indigenous occupation of Washington Capitol grounds.  Broadcast for seven years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM, online, and podcast afterward on Radio Free America, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Governor in Rathdrum, Sandpoint Council Meeting & Rail Bridge Permit, Climate Strike Report


Among numerous, ongoing, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), facebook and website posts, please review these opportunities for information and participation in regional, #No2ndBridge, and anti-fossil fuels campaigns, especially events described in the first two items, happening on Thursday, September 26, in Rathdrum and Sandpoint.

Idaho Governor Brad Little and his administration are hosting “Capital for a Day” in Rathdrum, from 10 am to 3 pm on Thursday, September 26, offering chances to talk about the governor’s conflicts between his climate change and fossil fuels interests, evident in his Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, Sandpoint Junction Connector project support and Treasure Valley oil and gas leases [1].

At a special meeting at 5:45 pm on Thursday, September 26, the Sandpoint City Council will consider its response to the September 5, U.S. Coast Guard denial of the council’s May 2018 resolution strongly requesting a full environmental impact statement (EIS) for BNSF Railway’s proposed, Lake Pend Oreille area, bridge and track expansion [2].

This week, WIRT initiated an inquiry into City of Sandpoint and Bonner County permitting of BNSF’s planned, second, Bridge Street, Sand Creek (granted), and Lake Pend Oreille railroad bridges [3].

Besides a dual event announcement, WIRT’s last email alert now includes a website-posted synopsis of #No2ndBridge updates since the Coast Guard’s disastrous decision to approve BNSF’s fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails bridge expansion [4].

Thanks to the one hundred-plus people who participated in the Lake Communities Climate Strike and BNSF Bridges Coast Guard EA Protest on Saturday, September 21, which WIRT board members depict with a description and photos from the north Idaho, fossil fuels frontline [5].

At 1 am on Friday, September 20, only 25 miles south and 36 hours before the Sandpoint climate strike and #No2ndBridge march, north Idaho lost another life in an Amtrak train and Athol pickup truck collision, explained in local and national newspaper articles [6]. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: North Idaho Climate Strike, Rail Bridge Protest, City Permit, & Appeal Letter, Idaho Gas Driller Bankruptcy, First Nation Court Victory over Pipeline, Chicago Bank Lock-Down 9-25-19


The Wednesday, September 25, 2019, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news and reflections on the autumn equinox, a north Idaho climate strike, railroad expansion protest, and train and truck collision death, a Sandpoint rail bridge permit and letter requesting stronger environmental review, Idaho oil and gas driller bankruptcy and creditor lawsuit, a B.C. First Nation court victory over a tar sands pipeline assessment, and Chicago activist shut-down of a pipeline funding bank.  Broadcast for seven years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM, online, and podcast afterward on Radio Free America, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

September 21 Lake Communities Climate Strike & #No2ndBridge March


Global Event in Sandpoint Offers a Public Rally & Coast Guard Decision Protest

350 Sandpoint, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), and communities around Lake Pend Oreille are hosting two north Idaho activities in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike and in resistance to the ongoing pollution, climate impacts, and regional risks of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s present and proposed, fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails across Lake Pend Oreille and north Idaho.  Event organizers request that participants bring signs and voices addressing the climate crisis, and gather together with friends and families on Saturday, September 21, at East Farmin Park, Third and Main Streets in Sandpoint.  At 1 pm, the Lake Pend Oreille Climate Strike held by 350Sandpoint features speakers and music.  The BNSF Bridges Coast Guard EA Protest led by WIRT marches from the park at 2 pm, in opposition to climate-wrecking, fossil fuels trains and infrastructure expansion [1, 2].

People in 150 countries are organizing Global Climate Strikes on September 20 to 27, with urgent actions to protest fossil fuel pipeline proposals, expansions, and bank funding, to oppose coal, oil, and tar sands extraction and train transportation, to protect local and global air, water, forests, and species, and to push for just and equitable, clean energy solutions.  Amid increasingly chaotic weather, floods, droughts, wildfires, “natural” disasters, and widespread harm to people everywhere, worldwide demonstrations are calling for an end to corporate and government business-as-usual.

Your support and presence on the north Idaho fossil fuels frontline becomes more necessary every day!  Please circulate the website-linked, PDF version of the BNSF Bridges Coast Guard EA Protest Flyer, check the WIRT facebook and website pages for further event information and recent, #No2ndBridge issue updates, notify and invite your contacts, and bring your ideas and enthusiasm to these climate action opportunities [3].  Consider contributing physically and/or fiscally to #No2ndBridge and WIRT campaigns confronting the fossil fuel sources of climate change, online through the Donate to WIRT button or by mail to our Sandpoint and Moscow mailing addresses [4].

Issue Background

During 2018 and 2019, thousands of Northwest citizens diligently participated in state and federal hearings and extended comment periods, requesting a scientifically rigorous, environmental impact statement (EIS) analysis of the environmental and socioeconomic harms inflicted by BNSF Railway’s proposed construction and operation of parallel, second (and consequently later third) bridges across Sand Creek and almost one mile over Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho’s largest, deepest lake [5].  BNSF’s 2.2-mile, Sandpoint Junction Connector project would also double rail line through downtown Sandpoint and across Bridge Street, the only access to a regional, water intake plant, residences, and popular beaches, marinas, and resorts.  The three- to five-year BNSF scheme plans to drive 1000-plus piles for two temporary work spans and three permanent railroad bridges, into over 100 years of train- and coal-polluted, lakebed sediment, critical habitat for threatened bull trout and angler-prized fish, surface and aquifer drinking water, and the heart of Bonner County’s recreation and tourism economy, to enable riskier, more derailment-vulnerable, bi-directional, fossil fuels, hazardous materials, and other train traffic. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Greta Thunberg, Idaho Climate Strikes & Gas Driller Bankruptcy, Houston Ship Channel Blockade, Valve Turner Necessity Defense Victory, Sleepy Engineer Train Wrecks 9-18-19


The Wednesday, September 18, 2019, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a talk by European student climate strike leader Greta Thunberg, and news and reflections on upcoming climate crisis and fossil fuel infrastructure protests in Moscow, Sandpoint, and beyond, Idaho oil and gas drilling company bankruptcy and fraud investigation, a Houston ship channel blockade ahead of a presidential candidate debate, a Washington Supreme Court decision favoring a pipeline valve turner’s necessity defense, and trains wrecked by engineers with sleep apnea.  Broadcast for seven years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM, online, and podcast for several weeks afterward on Radio Free America, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

BNSF Bridges Coast Guard EA Protest


BNSF Bridges Coast Guard EA Protest

Saturday, September 21, 1 pm Global Climate Strike, 2 pm #No2ndBridge March

East Farmin Park, Third and Main Streets, Sandpoint

Sandpoint Monthly WIRT Meeting

7 pm Wednesday, September 18

Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street, Sandpoint

On Thursday, September 5, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) issued a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) and final environmental assessment (EA), instead of a recommendation for a lengthier, more thorough environmental impact statement (EIS), essentially approving Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s proposal to build parallel, second (and consequently later third) bridges across Sand Creek and Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho.  BNSF’s Sandpoint Junction Connector project would also double 2.2 miles of rail line through downtown Sandpoint, across Bridge Street, and almost one mile over Idaho’s  148-square-mile largest, 1,150-foot deepest lake, home to a variety of angler-prized fish and federally-listed, threatened bull trout and its critical habitat, and the heart of Bonner County’s recreation and tourism economy.

Thanks to thousands of regional citizens who diligently participated in state and federal hearings and comment periods, especially the extended, Coast Guard, draft EA, public input process that ended on May 1, several involved organizations can successfully insist on a widely requested, full, independent EIS study of this BNSF Railway bridge expansion.  Among ongoing, project resistance work since Wild Idaho Rising Tide’s (WIRT) #No2ndBridge Protest #3 in late April, WIRT activists, board members, and allied groups have been scheming a Sandpoint area march to protest the BNSF-pushed, USCG decision to sidestep examination of the environmental and socioeconomic implications of BNSF’s proposed railroad bridges, with a less scientifically rigorous, final EA [1].

Now, more than ever, WIRT needs your support and presence on the north Idaho, fossil fuels frontline!  Join fellow, #No2ndBridge, and community activists at two events this week: 1) the Sandpoint, monthly, WIRT meeting and sign creation party at 7 pm on Wednesday, September 18, in the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint, where participants will share ideas and assistance in coordinating, publicizing, and staging the upcoming march, and 2) the Global Climate Strike and BNSF Bridges Coast Guard EA Protest at 1 pm and 2 pm on Saturday, September 21, at east Farmin Park, Third and Main streets in Sandpoint, where friends and families will gather together to hear rally speakers and music, engage in climate solidarity activities, and march in opposition to climate-wrecking, fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails transportation [2].

Please circulate the website-linked, PDF version of the BNSF Bridges Coast Guard EA Protest Flyer, check the WIRT facebook and website pages for further event information and recent, #No2ndBridge issue updates, notify and invite your contacts, and bring protest signs, banners, and enthusiasm to these climate action opportunities [3].  Consider contributing physically and/or fiscally to this #No2ndBridge and WIRT campaigns confronting the fossil fuel sources of climate change, online through the Donate to WIRT button or by mail to our Sandpoint and Moscow mailing addresses [4].  Thanks!

Recent #No2ndBridge Issue Updates Continue reading

Fifth Panhandle Paddle


#No2ndBridge Talk, Direct Action Training, Rally & Paddle

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allied activists, friends, and supporters invite and heartily welcome your input and involvement during an upcoming weekend of opportunities to discuss, train for, and stage resistance to the fossil fuels and railroad industry degraders of basic, global, human, environmental, and climate health and rights.  Interior Northwest residents are coordinating and co-hosting fifth annual, Panhandle Paddle activities, to unite against regional trains hauling volatile Alberta tar sands, fracked Bakken crude oil, dusty Powder River Basin coal, and other hazardous materials, and to oppose Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s planned bridge and track construction across downtown Sandpoint, Bridge Street, Sand Creek, and Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho [1].  We have chosen to maintain the yearly date and autonomy of Panhandle Paddle confrontations of government-rubberstamped, corporate transportation and infrastructure projects, separate from the massive, government-oriented bandwagon of September 20 and later, international, climate emergency strikes that divert and rely on local efforts to succeed, but rarely reciprocate such support [2].

Fossil fuel infrastructure use, expansion, and deterioration along and over inland Northwest waterways recklessly endanger air, water, climate, lands, lives, and communities, with the ongoing, increasing pollution and risks of coal and diesel emissions and catastrophic train wrecks, spills, fires, and explosions occurring weekly throughout the country.  Within eight months after a derailed oil train fire and spill jeopardized a nearby school, water treatment plant, and the Columbia River, in the small, scenic town of Mosier, Oregon, BNSF, Montana Rail Link, and Union Pacific imposed seven north Idaho and northwest Montana train derailments and collisions within 44 miles of Sandpoint in seven 2017 months, involving two grain and two coal trains, two vehicles with four teenagers, one dog, and two deaths [3, 4].  While WIRT directly confronted and documented BNSF’s preliminary, pile load testing for a second lake rail bridge at Dog Beach Park near Sandpoint, between May and September 2017, area railroad accidents culminated in the mid-August, wrecked train dump of tens of thousands of tons of coal into the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille watershed near Heron, Montana, upstream of river and lake drinking water sources [5].  Fully laden, flammable, crude oil and hazardous materials trains frequented the tracks surrounded by deep mounds of wreckage and spontaneously combusting, smoldering coal, which remained unremedied during five weeks of an unusually smoky wildfire season.

Since August 2014, when BNSF first proclaimed bridge expansion, and September 2015, when its plans dropped along with the price of oil, WIRT and #No2ndBridge activists have been preparing for a worst case scenario in north Idaho, as we await decisions by the U.S. Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers on BNSF’s still federally unpermitted, fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails bridge expansion through Sandpoint and almost one mile over Idaho’s largest, deepest lake, Pend Oreille [6-8].  For now, we are scheming legal maneuvers and planning regional marches in rapid response to these agency announcements, after the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued an uncontested, water quality certification in September 2018, and railroad and state attorney general lawyers convinced a Moscow judge to dismiss our expensive, underdog, district court case against a June 2018, Idaho Department of Lands, encroachment permit for BNSF’s Sandpoint Junction Connector Project, in March 2019 [9, 10].  Among myriad, significant, immitigable, cumulative impacts to  the environmental and public health and safety of north Idaho, BNSF’s $100 million gamble would drive over 1000 piles into regional drinking water, threatened bull trout critical habitat, train-spewed coal deposits, and the natural amenities foundation of the Sandpoint area tourism and recreation economy, for second (and likely third), parallel, railroad bridges and temporary work spans facilitating riskier, more derailment-vulnerable, bi-directional train traffic  [11].  Meanwhile, on the downtown Sandpoint, fossil fuels frontline, WIRT continues to daily document, for the #IDoiltrainwatch, #WAoiltrainwatch, and Portland tar sands opponents, every westbound, BNSF, unit train of dangerous, black tanker, and coal cars moving toward disasters waiting to happen in Lake Pend Oreille and downstream.

As the #No2ndBridge situation intensifies, we are reaching out to you, our regional network comrades, to share direct action skills and ask you to join with north Idaho, rail line communities in the crosshairs of the coal, oil, and railroad industries, to resist fossil-fueled climate change through these annual, Panhandle Paddle events on Friday through Sunday, September 6 to 8, in Sandpoint.  We would appreciate your participation in the talk, workshop, and paddle, your RSVP of your intentions for spots in kayaks, canoes, carpools, and camps, and your help with publicizing these free events, by sharing this event description, and printing and posting the color, letter-sized, PDF version of the WIRT website-linked Fifth Panhandle Paddle Flyer. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Fifth Panhandle Paddle, Declining Idaho Driller Stocks, Keystone XL Nebraska Approval & Boise-Built Camps, Intentional Amazon Fires 8-28-19


The Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news and reflections on the Fifth Panhandle Paddle, north Idaho fossil fuels train and railroad bridge resistance, a 2017 Montana coal train spill, declining Idaho gas driller stock prices, Boise-built Keystone XL pipeline construction camps, the death of billionaire climate denier David Koch, a Native-hosted presidential candidate forum, the first hearing of telescope blockading Hawai’in elders, a cancelled Democratic climate change debate, intentionally set Amazon fires, and Nebraska Supreme Court approval of an alternative Keystone XL route.  Broadcast for seven years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM, online, and podcast for several weeks afterward on Radio Free America, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Coal Terminal Court Defeat, Thunderstorm-Derailed Trains, Railroad Crew Size Lawsuits, Bismarck Rail Bridge Dispute, North Dakota & Idaho Oil Spills, New Fruitland Forced Pooling, Federally Upheld Tribal Rulings, Line 3 & Trans Mountain Blockades 8-21-19


The Wednesday, August 21, 2019, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news and reflections on a Washington court order against the Millennium coal export terminal, hundreds of railroad cars derailed by Kansas thunderstorm winds, state laws and lawsuits on train crew sizes, a controversial Bismarck railroad bridge, oil spills in Lake Pend Oreille and North Dakota, recent Montana earthquakes, a new Idaho oil and gas forced pooling application, a federal court decision upholding tribal court rulings, and Line 3 and Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline blockades.  Broadcast for seven years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, and podcast for several weeks afterward on Radio Free America, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.