Climate Justice Forum: Totem Poles & Kayaks Against Fossil Fuels, Paradise Ridge Highway 95 Lawsuit, Indigenous Blockade of Dakota Access Pipeline, Rescinded Spokane Fossil Fuel Train Ballot Initiative 8-24-16


The Wednesday, August 24, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about the August 28 Totem Poles and Kayaks against Fossil Fuels event at City Beach Park in Sandpoint, the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition legal complaint filed against the Idaho Transportation Department on behalf of native Palouse Prairie, an allied indigenous blockade of the Dakota Access oil pipeline on the Missouri River in North Dakota, and a second recording of the August 15 Spokane City Council public discussion about a rescinded November 2016 ballot measure on coal and oil train car fines.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Totem Poles & Kayaks Against Fossil Fuels: Second Panhandle Paddle


Totem Poles & Kayaks Against Fossil Fuels Flyer

Join in some summer fun on the water and beach to show Big Oil and King Coal and their railroad industry haulers and government facilitators that north Idahoans will not stand for their reckless endangerment of our lives, communities, water, air, and climate with their explosive Alberta tar sands and Bakken crude oil trains and their heavy, dusty Powder River Basin coal trains. Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists, members, and friends in Sandpoint, Moscow, Spokane, and across the interior Northwest are organizing and hosting the second annual Panhandle Paddle at 11 am on Sunday, August 28.  We invite everyone to bring their boats of any kind and converge after the Lummi Totem Pole Journey visit at City Beach Park in Sandpoint, Idaho, for music, speakers, and on- and off-shore protests of Northwest fossil fuel transports and terminals and Lake Pend Oreille rail bridge deterioration, use, and expansion [1].  Please also participate in these second Panhandle Paddle activities:

Sign Preparation Party

RSVP and meet at 1 pm on Saturday, August 27, at the WIRT outreach table under the Farmin Park clock at the Farmers’ Market at Sandpoint, or anytime on Saturday afternoon at the WIRT Sandpoint office at 301 North First Avenue, Suite 209B, above Finan McDonald Clothing Company in Sandpoint, Idaho. We welcome assistance with creating and constructing huge, attractive banners and signs that kayaktivists, boaters, and rally participants can hoist from watercraft or the beach and that observers can see at great distances.

Palouse Area Carpool

Gather on Sunday, August 28, by 6 am for the totem pole blessing or 8 am for the kayaktivist action, in the parking lot beneath the Rosauers sign at 411 North Main Street in Moscow, Idaho. Panhandle Paddle activists could return to the Palouse region by 3 or 4 pm or later that evening, depending on carpooler arrangements.  Please contact WIRT for further information about this shared travel.

Watercraft Rental

Several downtown Sandpoint local businesses can provide rentals of single and tandem/double kayaks, paddle boards, and boats. Please respond to WIRT with your watercraft rental intentions for the event, so we can cover some of this equipment availability and cost for participants.

* Outdoor Experience, 314 North First Avenue, 208-263-6028, OutdoorExperience.us

First-come, first served rentals of two single kayaks for two hours ($30) or 24 hours ($45), or of two tandem/double kayaks for two hours ($40) or 24 hours ($55), or of paddle boards for $20 per hour

* Action Water Sports, 100 North First Avenue, 208-255-7100, ActionWaterSportsLessons.com

Reservable rentals of two single kayaks, two tandem/double kayaks, or paddle boards for $20 per hour or for four hours ($50) or for eight hours ($90), provided with brief instructions before departure

Grassroots Climate Activism Support

Can you donate toward watercraft rental fees or offer boats, gear, or supplies for this event [2]? Could you contribute your inspiring words and/or melodies or delicious snacks and beverages?  Would you drive enthusiastic Panhandle Paddle participants to Sandpoint?  Can your group or organization endorse and/or co-sponsor this demonstration of people power?  Please contact WIRT through any of the enclosed channels, to bolster this community event or assist with our collective expenses.

Peruse the following background information about these opportunities and profusely print and post the attached, color, letter-sized Totem Poles & Kayaks Against Fossil Fuels Flyer.  We eagerly anticipate sharing these experiences with you and your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, thankful that regional community members are actively opposing dirty energy extraction and transportation.

Panhandle Paddle Background Continue reading

Totem Poles & Kayaks Against Fossil Fuels: Lummi Visit Sandpoint


Totem Poles & Kayaks Against Fossil Fuels Flyer

On Sunday morning, August 28, at 9 am, the Lummi Nation House of Tears carvers are bringing their fourth totem pole to City Beach Park in Sandpoint, Idaho, and at 11 am on the same morning (instead of August 27), north Idaho kayaktivists are launching the second Panhandle Paddle around the Lake Pend Oreille rail bridge. These successive events share the goals of the Lummi Totem Pole Journeys: To “defeat proposed fossil fuel projects, while laying the foundation for a broad-based alliance on future issues of common concern related to fossil fuels and climate change.”

Please join the co-hosts and coordinators of the Totem Pole Journey stop in Sandpoint – Idaho Conservation League, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper, and the City of Sandpoint – and other regional groups actively opposing fossil fuel projects, such as 350Sandpoint, Idaho Mythweaver, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), and allies, at the paved area behind the snack shack at City Beach Park, 102 Bridge Street in Sandpoint, Idaho [1].

Welcoming and blessing ceremonies commence at 9 am, with guest speakers from tribes, nongovernmental organizations, and municipalities raising awareness of the impacts of fossil fuels and the necessity of broad citizen opposition. Before group members of this final Lummi tour pack up and haul the totem pole to Missoula, Montana, and ultimately Winnipeg, Manitoba, it will remain on display until 11 am.

The Second Panhandle Paddle will launch an on- and off-shore rally and kayak and boat flotilla from City Beach Park after the Lummi totem pole event, to voyage around the Lake Pend Oreille rail bridge with a recently discovered crack [2, 3]. Physically demonstrating local resistance to coal, shale oil, and tar sands trains traversing north Idaho and the lake, the action organized by WIRT and allies further mobilizes frontline, inland Northwest communities unjustly impacted by the risks and pollution of fossil fuel transports.

Peruse the following background information about these opportunities and profusely print and post the attached, color, letter-sized Totem Poles and Kayaks Against Fossil Fuels Flyer. We eagerly anticipate sharing these experiences with you and your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, grateful that tribes across the continent are leading the current movement to protect lands and waters for future generations.

Lummi Totem Pole Journey Background Continue reading

Pave Paradise?


Group files lawsuit to stop U.S. 95 realignment over environmentally sensitive area

A group of citizens has filed another lawsuit against the Idaho Transportation Department for its project that aims to realign and expand part of U.S. Highway 95.

The Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition alleges the transportation department produced a “deeply flawed” environmental impact statement that downplays or ignores the environmental repercussions of construction planned from Moscow to Thorn Creek Road, according to a 23-page lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Idaho. The lawsuit calls for the withdrawal of the statement and an order prohibiting the project from being implemented.

Steve Flint, a board member for the nonprofit, said the group’s concerns have not been quelled since members last took legal action against the state in 2003.

“One of the biggest concerns is that the eastern route that they proposed is closest to the prairie remnants,” he said.

In March, the Idaho Transportation Board unanimously approved the eastern route alternative for the 6.34-mile stretch of highway, and the formal record of decision was published in April in the Federal Register. The project will expand the highway from two to four lanes, including a 34-foot median and center turn lanes, as well as curbs, gutters and sidewalks at the northern end of the project, just south of Moscow.

The eastern alignment, one of three options considered, is nearest to Paradise Ridge. The area contains some of the last remnants of the Palouse Prairie, Flint said, including the endangered Spalding’s catchfly.

The lawsuit argues environmental damages caused by the eastern route, along with mitigation efforts, have not been adequately analyzed.

Continue reading

Complaint Filed over Proposed U.S. 95 Route


Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition wants agencies to choose different route for highway realignment

The Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition filed a legal complaint Thursday against the Idaho Transportation Department and the Federal Highway Administration in the Central Division of U.S. District Court for Idaho over their plans for widening U.S. Highway 95 south of Moscow.

According to a news release from the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition, the 23-page complaint challenges the Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision issued for realigning 6.5 miles of the highway from Moscow to Thorncreek Road over Paradise Ridge.

The FHA signed the formal Record of Decision on March 21 authorizing ITD to purchase land and begin construction of the project as early as the fall of 2017.

The FHA and the ITD evaluated other alternatives for highway realignment, including western, central and eastern routes, before choosing the easternmost route after years of an environmental review process, according to information on ITD’s website.

PRDC has said the proposed route would lead to loss of wetlands, remnants of Palouse Prairie, farmland and conservation reserve; and the removal of acres of pine stands and related habitat. It also would cause more noise, have a wider visual effect and it is not the safest route for travel because it is at a higher elevation than other routes and is used by large game for crossing.

Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Dakota Access Pipeline Indigenous Blockade, Sandpoint Totem Pole & Kayak Event, Rescinded Spokane Train Fine Ballot Measure 8-17-16


The Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allied indigenous blockade of the Dakota Access oil pipeline at the Sacred Stone Camp in Cannonball, North Dakota, the August 28 Totem Poles and Kayaks against Fossil Fuels event at City Beach Park in Sandpoint, and a recording of public and council member discussion at the August 15 Spokane City Council meeting that rescinded a November 2016 ballot measure to fine each coal and oil train car traversing the city.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

WIRT Office Gathering & Totem Pole/Kayak Event


As a reminder of Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allied events in August 2016, we invite you and your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to:

The WIRT Sandpoint Office Open House at 7 pm on Wednesday evening, August 17, at 301 North First Avenue, Suite 209B (above Finan McDonald’s), in Sandpoint, Idaho.  Please bring your ideas and energies for ongoing and upcoming climate activism in the interior Northwest, enjoy refreshments and camaraderie, and plan for the…

Totem Poles and Kayaks against Fossil Fuels event on Sunday morning, August 28, at City Beach Park, 102 Bridge Street in Sandpoint, Idaho.  The welcoming and blessing ceremonies of the Fourth Totem Pole Journey of the Lummi Nation House of Tears Carvers, co-hosted by the City of Sandpoint, Idaho Conservation League, and Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper, commence at 9 am with tribal, nongovernmental organization, and city speakers.  The recently combined Second Panhandle Paddle action, organized by Wild Idaho Rising Tide and allies, follows at 11 am with music and an on- and off-shore rally against Northwest fossil fuel transports and terminals, launching a kayaktivist flotilla around the Lake Pend Oreille rail bridge from City Beach Park.

Please view and profusely print and post the attached, color, letter-sized Totem Poles & Kayaks Against Fossil Fuels Flyer, while we provide more information about these opportunities during the next few days on the WIRT website and facebook pages.  Thanks for your relentless activism!

Climate Justice Forum: Lake Pend Oreille Rail Bridge Crack, Indigenous Blockade of Mount Polley Mine, Colorado Oil & Gas Ballot Initiative 8-10-16


The Wednesday, August 10, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about a crack in the Lake Pend Oreille rail bridge carrying oil and coal trains, an indigenous blockade of the Imperial Metals mine on the two-year anniversary of the Mount Polley tailings pond spill, the conclusion of negotiated rulemaking for Idaho oil and gas regulations, two Colorado grassroots ballot initiatives asserting local governance and longer setbacks of oil and gas development, and other topics.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Keep It in the Ground: Idaho BLM Oil & Gas Lease Protest 2 Report


Jane2016-07-27_Protest_BLM_ID_oil-gas_leasing_JaneRohling_EJ7A7313a

Idaho Activists Stage ‘Keep It in the Ground’ Protest of BLM Oil & Gas Lease Auction

Thanks to the 25 protesters of the second Bureau of Land Management (BLM) auction of oil and gas leases of public lands and resources in Payette County on Wednesday morning, July 27 [1-5]!  Some journeying hundreds of miles across Idaho, enthusiastic participants from five groups – Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Idaho Chapter Sierra Club, Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide – met at 8 am MDT near the intersection of West Overland Road and South Vinnell Way in Boise, then held a climate justice rally with signs and banners outside the BLM Idaho State Office.  Along with Payette County residents, many of the involved activists have been objecting to oil and gas development in the Treasure Valley since 2010, and confronting previous state and federal oil and gas lease auctions since April 2013.  The Boise channel 2 television station, KBOI, sent a cameraman/reporter to the five-group protest of the BLM auction; organizers have requested footage of the resulting brief coverage during the July 27 evening news.

This public demonstration joined similar Keep It in the Ground rallies in Lakewood, Colorado, Reno, Nevada, Roswell, New Mexico, and Salt Lake City, Utah, as part of a growing national movement urging President Obama to expand his climate legacy and stop all new oil and gas leases on public lands, as he did with coal leases.  With their peaceful civil disobedience in Boise, concerned Idaho citizens sought to halt the BLM sale of leases on 9,242 acres of Sheep Ridge lands near producing and plugged oil and gas wells around Big Willow Creek, seven miles north of New Plymouth, Idaho [6].  They contributed toward a courageous display of public resistance to Payette County oil and gas invasions, while demanding the end of fossil fuel leases to dangerous extractive industries on federal lands in beautiful Idaho and across the West.

With “soft” cloth signs and banners created to avert the BLM restriction on “hard” protest signs allowed in the building, the protesters were shocked and disappointed to learn during the initial rally that this auction of oil and gas leases of public lands did not welcome the public.  The BLM planned to bar citizens from the bidding process in the Sagebrush Conference Room, and had prepared a separate, monitored room for viewing of livestreamed video coverage of the auction.  So the protesters circled and organized their tactics on the lawn outside the federal building hosting the BLM, other federal land management agencies, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Most of the protesters who entered the BLM office suite presented photo identification and signed in as visitors of the auction and action.  Dozens of them occupied the observation room, while bidders and others arrived in the nearby lobby and signed in to the auction that began at 9 am.  A subversive group of auction opponents unfurled their soft signs saying “Keep It in the Ground” and stood together for photos in front of the closed circuit televisions.  During the 45-minute auction that concluded with the auctioneer’s quip “Thanks for playing,” the protesters watched and took notes, photos, and videos of the BLM auctioning off eight leases for fossil fuel extraction from thousands of acres of public and private lands, for as little as $2 per acre from only two bidders.

Resisting being shunted to a room for protesters with livestreamed auction videos, two activists endured physical and verbal bullying by Idaho BLM personnel and Homeland Security officers, while they persisted in bringing hard protest signs into the building and seeking admission to the auction room.  A particularly aggressive Homeland Security officer initiated close-range shouting matches and roughly pushed on a Boise protester’s body and camera several times, even forcing her backwards through glass doors, and took and folded her protest sign.  One female BLM staff member also yelled at the same participant, before emotionally walking out of the building.  A Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activist, insisting on her First Amendment rights to carry a “No Oil and Gas on Public Lands” protest sign into the bidding room, registered at 8:50 am as Bidder 3 to “observe and protest a public proceeding,” and received a bidder ID badge and orange paper paddle.  After a brief huddle among BLM and security personnel, they allowed hard protest signs and cameras into the lobby and video observation room, and returned the Boise protester’s bent sign.  But they continued to physically block Bidder 3’s entrance to the auction until past the start of bidding, citing past, militant, right-wing demonstrations as the basis of their fear and increased security around public actions at federal buildings. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Spokane Ballot Initiative Against Fossil Fuel Trains, Boise BLM Oil & Gas Lease Protest, Six New SW Idaho Solar Farms 8-3-16


The Wednesday, August 3, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news and recordings of the Spokane City Council hearing on a November 2016 ballot measure that would fine coal and oil trains crossing Spokane, the five-group protest of a Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction in Boise, negotiated rulemaking for Idaho oil and gas development regulations, and construction of six new commercial solar farms in southwest Idaho. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.