On Wednesday, October 17, the Idaho Transportation Department issued a permit to Omega Morgan Inc. to haul a water treatment vessel of unknown ownership up U.S. Highway 12 between 10 pm and 5:30 am on Monday night, October 22, through Saturday night, October 27. At 300 feet, this longest overlegal load to ever traverse the wild and scenic river corridor and largest wildlands complex in the contiguous U.S. states weighs 520,000 pounds and measures 20 feet wide and 22 feet high. Like the four 226-foot-long ConocoPhillips megaloads and one since dismantled ExxonMobil test validation module that Idahoans monitored last year, it will probably encounter difficult passage frustrated by impending snow and tight curves between roadside rock cliffs and guard-railed precipices over the Lochsa and Middle Fork Clearwater rivers.
The region, if not the nation, is watching this incursion, as apparent in a recent Boise Weekly article, Idaho Transportation Department Greenlights Mega-Load for U.S. Highway 12, and an Oregonian piece, Water-Purification Equipment Will Be Transported on Disputed Idaho-Montana Mountain Highway. Your involvement in monitoring and protesting this likely tar sands equipment as it grinds up highways from the Port of Wilma, Washington, to northern Alberta is more essential than ever. Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and our regional allies have coordinated two protests and four nights of monitoring activities to confront this industrial invasion.
On Monday evening, October 22, we will converge at 9 pm at the corner of Second and Washington Street in Moscow to demonstrate our megaload opposition at 10 pm along Idaho Highway 128, just west of Lewiston, as the convoy consisting of an ambulance, portable signs, pilot trucks, and flagging teams crosses the Idaho/Washington border. Megaload monitors will then follow the shipment, escorted by Idaho State Police between the U.S. Highway 95 Port of Entry and the Highway 12 junction, to the Orofino area, where it will park on Tuesday at either milepost 39 or 44. Because Omega Morgan’s transportation plan prohibits this megaload from delaying other highway vehicles for more than 15 minutes before pulling over to let traffic pass, we intend to also scrutinize its every move on its second night traveling to milepost 74 near Kooskia, on its third night moving to milepost 127 east of Lowell, and on its fourth night struggling up the Bitterroot crest to milepost 174 near the Idaho/Montana state line.
In solidarity with Idaho Rivers United, our Boise colleagues who are pursuing a federal court case against the U.S. Forest Service and Federal Highway Administration, challenging their negligence in upholding the wild and scenic river, scenic byway, and all American road designations of the Highway 12 corridor, Wild Idaho Rising Tide and regional activists will gather near Syringa, Idaho, at 10 pm on Wednesday, October 24, to protest the degradation of our wildlands to facilitate the largest climate-wrecking industrial project on Earth. Monitoring and protesting carpools provisioned with video and still cameras, audio recorders, and notebooks will depart the WIRT Activist House in Moscow at 8 pm on Tuesday evening, 7 pm on Wednesday, and 6 pm Saturday night. All of our plans, unlike most corporate practices, 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. Big Oil’s arrogance, greed, and oppression of people and places will never relent unless we confront its ruinous schemes to fry our planet for its profits: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will,…and [it] will continue till [it is] resisted with either words or blows or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress (American abolitionist Frederick Douglass).” Emerge from your fossil-fueled comfort zone and defend the Big Wild and global climate that burned (and we breathed) this summer, due in large part to the single largest point source of planetary carbon emissions, Alberta tar sands operations.
Cross-posted in the Earth First! Newswire: Wild Idaho Rising Tide Monitors MegaLoad, Raises Objections