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 firstname.lastname@example.org, through facebook, at the WIRT Activist House between noon and 8 pm daily, and/or at 208-301-8039.] Continue reading
Victoria Seever, Moscow
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 1/30/13
On January 21, I got a tour of Highway 95’s other alignment options, the central and west routes. This is not an easy call. Whichever route, it is essential all ecological mitigations are thoroughly taken and maintained. Social and economic issues remain a huge consideration for individual rights and land use. It’s not as simple as buying out someone who just plops down somewhere else equitably located and available.
It was especially helpful to see the road course for the central route and where it is in relation to the east route.
Hearing firsthand the challenges that occur when a highway cuts through a producing field, like farming equipment accessing those fields, and a firsthand history of land use and conservation on it offers valuable insight. 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
The Monday, January 28, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features Kai Huschke, the Spokane-based Northwest organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and an Envision Spokane activist who will lead a Friday evening presentation and Saturday morning workshop at the 1912 Center in Moscow. Kai explains how the corporate-shaped/state-supported regulatory system and legal doctrines favor corporations over communities and why activists must transition from reactive, defensive struggles toward pro-active, offensive strategies that enact legally defensible bills of rights and succeed in protecting ecosystems and communities. His experience and perspective on rights-based initiatives are especially germane to the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) scheme to expand and reroute U.S. Highway 95 south of Moscow through native Palouse Prairie remnants on weather-exposed Paradise Ridge, likely to accommodate international industrial traffic like tar sands megaloads. WIRT invites listeners to share their insights during the show broadcast on KRFP Radio Free Moscow between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PST live at 92.5 FM and online, by calling the station studio at 208-892-9200. Thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as his KRFP DJ, the show also covers regional and continent-wide dirty energy developments and climate activism news.
On February 1 and 2, the Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, and several local conservation and human rights organizations again gratefully welcome to Moscow Kai Huschke, the Spokane-based Northwest organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and an Envision Spokane activist. Everyone is invited to participate in his public presentation and meeting in the 1912 Center Fiske Room, 412 East Third Street in Moscow. On Friday evening, February 1, at 7 pm, Kai will talk about When the Law is on Their Side: What Communities are Doing Differently to Change the Game Against Corporate Domination, describing the legal background and necessity of the 150 community bills of rights codified by cities, counties, and townships as local “declarations of independence” from harmful corporate activities and their government facilitation.
Over the last 150 years, the few people who own and run corporations have perfectly constructed and patented a structure of law seldom understood in its practical applications. These legal doctrines insulate corporations from community control, grant them greater legal and constitutional rights than community majorities, and routinely preempt and nullify resistance in targeted communities, who almost never win against corporations. Communities predictably respond by focusing solely on the state-sanctioned destruction wrought by a corporate activity and by trying to convince other people of the need to ban, rather than merely regulate or allow, corporate actions and harms. But by instead structurally changing the ground rules, people across the country have successfully joined together to organize and use their collective lawmaking powers and non-violent civil disobedience, directly challenging and ultimately liberating themselves from centuries-old corporate domination in everything from factory farms to water privatization to dirty energy, while protecting the health, safety, and welfare of communities and ecosystems. Moscow and Latah County citizens could similarly offer important leadership and linkage in attaining more critical mass of this authentic democracy. Continue reading