Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! 6-4-7-13


With the May 30 disclosure by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) that Alta Mesa Services and Snake River Oil and Gas could implement “small frac jobs” on half of the eleven already drilled gas wells in Payette County, Idaho, protesting and organizing during the Stop the Frack Attack Week of Action on June 3 to 9 carried more urgency and significance [1, 2]. Similar to, but purportedly smaller than, the risky hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of shale that has poisoned places like North Dakota and Pennsylvania, dangerous, earthquake-inducing explosions of porous gas reservoir rocks could permanently withdraw and pollute thousands – if not millions – of gallons of water from the Payette River basin. IDL’s May 30 press release countering Wild Idaho Rising Tide’s May 28 media release, which rallied public comments and protests of the proposed Smoke Ranch gas well on Birding Island within the Big Willow Creek/Payette River confluence, floodplain, and wetlands, also revealed that the two profiteering companies have leased tracts from IDL in the nearby Payette River Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The Smoke Ranch well pad on private land, constructed before the public comment period closed, could provide an entry point for directional drilling (and fracking?) of gas fields beneath the wildlife refuge, where the WMA lease prohibits surface disruption from drilling, and could set a precedent for exploitation of other leased state lands along and under the river.

Oil and gas drilling and fracking could also soon invade the Grangeville/Whitebird area and the 7,356 Bureau of Land Management acres leased near Bear Lake and Grays Lake in southeastern Idaho [3, 4]. Along with commenting against IDL permitting of the poorly-placed Smoke Ranch well, on behalf of our nearly 2000 members, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE) coordinated protests at Idaho Department of Lands offices throughout the state [5, 6, 7]. We staged Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! demonstrations and a strategy meeting on Tuesday through Friday, June 4 to 7, in northern, north-central, and southwestern Idaho [8]. Participants brought their friends, family, and neighbors and fracking/drilling protest signs, banners, and chants, to join fellow concerned citizens and take plenty of photos and videos to later share with IDL. On the eve of a culminating Boise action at the main IDL office and minerals division near the state capitol, a dozen highly motivated and energized Idaho activists and attorneys converged for a third strategizing session, to shape our ongoing resistance to impending fracking over the next year. Fractivists hope to halt reckless oil and gas drilling in Idaho and save state surface and ground waters, agriculture and recreation, air quality and climate, and subsequent health from clueless regional politicians.

[1] WIRT Response to Idaho Department of Lands Media Counter-Release (WIRT website)

[2] Stop the Frack Attack Week of Action! (Stop the Frack Attack website)

[3] [Fracking] Brothers Buy Chunk of Idaho County (January 12, 2013, Lewiston Tribune)

[4] Don’t Frack Birding Island in Idaho’s Payette River (Earthworks Earthblog)

[5] IRAGE Comments on Alta Mesa Services Application for Permit to Drill at Smoke Ranch, LLLP (IDL website)

[6] WIRT Comments to [and publicly dismissed by] the Idaho Department of Lands on Alta Mesa Services Permit Application for Drilling Well 1-21 (WIRT website)

[7] Idaho Department of Lands Area Offices (IDL website)

[8] Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! (WIRT website)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Coeur d'Alene (Lori Batina photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Coeur d’Alene (Lori Batina photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Coeur d'Alene (Lori Batina photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Coeur d’Alene (Lori Batina photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Saint Maries (Lori Batina photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Saint Maries (Lori Batina photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Saint Maries (Lori Batina photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Saint Maries (Lori Batina photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Deary (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Deary (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Deary (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Deary (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Orofino (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Orofino (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Orofino (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Orofino (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Kamiah (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Kamiah (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Orofino (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Orofino (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Orofino (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Orofino (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise, talking with Idaho Department of Lands director Tom Schultz (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise, talking with Idaho Department of Lands director Tom Schultz (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise, talking with Idaho Department of Lands director Tom Schultz (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise, talking with Idaho Department of Lands director Tom Schultz and sidewalk chalking (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise, as the police arrive (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise, as the police arrive (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise, drawing two cop cars of repression (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise, drawing two cop cars of repression (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise, with about 20 protest participants (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise, with about 20 protest participants (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise (Helen Yost photo)

Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! in Boise (Helen Yost photo)

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