Urgent WIRT Meeting, Possible Monday Megaload Movement


WIRT Activists and Friends,

URGENT WIRT MEETING

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) is staging a strategizing and planning meeting at the WIRT Activist House at 6 pm on Sunday, August 4!  Participants will discuss tactics for protesting and monitoring tar sands evaporators that could cross Highway 12 in Idaho beginning on Monday night, August 5.  Omega Morgan has attached one of these megaloads to pull and push trucks and staged it for transport in a paved lot at the Port of Wilma, Washington, a few miles downriver from Lewiston, Idaho.  As described in a previous WIRT newsletter, another shipment remains in a large shop at the port.  Please call 208-310-2108 for more information about this WIRT meeting and see the following articles about this emerging situation.  Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction and WIRT organizers are participating in a direct action training for trainers this weekend and will conduct a regional training session soon, to foster effective demonstrations against megaloads, oil and gas drilling/fracking, and the Keystone XL pipeline.  Expect an action alert after the WIRT meeting on Sunday evening…

Earth First! Direct Action Manual

Megaloads Could Go Monday (August 2 Lewiston Tribune)

On Friday, Omega Morgan stated its intentions to start hauling a massive evaporator up Highway 12 to Alberta tar sands operations at 10 pm on Monday, August 5.  The Forest Service “is not likely to try and stop the shipments if the company proceeds without its approval.”  The Idaho Transportation Department issued a permit to Omega Morgan on Friday and advised it to contact the Forest Service and the Federal Highway Administration.  A federal court recently affirmed their authority to review and regulate megaload permits for passage through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest and the Lochsa and Middle Fork of the Clearwater Wild and Scenic River corridor.  But the Forest Service has only suggested three interim criteria for such megaload transport and has not yet consulted the Nez Perce Tribe, conducted a proposed study of corridor values affected by the shipments, nor established a megaload permit approval process.  Forest Service response to Omega Morgan’s assertions will need Chief Tom Tidwell’s approval.  Opponents and mercenary supporters of megaloads have sent dozens of messages to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest over the past few weeks.

Update: Can a Mega-Load Make a U-Turn? (July 31/August 3 Boise Weekly)

Editorial: Time to Set Rules of Road for Idaho Megaloads (July 31 Spokesman Review)

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, Idaho 83843

WildIdahoRisingTide.org & on facebook & Twitter

208-301-8039

Smoke Ranch Well Protest 8-2-13


On Thursday and Friday, August 1 and 2, Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE) and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) arranged carpools from north Idaho and Boise to the current Payette County drilling area, to stage the first, overdue, public, on-site, oil and natural gas drilling protest in Idaho history.  With continent-wide recognition through Earth First! Newswire coverage, even Utah comrades called WIRT and considered participation.  At 3 pm MDT on August 2, friends, family, and neighbors gathered with their fracking/drilling protest signs and banners, cameras and binoculars at the A & W Restaurant/Chevron gas station just north of Interstate 84 Exit 3 in southwestern Idaho.  These dozen protesters from across the state and country chanted and waved signs at the nearby high-traffic corner of Highways 95 and 30.  They then followed organizers to the Smoke Ranch well site on Highway 52, from where Alta Mesa Services had moved a drilling derrick to the new ML Investments well pad, soon after the IRAGE/WIRT announcement of this demonstration of outrage.

Along Highway 52, the protesters observed the capped well head and pad of the first directionally drilled natural gas well in the state, located in a floodplain full of standing water, wetlands, riparian areas, and a wildlife refuge, between the Payette River and Big Willow Creek.  The ultimate outcome of the Smoke Ranch well could set a precedent for looming drilling/fracking on and under nearby state lands and waters already leased by Alta Mesa and Snake River Oil and Gas.  From the roadside only a few miles upstream from the City of Fruitland municipal water intake and the Payette/Snake River confluence, IRAGE activists had monitored the well site daily.  On that sunny August afternoon, the first time that many of the demonstrators had seen Idaho oil and gas facilities, Alma Hasse of IRAGE described the prior activity and equipment at the well site, and pointed out the location of a possible diesel fuel or drilling mud spill clean-up that she and Tina Fisher documented on July 21.  Everyone also noticed the close proximity of working ranches and community irrigation canals to the well situated below distantly recognizable sandstone cliffs and bluffs.

At the last stop during this great educational and expressive event, concerned citizens converged along Little Willow Road, to view the derrick and operations of the ML Investments 2-10 well, situated on a private road and property.  No news reporters joined the protesters as they considered, discussed, and learned about the strong, impending possibilities of compromised air and surface and ground water quality, threatened environmental and human health, and jeopardized local agricultural, recreational, and economic productivity, which oil and gas exploration and production of the Hamilton/Willow gas field could impose on the surrounding rural landscape.  Participants talked about a looming third new well since drilling resumed after a few years in June, as well as a proposed pipeline connecting Payette County gas wells to Idaho Power Company’s Langley Gulch natural gas-fired power generation plant near New Plymouth.  As industry and government continue to hide their fracking intentions for the region, which do not require public notice or comments and could spur well treatments soon, several state, county, and city police cruised by or chatted with demonstrators at all three sites visited on that Friday.

Protest at Smoke Ranch Well (July 29 Earth First! Newswire)

Protesters from across the state and country chant and wave fracking/drilling protest signs at the high-traffic corner of Highways 95 and 30 near Interstate 84 Exit 3 in southwestern Idaho.

Protesters from across the state and country chant and wave fracking/drilling protest signs at the high-traffic corner of Highways 95 and 30 near Interstate 84 Exit 3 in southwestern Idaho.

Protesters from across the state and country chant and wave fracking/drilling protest signs at the high-traffic corner of Highways 95 and 30 near Interstate 84 Exit 3 in southwestern Idaho.

Protesters from across the state and country chant and wave fracking/drilling protest signs at the high-traffic corner of Highways 95 and 30 near Interstate 84 Exit 3 in southwestern Idaho.

Protesters from across the state and country chant and wave fracking/drilling protest signs at the high-traffic corner of Highways 95 and 30 near Interstate 84 Exit 3 in southwestern Idaho.

Protesters from across the state and country chant and wave fracking/drilling protest signs at the high-traffic corner of Highways 95 and 30 near Interstate 84 Exit 3 in southwestern Idaho.

Protesters from across the state and country chant and wave fracking/drilling protest signs at the high-traffic corner of Highways 95 and 30 near Interstate 84 Exit 3 in southwestern Idaho.

Protesters from across the state and country chant and wave fracking/drilling protest signs at the high-traffic corner of Highways 95 and 30 near Interstate 84 Exit 3 in southwestern Idaho.

Protesters observe the capped well head and pad at the Smoke Ranch site south of Highway 52, the first directionally drilled natural gas well in the state, located in a floodplain full of standing water, wetlands, irrigation canals, riparian areas, and a wildlife refuge, between the Payette River and Big Willow Creek, only a few miles upstream from the City of Fruitland municipal water intake and the Payette/Snake River confluence.

Protesters observe the capped well head and pad at the Smoke Ranch site south of Highway 52, the first directionally drilled natural gas well in the state, located in a floodplain full of standing water, wetlands, irrigation canals, riparian areas, and a wildlife refuge, between the Payette River and Big Willow Creek, only a few miles upstream from the City of Fruitland municipal water intake and the Payette/Snake River confluence.

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