WIRT Potluck/Planning Meeting Every Thursday
Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) would appreciate WIRT activists stepping forward to design direct actions before the next, heaviest and longest megaload ever to traverse northern Idaho’s dilapidated, publicly-owned infrastructure launches from the Port of Wilma near Clarkston, Washington. Please join us this (and any or every!) Thursday, August 7, at 7 pm at the WIRT Activists House (call 208-301-8039 for directions, if necessary). We plan to share potluck food and strategize and prepare for tar sands megaload and coal export actions that entail more than just showing up and waving signs. Please participate in the many necessary roles and work carried forward by the WIRT collective every day! Through various methods over the next few weeks, we are working to hold state and federal agencies and fossil fuel companies regionally responsible for more transparency, public involvement, and stewardship .
Montana Megaload Updates
On Monday afternoon, August 4, one of WIRT’s amazing Montana allies posted a question on the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) website and received this polite and prompt reply: “Thank you for visiting our website and your inquiry concerning Mammoet Company or Bigge Crane and Rigging. They have been working through the process, and no permits have been issued at this time.” In his email reply, our friend asked MDT’s Dan Kiely if he could please notify him if MDT grants a permit for this megaload. He is also keeping his Flathead Reservation tribal council friends and other neighbors apprised of the situation.
During Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon, August 5 and 6, the Montana Department of Transportation sent a follow-up note about the planned Calumet tar sands refinery hydrocracker part shipment to the same Montana comrade. It stated “MDT is planning on issuing a press release prior to any movement in Montana. Just for a point of clarification, the proposal that is under review only lists U.S. Highway 93 in the Kalispell area.” Why was MDT so quick to clarify, even without a query ?
As suspected and upon further correspondence with MDT to ascertain the latest Montana megaload plan, the agency refers to a proposed Bigge Crane and Rigging transport route, submitted to MDT for review and approval, similar to Mammoet’s April scheme avoiding Montana Highway 200 through the Flathead Reservation. Instead, the megaload would enter the state from Idaho on Highway 200, then travel on Montana Highway 56 through the beautiful Bull River Valley near the Cabinet Mountains, then move east on U.S. Highway 2 to Kalispell, Montana . The million-plus-pound behemoth would then make a 31-mile, northerly detour around the 14-foot-high railroad overpass above East Idaho Street in Kalispell: North on Route 424 and Highway 93, east on Montana Highway 40 and U.S. Highway 2, then south on Route 206 and Montana Highway 35 to within a few miles of Flathead Lake and the town of Big Fork [See the attached photo: East Idaho Street Kalispell Megaload Obstacle]. It would then invade the wildly scenic Seeley-Swan Valley via Montana Highway 83, to return to eastbound Highway 200 and Great Falls. To access its Montana Refining Company destination, Bigge would lumber down the Interstate 15 Frontage Road, Northwest Bypass, and the U.S. Highway 87 Bypass/Third Street Northwest in Great Falls. Continue reading