WIRT Newsletter: Thursday WIRT Planning Potluck, Montana & Sandpoint Megaload Updates


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 [1].

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 [2]?

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 [3].  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

Fight or Flight Northern Rockies Tour Workshop


Fight or Flight

Why let Big Oil, Gas, and Coal trounce your unprepared community?  Please participate in the first Moscow direct action skills workshop presented by visiting activists since October 2011.  The Bunny Alliance, Resistance Ecology, and Earth First! Journal are staging their nationwide Fight or Flight Tour during Summer 2014, to intensify protests of Delta Airlines and the global Gateway to Hell campaigns, pushing to end the transport of animals to labs [1].  They are making only two August travel stops in the Northern Rockies, with Buffalo Field Campaign near Yellowstone National Park and with Wild Idaho Rising Tide in Moscow, Idaho.

At a public, evening workshop hosted by WIRT, seasoned activists will discuss their demonstrations and solidarity work, building alliances and empowering and mobilizing the grassroots animal liberation and ecological activist community.  Sharing supportive experience and direct action skills, workshop organizers will train participants on strategic and effective campaigning – emphasizing corporate resistance and research – and protest tactics, security culture, and movement relationships.  The Civil Liberties Defense Center will also talk about legal rights, research, and observation.

Northern Idaho comrades, do not miss this rare opportunity to learn among an expanding, continent-wide coalition of direct action practitioners!  This training workshop starts at 6 pm on Tuesday, August 12, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow [2].  Please invite your friends and family members, attend, and practice the pro-active, frontline defense knowledge that you acquire.  Thanks!

[1] Fight or Flight 2014 Summer Tour (The Bunny Alliance, Resistance Ecology, and Earth First! Journal website)

[2] Fight or Flight Tour: Northern Rockies! (Resistance Ecology facebook event)

WIRT Newsletter: Calumet Megaloads, Oil & Gas Rules, Ziggy for State Rep, & Fight or Flight Workshop


Calumet Refinery Megaloads

Thanks to Julian Matthews of Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) Protecting the Environment for photos of the completely assembled and prepared Calumet tar sands refinery megaload awaiting an Idaho permit and travel at the Port of Wilma near Clarkston, Washington [1].  Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) public involvement coordinator Adam Rush stated late on Friday that the Bigge Crane and Rigging/Mammoet-hauled megaload will not move from the port until late during the week of August 3 or “early” on August 11 (Sunday night?) [2].  The bottom hydrocracker section, attempting Highway 95 and 200 passage across Idaho to Great Falls, already received an ITD permit for unused July 27 to 31 transport (so it could obtain a Washington permit?), according to ITD public records received by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) on Thursday [3].  It represents the heaviest and longest, climate- and Earth-wrecking, fossil fuel machine to ever cross our region, weighing 1,605,152 pounds and stretching out 441 feet long, 28 feet wide, and 16 feet, 4 inches high.

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.  WIRT will issue a report and petition on this issue this week…

Idaho Oil and Gas Rules

Idaho Concerned Area Residents for the Environment, Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide harbor myriad concerns about the proposed, draft Idaho oil and gas rules as currently rewritten at four June and July 2014 negotiated rulemaking sessions at the Capitol in Boise.  With the assistance of an attorney, we compiled and submitted extensive comments on these rules, but unfortunately, we did not finish these endeavors in time to share them with all of you to support your comments [4].  As demonstrated by regulator discussion and behavior at these recently-concluded sessions, we believe that state commissions and agencies will largely ignore our requests for stronger IDAPA 20.07.02 rules that could significantly improve protections of Idahoans’ democratic participation, property rights, and air and water quality.  As the Idaho Department of Lands presents these rule changes, governing development of the state’s modest oil and gas play, to the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Tuesday, August 5, we assume that decision makers may once again favor industry over the best interests of Idaho citizens.  Although the proposed rules will again undergo (YOUR!) public scrutiny through a hearing and 21-day comment period in early September 2014, we suspect that few citizen-suggested alterations will occur before commission approval and Idaho Legislature consideration and enactment. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Justin Kay 8-4-14


The Monday, August 4, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Justin Kay of Resistance Ecology, who is co-staging the nationwide Fight or Flight Summer 2014 Tour with The Bunny Alliance and Earth First! Journal, to intensify protests of Delta Airlines and the global Gateway to Hell campaigns to end the transport of animals to labs.  From Lakota territory in South Dakota, Justin will provide tour and campaign updates and talk about a Northern Rockies direct action discussion and workshop hosted by the tour and WIRT in Moscow, Idaho, next Tuesday evening, August 12.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.