Spokane Conferences, Kalispel Canoe Journey, #No2ndBridge Actions, Fifth Panhandle Paddle


Grassroots, volunteer activists of the regional collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) invite you to participate in the following, crucial opportunities for outreach and activism during the next few weeks, as we together confront the root, fossil fuel sources of climate change through direct, frontline resistance and locally organized solutions.  Please consider contributing physically as an activist and/or fiscally as a supporter of WIRT campaigns, by contacting us at our website-posted addresses or donating online at the Donate to WIRT button.  Thanks!

Online #No2ndBridge Petition

As promised to some of the hundreds of visiting and resident, Northwest citizens who have signed the paper version of the #No2ndBridge petition at the Moscow and Sandpoint Farmers Markets outreach tables of WIRT and allies, we are sharing its online version and text, to outline the numerous harms that Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s proposed, bridge and track expansion almost one mile over Lake Pend Oreille and across Sand Creek and Sandpoint, Idaho, would impose on regional communities and watersheds [1].  We ask that you, too, comment and sign this Petition to Deny and Revoke Permits for the BNSF Sandpoint Junction Connector Project: THANKS!

Unknown Date: BNSF Bridges EIS or EA March!

Since the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) closed its extended, May 1 deadline for public hearings and comments on the draft environmental assessment (EA) of BNSF’s north Idaho, railroad bridge expansion proposal, WIRT activists, board members, and allied groups have been preparing for the still undetermined, USCG decision and scheming upcoming, rapid-response, Sandpoint and regional marches [2, 3].  Announced within days of an outcome, during the next few weeks or months, these #No2ndBridge solidarity marches will either celebrate a Sandpoint City Council-requested, community-preferred, Coast Guard recommendation for a full environmental impact statement (EIS) studying all the environmental and socioeconomic implications of the project, or they will protest USCG issuance of a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) and less scientifically rigorous, final EA.  As we vigilantly coordinate march locations, activities, and speakers, not to mention EIS-advocating attorneys, please circulate the attached, event flyer, notify your contacts, and RSVP your intentions to participate in these critical demonstrations.  Expect ongoing, issue updates and a flash-action alert with march information, via WIRT email notes, weekly radio programs, and facebook and website posts.

July 30 & 31: Indigenous Climate Summit in Spokane

With an abstract sent on June 30, WIRT requested the possibilities of giving a three-minute, “lightning” talk and presenting a poster at the 2019 Tribes and First Nations Climate Change Summit, held at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino in Airway Heights (Spokane), Washington, on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 30 to 31 [4, 5].  Organizers for the event hosts, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), accepted our abstract entitled Regional Resistance to Fossil Fuels Pipelines on Rails and Bridges, but could not fit WIRT’s few-minute, #No2ndBridge talk into the agenda [6].  During the poster session from 5 to 7 pm on Tuesday, we hope to share information with Northwest tribes, whom federal agencies have not properly consulted, about proposed, BNSF expansion of its north Idaho, pipeline-on-rails bridges, for hauling Alberta tar sands, Bakken crude oil, and Powder River Basin coal.  Although the summit focuses primarily on climate change adaptation policies, we plan to interject suggestions for banning the infrastructure expansion and confronting the corporate and government sources of the fossil fuels perpetuation of the climate crisis.  Purposely frugal, radical, WIRT rejecters of the capitalism that supports fossil fuels destruction and corruption greatly appreciate ongoing, community support and three WIRT contributors who generously donated through the WIRT website button, toward the $215 registration and table fees required to host a WIRT outreach table at the conference [7, 8].

July 31 to August 3: Third Remember the Water Canoe Paddle

Canoe families and river warriors are continuing the annual tradition of the Kalispel and allied tribal, Remember the Water canoe journey, and welcome everyone to participate in different parts of the trip [9, 10].  This year, two legs of this paddle begin on Wednesday, July 31, at Priest Lake and on Thursday, August 1, at Sandpoint City Beach, then combine in Oldtown and finish at the Kalispel reservation, during the start of the Powwow on Saturday, July 3.  The dugout canoes will paddle from the Beaver Creek Campground to upper Priest Lake on Thursday, August 1, to search for rock art, pick berries, and fish.  They will next portage to the Oldtown ramp and voyage on the Pend Oreille River, to a boat-in camp on Downs Island on Friday, August 2.

Another canoe will depart Sandpoint City Beach at 9 am, after 8 am breakfast in the park, on Thursday, August 1.  Paddlers on this difficult 21 miles of Pend Oreille lake and river request that participants bring plenty of food and other provisions and be properly prepared for a solid day of work on the water.  The organizer guarantees that up to 15 first-day paddlers will receive large, free, personally-picked, huckleberry pies, available on Saturday, August 3, after landing at the Kalispel Powwow, where tribal representatives hope to recognize the paddlers before the 11 am grand entry and barbeque.

Visitors and paddlers can also join the canoe journey on Friday at Oldtown, Pioneer Park, or Sandy Shores near Newport, or on Saturday at Char Springs, Greggs Addition, Bear Paw Campground, Pondoray Shores or Davis roads, or the Usk General Store.  Contact Betty Jo Piengkham through posted phone or email avenues, for further information about the Priest Lake and later launches [9].  Send a facebook message to Nathan Piengkham, to offer food and paddling assistance for the Sandpoint leg of the canoe journey [10].  Safe paddling, everyone!

August 1-4, 8-11: Outreach at Festival at Sandpoint

As the sun sets over Sandpoint on Thursdays through Sundays, August 1 to 4 and 8 to 11, please join WIRT comrades outside the Festival at Sandpoint series of music concerts, one of the largest tourism events in north Idaho each year [11].  Meet in or near Memorial Field and Lakeview Park, close to the corner of Ontario Street and South Florence Avenue, as gates open at 6 pm and music starts at 7:30 pm, especially on the big night, Saturday, August 3, when Jackson Browne is playing.  We plan to graciously offer climate and environmental justice handouts, briefly discuss Northwest coal, oil, and tar sands train and terminal issues, and seek #No2ndBridge and anti-fracking petition signatures among curious passersby.

August 3: #No2ndBridge Outreach on Lake Pend Oreille

To expand knowledge and raise resistance to proposed, BNSF, fossil fuel infrastructure construction in Lake Pend Oreille and north Idaho, WIRT and allied activists are gathering at 8 am on Saturday morning, August 3, at Dog Beach Park south of Sandpoint, to distribute BNSF Bridges EIS or EA March flyers and collect #No2ndBridge petition signatures, along the Lake Pend Oreille pedestrian bridge, during the pertinent Long Bridge Swim through water polluted by railroad bridge-spewed coal and U.S. Highway 95 effluent, beginning at 9 am [12].  Please bring relevant, high visibility banners and wearable, sandwich signs, and come prepared to passively engage swimming race observers, bystanders, and walkers in informal conversations and commitment to citizen concerns and actions addressing fossil fuels and hazardous materials train traffic and railroad bridges expansion that degrade and risk regional waterways.

August 7 & 21: WIRT Monthly Meetings in Moscow & Sandpoint

WIRT activists gratefully encourage your efforts in arranging summer presentations, training workshops, direct actions, and probable litigation, while reaching out to trustworthy and competent allies and attorneys across our regional network.  From among the amazing company of too few radicals always striving to slow and stop too many corporate conquests, WIRT invites you to attend August potluck gatherings, talk about tactics, offer your unique advice and assistance, and pursue your climate activism with us.  As during previous seasons, we are meeting at 7 pm on the first and third Wednesdays of every month.  Please join us on August 7 at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow, and on August 21 at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint [13].

August 15-18: Veterans For Peace Convention in Spokane

Thanks to Spokane allies among Occupy and Veterans For Peace (VFP), for suggesting WIRT outreach at the VFP national conference in Spokane, planned by local and Northwest chapters for Thursday through Sunday, August 15 to 18 [14]!  We have reserved a $75 non-profit table for our #No2ndBridge and fossil fuels resistance material, and enthusiastically anticipate the opportunity to future catalyze VFP comrades against fossil fuels pipelines-on-rails train routes and bridges across north Idaho, Spokane, and the Northwest.  As WIRT will describe in upcoming, issues updates, the U.S. military and government are the greatest, worldwide consumers and funders of the primary, fossil fuel causes of climate change and accompanying environmental and socioeconomic upheavals.  American oil wars during at least three decades have recklessly undermined the peace essential to upholding the sacredness of lives and lands, the theme of this year’s VFP convention.

September 6-8: Fifth Panhandle Paddle Action Camp & Flotilla

WIRT is hosting the Fifth Panhandle Paddle on Friday through Sunday, September 6 to 8, in solidarity with climate emergency actions happening around the Earth later in September 2019 [15].  The annual convergence of Northwest activists will again feature a weekend action camp with West Coast trainers, a community forum on fossil fuel trains, bridges, and terminals on Friday evening, September 6, a daylong, direct action workshop on Saturday, September 7, and a flotilla of canoes, kayaks, and non-motorized watercraft on Lake Pend Oreille, around present and proposed railroad bridge sites on Sunday, September 8.  As we finalize event arrangements at WIRT meetings and over the next month, we encourage your involvement in planning and participating, and will provide further information soon.

[1] Petition to Deny and Revoke Permits for the BNSF Sandpoint Junction Connector Project, September 30, 2018 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[2] BNSF Bridges EIS or EA March! May 31, 2019 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[3] BNSF Bridges EIS or EA March! July 28, 2019 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[4] Tribes and First Nations Climate Change Summit 2019, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

[5] Abstract Submitted, June 30, 2019 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[6] WIRT #No2ndBridge Poster and Table at Tribes and First Nations Climate Change Summit 2019! July 10, 2019 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[7] Please Help with $200 Registration, July 17, 2019 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[8] Please Help with $200 Registration! July 20, 2019 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[9] Kalispel Canoe Paddle (Everyone Welcome), July 27, 2019 Betty Jo Piengkham

[10] We’re getting our annual Remember the Water paddle ready…, July 29, 2019 Nathan Piengkham

[11] The Festival at Sandpoint, The Festival at Sandpoint

[12] The Long Bridge Swim in Sandpoint, Idaho, The Long Bridge Swim

[13] Portland Tar Sands Terminal Comments, Moscow Oil & Gas Talk, Monthly WIRT Meetings, Idaho Lakes Rulemaking, July 15, 2019 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[14] 2019 Annual Convention, Veterans For Peace

[15] This Fall, Let’s Throw Down For Climate Justice, July 11, 2019 Rising Tide North America

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