About WIRT

The WIRT collective is part of an international, grassroots network of groups and individuals who take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change and to promote local, community-based solutions to the climate crisis.

Climate Justice Forum: Megaload Author David James Duncan, Indigenous Activist Winona LaDuke, WIRT & Allied Events, Avista Sale Hearing, Washington Train Collisions, Longer Freight Trains 6-20-18


The Wednesday, June 20, 2018 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features talks by anti-tar sands megaload, Montana author David James Duncan on the Heart of the Monster, and by indigenous, Minnesota pipeline opponent Winona LaDuke on the next energy economy.  We also share news and reflections on upcoming, WIRT and allied meetings, presentations, and fundraisers, an Idaho hearing on the Avista sale to a Canadian utility, 2018 Washington train collisions with pedestrians and vehicles, and longer freight trains across the U.S.  Broadcast for six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide opposition to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

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Wednesday, June 20: Second Lake Rail Bridge Discussion in Sandpoint

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At 7 pm on Wednesday, June 20, please join #No2ndBridge and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists and concerned, community members for refreshments and a Second Lake Rail Bridge Discussion and slideshow presentation, at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint.  Event hosts of this free, open meeting invite participants to bring and share snacks, stories, images, and donations, and learn about the natural and human environment of Lake Pend Oreille, the ongoing and potential traffic, pollution, and derailment dangers of fossil fuel and hazardous freight trains, and the flawed infrastructure, earthquake resilience, and emergency response capacity of the north Idaho, railroad ‘funnel.’

Together, we plan to explore and consider the significant impacts of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s Sandpoint Junction Connector proposal to construct two temporary and three permanent, parallel bridges and two miles of doubled tracks across the lake, Sand Creek, and Sandpoint.  The project would affect regional, lake and aquifer water resources, air quality, noise, public and environmental health and safety, indigenous rights, wildlife, fish, and threatened bull trout and their habitat, wetlands and shorelines, historic sites, vehicle passage, boat navigation, recreation and tourism, businesses and residences, and other, public interest factors.

For further event information and issue updates, please visit the WIRT facebook and website pages and outreach tables at Sandpoint and Moscow farmers markets and public events during the emerging season, contact us with your concerns, and print and post the accompanying flyer.  We hope to talk with you and provide printed material about this critical situation on all of these occasions!  Ask the state and federal agencies reviewing BNSF applications and deliberating permit decisions to fully analyze this railroad expansion with an environmental impact study and statement, as requested by the Sandpoint city council and mayor.  Thanks!  #No2ndBridge!

Climate Justice Forum: Cocolalla & Pend Oreille Lakes Railroad Expansion, Dakota Access & Other Pipeline Leaks, Montana Tribal Anti-Pipeline Rally, Bayou Bridge Resistance, Appalachia Tree-Sitter Blockades, G20 Fossil Fuels Agreement 6-13-18


The Wednesday, June 13, 2018 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news and reflections on railroad bridge and track construction around Cocolalla and Pend Oreille lakes, Moscow and Sandpoint #No2ndBridge discussions, allied, June fundraising events, Dakota Access and other pipeline leaks during 2017, a tribal, anti-pipeline rally in Great Falls, Montana, Louisiana resident resistance to the Bayou Bridge pipeline, tree-sitter blockades of an Appalachian pipeline, anti-G7 protests in Quebec, and a G20 agreement to invest in fossil fuels.  Broadcast for six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide opposition to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Sandpoint Lake Rail Bridge Testimony & Moscow Discussion, Washington Train Injury of Teen, Newport Silicon Smelter Lawsuit, Exploratory Silica Drilling Approval, EPA Head Scott Pruitt Transfer of Water Pollution Oversight to Idaho, Small Nuclear Reactors Planned for Idaho 6-6-18


The Wednesday, June 6, 2018 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features recorded, Idaho Department of Lands hearing testimony on proposed, Sandpoint area, railroad bridge and track construction, and news and reflections on a second lake rail bridge discussion in Moscow, a teen injured by a Washington train, a lawsuit against the Newport silicon smelter land sale, Forest Service approval of exploratory, silica drilling near Lake Pend Oreille, a Boise visit by EPA head Scott Pruitt to transfer federal, water pollution authority to the state, and small nuclear reactors planned for Idaho.  Broadcast for six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Friday, June 8, Second Lake Rail Bridge Discussion in Moscow

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At 7 pm on Friday, June 8, please join Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (PESC), Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), and concerned community members and activists for refreshments, an open meeting, and a slideshow presentation about Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway plans to construct two temporary and three permanent, parallel bridges and two miles of doubled tracks across Lake Pend Oreille, Sand Creek, and Sandpoint, Idaho.  PESC and WIRT event hosts will provide snacks, offer printed material, and accept admission donations at this free event that opens at 6:30 pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse, 420 East Second Street in Moscow.

Through images and stories, learn about the ongoing and potential, significant impacts of north Idaho, railroad ‘funnel’ infrastructure, transportation, and expansion on regional, lake and aquifer water supplies, air quality, noise, public and environmental health and safety, threatened bull trout and fish and wildlife habitat, wetlands and shorelines, indigenous rights, historic sites, fossil fuel trains and pollution, derailment hazards, emergency responses, vehicle traffic, boat navigation, recreation and tourism, businesses and residences, and other relevant, public interest factors.  Consider how you can participate in state and federal reviews and permit decisions on BNSF applications for the proposed Sandpoint Junction Connector project, ideally analyzed through an environmental impact statement, as requested by the City of Sandpoint.

For further event and issue information, please print, post, and share the accompanying, PDF flyer, check for updates on WIRT facebook and website pages, and visit the PESC and WIRT outreach tables at Moscow Farmers Market on Saturday, June 9, and at the Farmers Markets in Sandpoint and Moscow throughout the season.  We hope to talk with you about this critical situation at all these events!

Climate Justice Forum: Sandpoint Railroad Expansion Hearing Testimony, Rail Worker Compensation for Hearing Participation, Record Northwest Train Traffic, Tar Sands Pipeline Purchase by Canada 5-30-18


The Wednesday, May 30, 2018 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features recorded, Idaho Department of Lands hearing testimony on proposed, Lake Pend Oreille railroad bridge and track expansion, and news and reflections on Canadian government purchase of a tar sands pipeline construction project, railroad compensation of worker participation in public hearings, and recent, record-setting, Northwest train traffic.  Broadcast for six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Lake Pend Oreille Rail Bridge Hearing Testimony & Rally, Railroad Safety Violation Whistleblower, Idaho Oil & Gas Forced Pooling & Millennium Coal Terminal Rejection Lawsuits 5-23-18


The Wednesday, May 23, 2018 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features recorded, Idaho Department of Lands hearing testimony on Lake Pend Oreille railroad bridge and track expansion impacts, and news and reflections on a No2ndBridge rally, railroad employee disclosure of safety violations, and federal lawsuits against Idaho oil and gas forced pooling of mineral owners and Washington state rejection of the Millennium coal terminal.  Broadcast for six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

May 23 #No2ndBridge Hearings & Rally

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For decades, the Sandpoint to Spokane, railroad “funnel” community, who cherishes and relies on the clean water, air, and lands of beautiful Lake Pend Oreille and north Idaho for our shared economy and life ways, has endured the ongoing dangers and pollution of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway.  The company hauls 95 percent of the volatile, fracked, Bakken crude oil, all of the heavy metal-laden, Powder River Basin coal, and many other toxic substances through the region, via its Northwest pipeline-on-wheels.  It spews coal dust and diesel emissions, risks and degrades the health and safety of resident and visiting people and wildlife with pollution, noise, hazardous materials transport, derailments, and accidents, including three wrecked, coal and corn trains within 33 miles of Sandpoint, between March and August 2017, and dozens of injuries and deaths of pedestrians, family pets, and vehicle drivers and passengers over the last 20 years.  Meanwhile, BNSF coerces local, state, and national citizens, elected officials, and emergency and regulatory agencies to accept and promote these escalating abuses of discounted, rural and urban, rail-line communities, advocating the consumer complicity and corporate conquests that drive gratuitous, unjust, global capitalism, basic human rights violations, and climate change.

While BNSF questionably boasts about its local jobs and monetary incentives, interstate commerce rules ensure that Idaho receives no state taxes from transiting trains.  Compared to the origins and destinations of rail freight, remote north Idaho gains much less railroad revenue and employment, and supports fewer state track inspectors and emergency response personnel and equipment.  But like all greedy industrialists, BNSF now wants even more plunder for profit, in spite of the price already paid by people and the planet for its perpetually reinforcing, increasingly destructive expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and invasion of our natural habitat.  BNSF is planning to double two miles of tracks through Sandpoint, in close proximity to small, downtown businesses and the historic railroad station still used by Amtrak, and build two temporary, construction spans and three permanent, parallel bridges across the Bridge Street access to popular City Beach Park, over the Sand Creek outlet for stream flow, boat launches, and marinas to Lake Pend Oreille, and almost a mile and 1000 piles across Idaho’s largest lake, the fifth deepest in the United States.

Apparently attempting to avoid, minimize, and expedite required, state and federal permitting and public notice and participation processes for this $100 million-plus, three- to five-year construction project, BNSF nominally postponed its Sandpoint Junction Connector project for three years, then visibly staged equipment and drilled and tested two piles for their bridge load bearing capacity and “done deal” public perception, at Dog Beach Park south of Sandpoint during summer 2017.  Beyond its 250-page, joint permit application, full of engineering diagrams and lingo and inadequate, biological assessments, BNSF has yet to provide any unbiased, independent studies or reports describing and thoroughly analyzing not only the purported, public benefits of increased railroad infrastructure and traffic but also their potential, significant, adverse impacts on environmental quality, endangered species, regional safety, emergency response, vehicle traffic flow, noise and pollution levels, recreational experiences, tourism businesses, economic opportunities, and critical, lake and aquifer water resources.

Please join Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and #No2ndBridge allies in halting BNSF’s track and bridge expansion proposal: We need everyone on this frontline!  Bring your best ideas, energies, comrades, and protest signs to a community resistance rally, with speakers and drummers at 5 pm on Wednesday, May 23, at the intersection of South Division Avenue and U.S. Highway 2 in Sandpoint.  Attend and testify at one or both Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) hearings on the same day, at 8 am PDT in Suite E of the Ponderay Events Center, 401 Bonner Mall Way in Ponderay, and at 6 pm PDT in the Sandpoint Middle School gymnasium, 310 South Division Avenue in Sandpoint.  Reasonably demand that IDL and the U.S. Coast Guard (USGC), who will also take public comments at these state meetings, respectively deny permits for lakebed encroachments, like temporary and permanent bridge piles, and for bridges across Sand Creek and Lake Pend Oreille. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Lake Pend Oreille Railroad Expansion Hearings, Rallies, & Chamber of Commerce Speech, North Idaho Flooding, Native Idaho Governor Paulette Jordan Election Victory, Minnesota Tar Sands Pipeline Corridor Denial 5-16-18


The Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news and reflections on upcoming rallies and hearings resisting Lake Pend Oreille railroad bridge and track expansion impacts, a railroad speech at a Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Pend Oreille lake and river flooding, primary election victory for Native, Idaho gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan, and a Minnesota judicial report denying a new corridor for tar sands pipeline Line 3.  Broadcast for six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide opposition to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.