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The Wild Idaho Rising Tide collective confronts the root causes of climate change by asserting direct actions and promoting locally organized solutions, in solidarity with frontline communities of resistance and an international, volunteer, grassroots network of activists.
Updated: 7 hours 7 min ago

Climate Justice Forum: Maya Jarrad 7-27-15

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 12:15

The Monday, July 27, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes climate activist and organizer Maya Jarrad of 350PDX and the Climate Action Coalition of Portland, Oregon.  Maya will talk about Northwest resistance to, and the destructive impacts of, Shell’s Arctic oil drilling plans and vessels, four recent and upcoming, on-the-water demonstrations since the gashed Shell icebreaker Fennica arrived in Portland for repairs, and allied grassroots campaigns against 28 fossil fuel processing and export facilities in Oregon and Washington.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Sandpoint Oil Train Forum 7-20-15

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 17:00

The Monday, July 20, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) airs excerpts from the June 24 Sandpoint Oil Train Forum, subtitled Pipeline on Wheels through North Idaho, audio-recorded by a WIRT activist at the Heartwood Center in Sandpoint, Idaho.  We will hear from forum moderator and Idaho Conservation League north Idaho associate Susan Drumheller, Sandpoint Fire Chief Ron Stocking, and Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper executive director and Sandpoint City Council member Shannon Williamson.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015 Report

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 01:00

On Monday evening, July 6, through Sunday afternoon, July 12, activists of Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), Spokane Rising Tide (SPORT), and the Occupy movement participated in several demonstrations of the Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015, to halt oil train traffic while commemorating the second anniversary of the July 6, 2013, Lac Mégantic, Quebec oil train catastrophe that took 47 lives [1, 2]. Together with climate, environmental, and social justice activists across North America, WIRT and allies organized and staged over 100 powerful and effective, local demonstrations during the Stop Oil Trains Week of Action [3, 4]. These events in the United States and Canada stood in solidarity, defense, and protection of the residents of Lac Mégantic, who lost 47 people killed by an exploding oil train, and other frontline, rail corridor communities and our shared global climate, all caught in the crosshairs of the oil and rail industries’ pipelines on wheels.

Although dozens of horrifying, fiery, extreme energy train wreck disasters have occurred over the last two years since the grim Quebec accident, northern Idaho and eastern Washington citizens continue to endure the unsafe, risky, and expanding rail transportation of potentially explosive Alberta tar sands dilbit, moved by the Union Pacific Railroad, and fracked Bakken shale oil, hauled by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), both to Washington and West Coast refineries. BNSF has previously reported that 16 to 19 mile-long oil trains traverse the interior Northwest every week. Additionally on the 70-mile-long, railroad chokepoint between the Sandpoint and Spokane downtown areas, referred to as “the funnel,” BNSF carries dusty, diesel-towed coal from the Powder River Basin along the Montana/Wyoming border to coastal terminals for export. Recently revised federal regulations no longer require BNSF to report the number of oil trains that pass through the region, and have never forced disclosure of Union Pacific tar sands by rail volumes.

With their hazardous loads and reckless resource and policy exploitation, Big Oil and Rail discount and transgress the millions of lives, the human and environmental health and safety repercussions, and the associated carbon and other toxic pollution within the mile-wide, track-side, oil train blast zones, along their paths to profit around the Pacific Rim [5]. In appropriate response, thousands of concerned citizens gathered for 63 events in July 2014, including multiple protest and outreach actions in Sandpoint and Spokane [6]. 2015 participants joined in actions to publicly call attention to the growing threat of “bomb trains,” to display the growing power of the worldwide climate movement, and to demand an immediate ban on all crude oil trains.

Monday, July 6:

Eric de Place on Climate Justice Forum

Between 7:30 and 9:30 pm on the July 6 Lac Mégantic bomb train disaster second anniversary, the Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide featured a recording of Sightline Institute policy director Eric de Place. As the keynote speaker of the educational panel presentations and discussions on oil and coal transport and export held in Spokane and Sandpoint on June 23 and 24 and recently throughout the Northwest, Eric talked about increasing fossil fuel rail traffic and proposals for new and expanding facilities across the region [7]. Broadcast live at 90.3 FM and online from progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, the show also covered continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ [8].

Friday, July 10, to Sunday, July 12:

SummerFest Tabling

A Sandpoint area WIRT comrade accomplished crucial and much appreciated outreach for our radical, grassroots, climate activist collective, from Friday afternoon, July 10, until Sunday afternoon, July 12, by tabling at Sandpoint SummerFest [9]. Among the festivities of the weekend music, arts, and culture festival, held every summer for 16 years by the Eureka Institute, participants shared, explored, and celebrated creative and educational classes, diverse musical entertainment and other performances, and sustainable crafts in a beautiful, woodland setting about 15 miles southeast of Sandpoint. Drawing and displaying a great, poster-sized graphic for the WIRT booth shared with other environmental groups, the Sandpoint activist printed and provided revised WIRT brochures and Flood the System hand-outs [10]. He described our perspectives on and participation in climate activism, rallied regional folks to assist upcoming, direct action opportunities led by WIRT, and signed up several new contacts.

Friday, July 10:

Message Projection, Candlelit Solidarity Vigil, & Light Panels

Thanks to activists of Spokane Rising Tide, Occupy, and WIRT, who co-wrote this report and carpooled, caravanned, and brought their selves and equipment on extended road trips from Spokane and Moscow, to converge in Sandpoint, Idaho, with area residents for Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains actions. Engaging in numerous conversations with passersby about the dangers of crude oil-by-rail shipments, we all enjoyed a fun evening of message projections, a candlelit vigil, and light panels at various Sandpoint locations on Friday, July 10 [10, 11]. We began the night by gathering with these neighboring co-workers, friends, and families in the parking lot beside Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, off Church Street in Sandpoint.

After waiting for darker conditions, discussing tactics with Sandpoint activists, and moving from the east to the south side of Sandpoint’s tallest building, an old grain elevator, we delivered about 30 minutes of simple, projected, social and climate justice messages on the nearby silo, such as “Oil Trains = Bombs on Rails,” “No Bomb Trains,” “Honor the Earth,” “Stop Tar Sands,” and “End Fossil Fuel Foolishness,” among other slogans. Statements paralleled those projected by Ziggy onto Moscow, Idaho silos in early May 2014 [12]. Passersby in vehicles honked and gave us the “thumbs-up,” and people walking in the near vicinity stopped to ask us about the situations addressed by our action. Great discussions ensued in the streets, likely starting even more talk among distant onlookers who did not take the time to find and chat with us.

After this light show, we moved with our on-site, hand-made, protest signs to the corner of North Fifth Avenue/U.S. Highway 2 and Cedar Street, for a candlelit solidarity vigil, honoring the 47 people who died in the horrific Lac Mégantic, Quebec oil train tragedy, and commemorating the all-species victims of oil train derailments, explosions, and fires. Again, passersby noticed our action and briefly stopped to discuss the issue with us. Their interest and knowledge intensified our spirit of resistance throughout the evening, as we distributed WIRT brochures and urged involvement in upcoming events.

Considering another message projection session at an undisclosed location, we next visited the local train station, a recently restored historical monument. One single rail track passes within feet of the station, shared by all trains crossing the only rail bridge over Lake Pend Oreille. Both BNSF and Union Pacific are implementing and proposing major infrastructure changes at and around this Sandpoint rail bottleneck. BNSF plans to build a second trestle over the lake, north and next to the present rail bridge and visible from Sandpoint City Beach Park, to accommodate its reckless endangerment of the lake community, imposed by unit trains transporting highly volatile crude oil and their current and possible impacts. We learned that the nightly, westbound, Amtrak train was again running two hours late, which sparked discussions with rail riders about oil train priority over passenger trains, and prompted our message on the train station chalkboard: “Oil Trains Are Bombs on Rails” [10].

Lastly, we went to City Beach Park, to highlight the destination’s isolated vulnerability if a bomb train ever exploded near downtown Sandpoint. Holding a sign with letters shaped by miniature lights saying “Oil Train Blast Zone” and another regular poster that stated “47 Died,” we posed for pictures in front of Sandpoint’s iconic Lady of the Lake, a small version of the Statue of Liberty located at the end of a short pier overlooking Lake Pend Oreille, on the southeast side of the park [10]. Our signage again drew attention and helped us reach out to the community and engage it in conversations about the dozens of oil trains that rumble within feet of the surrounding, popular recreation site, typically densely populated during the summertime.

Saturday, July 11:

Community Outreach & Oil Train Encounter

Between 9 am and 3 pm on Saturday, July 11, a WIRT activist circulated on the Bridge Street bridge, City Beach Park, and the Sandpoint Boardwalk and Marina, spoke with passersby, and distributed flyers about oil trains and facilities and WIRT campaigns, to recruit participants in later, anti-fossil-fuel-train and water-based actions on and around Lake Pend Oreille. Rainy weather, which also dropped in from the sky to participate in two downtown Sandpoint events, drew her from the canoe, kayak, and paddleboard races of the Great Sandpoint Flatwater Regatta, the annual Parade of Boats, and the Antique and Classic Boat Show, all held in Sand Creek, toward the covered decks of the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market.

Only 15 minutes before the noon meeting time of the planned WIRT marching rally against bomb trains, a unit oil train skirted downtown Sandpoint, a few hundred feet from busy City Beach Park, the human-powered watercraft race, boat show, and parade in Sand Creek, and the WIRT protest launch site at Farmers’ Market, a mere four blocks away [13]. Videotaping train passage, the activist wondered when concerned Sandpoint area citizens would join us on the tracks and lake, in opposition to shale and tar sands oil and coal trains.

When this WIRT member arrived without the previous night’s signs at the protest staging point, the Farmin Park clock outside the Farmers’ Market, at North Third Avenue and Oak Street, no one else also came to confront the polluting, life-risking, climate-killing oppressors who slipped a bomb train within yards of Sandpoint weekend revelry, while the lone activist patiently awaited community resistance to dirty energy, not comrades. A sign at the gathering place stated “The Farmers’ Market at Sandpoint does not endorse views expressed in demonstrations on public property” [10]. We later learned from local activists that the sign targeted not so much our relatively peaceful, no-show demonstration as the anti-abortion cult that has been aggressively picketing women at the market and other venues, with posters of dead, bloody babies.

Sunday, July 12:

Blast Zone Chalking & Train Monitoring

From 1 to 6 pm on Sunday, July 12, WIRT marked the mile-wide, direct impact areas of potentially combusting oil trains in downtown Sandpoint, with chalk declaring “Oil Train Blast Zone” on public sidewalks at five key locations [10]. We started at the driveway entrance to the newly constructed Health Services Building and sky bridge of Bonner General Hospital, near the southwest corner of Alder Street and North Third Avenue. The entire hospital complex sits prominently atop the bluff across Sand Creek from the bomb train route to the Lake Pend Oreille rail bridge.

Throughout the afternoon, we wrote our message, signed it with “Wild Idaho Rising Tide,” and left a few WIRT brochures under nearby rocks, as several passersby asked about the meaning of our pavement art. Choosing locations with high amounts of foot traffic and/or community significance, we thoroughly inscribed our message near the Panida Theater and the Sand Creek arch (at the North First Avenue and Main Street intersection), in front of the doors to the Sandpoint Post Office (off North Fourth Avenue and Church Street), at the entrance to City Beach Park (near the east end of Bridge Street), and by the interactive fountain of the Downtown Square near Farmin Park (on the northeast corner of Oak Street and North Third Avenue).

Exhausted from plenty of long-distance and pedestrian travel, tenuous accommodations, and multiple oil train protesting and monitoring activities over the weekend, a WIRT activist awaiting an Amtrak train at the Sandpoint station observed and videotaped nine trains traveling southwest through the railroad funnel from Sandpoint to Spokane, between 10:05 pm on Sunday, July 12, and 1:05 am on Monday, July 13. As part of the Idaho and Washington oil train watch information sharing network on Twitter at ‪#‎IDoiltrainwatch and ‪#‎WAoiltrainwatch, she likewise documented and Tweeted about another unit oil train passing the station at 1:30 am on July 13 [14, 15]. During this passage, a creepy, headlight-less, southbound vehicle parked on the right shoulder of U.S. Highway 95 near the station, and then turned on its lights, U-turned, and headed north afterwards. The westbound Amtrak train arrived more than two hours late, at about 2:05 am on Monday, and unsafely followed about a half-hour behind the oil train, over the wobbly Lake Pend Oreille rail bridge, from Sandpoint to Spokane. This transit and a July 11 oil train traverse of Sandpoint, respectively just before WIRT activist departure and a WIRT protest, seemed to taunt and dismiss potential direct actions.

Reflections on Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains 2015 Actions

Although energy-intensive and lonely WIRT efforts to mobilize the Sandpoint community to protest and monitor Bakken shale and Alberta tar sands crude oil trains during the Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015 and throughout the warm seasons have drawn disparagement from WIRT members and allies, we always gain invaluable insights, connections, support, and inspiration from every action we persistently offer for participation. Passersby shared plenty of curiosity and enthusiasm, but a relative dearth of understanding of the dire, nationwide, bomb train circumstances, apparent in their questions. That suggests to us the necessity of creatively expressive, public demonstrations of dissent against fossil fuels. As Spokane-based Dancing Crow Media noted last week:

When we talk with people about the trains and the potential for disaster, we find that most people don’t have any idea what’s going on. Actions like this are important. [They] could start a conversation in a car as it passes by, and who knows where that will go? I guess we believe that people will care if you give them a good reason to. We’ll keep trying [16].

WIRT also echoes Spokane Rising Tide’s response to the sometimes awkward but always meaningful interactions with community members that arise during public, climate activist escapades:

We were very proud and thankful for the opportunity to have those conversations. Change has never happened without people becoming engaged. We hope we played a small role in that engagement with our actions [11].

While Sandpoint requires further on-the-ground work to most fully activate its citizenry on this issue, we glimpsed oil and railroad companies blatantly reacting to WIRT activities over the weekend, such as sending an oil train through Sandpoint in advance of the Saturday protest and increasing security around a bomb train that followed nine obviously WIRT-videotaped train movements past the Sandpoint station. We must physically document, expose, denounce, and reject the dangerous practices of the fossil fuel and railroad industries in our communities, to successfully halt their onslaughts. If we can collectively and independently battle and banish tar sands megaloads and coal export facilities from the four-state region, during five long years employing both conventional political and litigative methods and asymmetric warfare tactics, we can banish bomb trains from the inland Northwest, too! Please do not let another oil train pass without your direct involvement in stopping it: We all need your heroic feats sooner than later.

[1] Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015 (July 6, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[2] Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015 (July 6, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[3] Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015 (July 6, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[4] Stop Oil Trains Week of Action: July 6 – 12, 2015 (ForestEthics)

[5] Oil Train Blast Zone (ForestEthics)

[6] Idaho Week of Actions Against Bomb Trains (July 2, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[7] COIL (Coal and Oil) Forum Held at Gonzaga Law Library, June 23, 2015 – Full Version (July 12, 2015 Dancing Crow Media)

[8] KRFP Radio Free Moscow (KRFP Radio Free Moscow)

[9] Sandpoint SummerFest (Eureka Institute)

[10] Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015 7-6-15 to 7-12-15 (July 10-12, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[11] Photos and Commentary (July 11, 2015 Spokane Rising Tide)

[12] Photos (July 7, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[13] Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015 Bomb Train (July 11, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[14] Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015 Bomb Train 2 (July 13, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[15] Oil unit train… Tweet (July 13, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[16] Comment (July 8, 2015 Dancing Crow Media)


Filed under: Coal/Oil Trains/Ports
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Stop Oil Trains Week of Actions 7-13-15

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 19:00

The July 13, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about demonstrations against Alberta tar sands and Bakken shale crude oil “bomb” trains, during Stop Oil Trains Week of Actions across North America.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action 2015

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 17:30

Monday, July 6, marks the second anniversary of the tragic Lac Mégantic, Quebec, oil train catastrophe that killed 47 people in 2013.  Despite dozens of almost as horrifying, fiery disasters over the last two years, the oil industry continues to dramatically expand Alberta tar sands and Bakken crude oil train transport throughout Canada and the United States.  There is no safe way to transport such explosive oil and, with carbon and associated toxic pollution rising, oil trains wreck public and environmental health and safety and the global climate of communities across the continent.

The tragic Lac Mégantic accident grimly reminds us all that Big Oil will stop at nothing to extract, transport, and burn every drop of oil in the ground.  Its primary northern Idaho/eastern Washington haulers, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) carrying fracked Bakken shale oil and Union Pacific Railroad moving Alberta tar sands dilbit through the Sandpoint, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington, areas, discount the communities they transgress with hazardous loads.  Recent, industry-friendly, federal regulation revisions will not check their recklessness.  The risks, costs, and millions of lives within the mile-wide, bomb train blast zones along their paths to profit around the Pacific Rim represent only collateral damage to the oil and railroad industries.

In July 2014, thousands of concerned citizens gathered at 63 events for the first Stop Oil Trains Week of Action, including multiple protest and outreach actions in Sandpoint and Spokane [1].  As Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies continue to actively oppose Alberta tar sands and Bakken shale oil exploitation and train and pipeline transportation, we refuse to let Big Oil play Russian roulette with our families, friends, homes, businesses, and climate!  On July 6 to 12, 2015, people across North America are defending their communities and climate, to halt extreme energy in its tracks and end the oil and rail industries’ pipeline on wheels [2].  We will call attention to the growing threat of oil trains, as we demonstrate the growing power of our movement, organizing more than 100 events across the U.S. and Canada, which demand an immediate ban on oil trains.

Please join WIRT and allies at local demonstrations during the Stop Oil Trains Week of Action, and/or host or attend an event in your vicinity between July 6 and 12.  Together with climate, environmental, and social justice activists across North America, we are organizing various tactics and resources to stage powerful and effective actions and documenting them with photos, videos, audio, and social media, to defend and protect frontline, rail corridor communities and our shared climate.  Stand with residents of Lac Mégantic and other communities in the crosshairs of Big Oil, to stop oil trains this July, by participating in one or all of these five actions.

Monday, July 6:

Eric De Place on the Climate Justice Forum

On the July 6 Lac Mégantic bomb train disaster second anniversary, the Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide gratefully welcomes Sightline Institute policy director Eric de Place.  As the keynote speaker of the educational panel presentations and discussions on oil and coal transport and export held in Spokane and Sandpoint on June 23 and 24 and recently throughout the Northwest, Eric will talk about increasing fossil fuel rail traffic and proposals for new and expanding facilities across the region.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ [3].

Friday, July 10:

Message Projection & Candlelit Solidarity Vigil

Bring your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, spirit of resistance, and protest signs, and honor the 47 residents lost in the July 6, 2013 Lac Mégantic, Quebec, oil train tragedy.  Meet us at 8 pm on Friday evening, July 10, in or near the parking lot beside Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, 524 Church Street in Sandpoint, for a 15-minute light projection of social and climate justice messages onto the nearby grain silos.  After this light show, we will move to the corner of North Fifth Avenue/U.S. Highway 2 and Cedar Street, for a candlelit solidarity vigil, commemorating the all-species victims of oil train derailments, explosions, and fires, and another, brief, light message projection session from an undisclosed location.

Saturday, July 11:

Blast Zone Outreach & Oil Train Protest

Between 9 am and 3 pm on Saturday, July 11, WIRT activists and concerned area citizens will visit with passersby and distribute informational flyers and material about oil trains and facilities, while marking the one-mile-wide, oil train blast zone with chalk and posters in downtown Sandpoint [4].  Find us outside the Farmers’ Market at Sandpoint, from 9 am to 1 pm near Farmin Park at Third Avenue and Oak Street, and/or on the Bridge Street bridge, enjoying the canoe, kayak, and paddleboard races of the Great Sandpoint Flatwater Regatta starting at 10 am in Sand Creek, and/or along the Sandpoint Boardwalk and Marina in downtown Sandpoint, observing the annual Parade of Boats on Sand Creek and the Antique and Classic Boat Show between 10 am until 3 pm.

At 12 noon on Saturday, July 11, WIRT and allies will stage a marching rally, mobilizing the Sandpoint community to protest oil trains.  Both BNSF and Union Pacific are implementing and proposing major infrastructure changes at and around the Sandpoint “funnel” rail bottleneck.  BNSF plans to build a second rail bridge over Lake Pend Oreille, north of the present bridge and visible from Sandpoint City Beach Park, to accommodate the reckless endangerment imposed by the current 16 to 19 mile-long unit trains transporting highly volatile crude oil through the region every week and additional such trains and their impacts in the future [5, 6].  We will march from the clock at Farmin Park, up North Third Avenue to Cedar Street, following it to Bridge Street and City Beach.  At our destination in the park, we will perform a creative, public theater protest, highlighting the park’s isolated vulnerability if a bomb train ever exploded near downtown Sandpoint.

Join the Stop Oil Trains Week of Action!

We need each of you by our sides during this week of continent-wide actions, as the people of Lac Mégantic urge everyone’s participation [7, 8].  Gather with us on Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, to engage and involve more community members in demanding an immediate ban on oil trains.  Please RSVP to let us know that you will be helping these actions, by responding to WIRT through the enclosed contact channels or by signing up through the constantly updated Action Network interactive map link to the WIRT event page [2].  We welcome your questions and suggestions about these events, as we thank each of the Sandpoint and Spokane area WIRT activists and allies who have provided invaluable information, connections, ideas, action design, and on-the-ground support for the Sandpoint Stops Oil Trains Week of Action!  PLEASE JOIN US THIS WEEKEND!

[1] Idaho Week of Actions Against Bomb Trains (July 2, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[2] Stop Oil Trains Week of Action: July 6 – 12, 2015 (ForestEthics)

[3] KRFP Radio Free Moscow (KRFP Radio Free Moscow)

[4] Oil Train Blast Zone (ForestEthics)

[5] Wednesday Sandpoint Oil/Coal Train Forum & Other Events (January 12, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[6] WIRT Newsletter: Recent Idaho & Montana Oil & Coal Train Issues (January 14, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[7] Lettre aux Militants (June 29, 2015 Jacques Gagnon, Comité Citoyen de la Région du Lac-Mégantic)

[8] Le Carré Bleu Lac-Mégantic (facebook community page)


Filed under: Alerts, Coal/Oil Trains/Ports
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Eric De Place 7-6-15

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 15:30

On the July 6 Lac Mégantic bomb train disaster second anniversary, the Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide gratefully welcomes Sightline Institute policy director Eric de Place.  As the keynote speaker of the educational panel presentations and discussions on oil and coal transport and export held in Spokane and Sandpoint on June 23 and 24 and recently throughout the Northwest, Eric will talk about increasing fossil fuel rail traffic and proposals for new and expanding facilities across the region.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

WIRT Newsletter: BLM Oil & Gas Lease Protest Report & Postponed State Auctions, Integration Applications, & WIRT Meetings

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 21:30

July WIRT Meetings

We have rescheduled the twice-monthly Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) potluck/pizza meetings in July, due to the Fourth of July holiday and July/August WIRT availability in Sandpoint.  Please join WIRT activists at 7 pm next Thursday, July 9, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow, Idaho, and at 7 pm on Saturday,  July 18, at Second Avenue Pizza, 215 South Second Avenue in Sandpoint, Idaho.  WIRT and allies are scheming multiple summer events expanding the movement against extreme energy, through powerful convergences, training camps, and direct actions for a livable future.  Please visit often the constantly updated Events Calendar on the WIRT website and/or contact WIRT for the descriptions, logistics, carpools, and directions to climate justice activities in the inland Northwest region [1].  Get involved in emerging, grassroots, fossil fuels resistance and solidarity with our comrades across the continent, confronting the root causes of climate change!

State Oil and Gas Lease Auction Postponed (Again)!

Throughout 2015, WIRT has been promising, preparing for, and posting about our planned protest of the next auction of oil and gas leases on state lands and minerals by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL).  The IDL website now notes that “this [July 1] auction has been postponed [for the fourth time this year (January, April, June, and July)!] until the fall of 2015, with an exact date to be determined [October 21, 2015?].  Information on the auction is subject to change.” [2]  Idaho has leased none of its public holdings for oil and gas exploitation this year!

Drilling Unit Integration Applications Stalled!

Another Idaho gasland “set-back” for oil and gas developers Alta Mesa!  The 21-day period for formal public comments and responses from impacted land and minerals owners to the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ended on June 29 and 30, for two Alta Mesa Services applications for integration (forced pooling by the state of non-compliant, private, potential oil and gas leasers), dated June 8 and 9.  But according to the Idaho Department of Lands website, “IDL requested additional information from the applicant, and an amended application is expected [3].  The applications posted here are for public informational purposes only and are not being considered by IDL or the Commission at this time.”  Congratulations to our southern Idaho comrades for their great work in holding off the gashole frackers! [4, 5]

Idaho BLM Oil and Gas Lease Protest Report

At a public auction in Boise, Idaho, on Thursday, May 28, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leased 6,349 acres in the Little Willow Creek watershed in Payette County for oil and gas exploration drilling [6, 7].  A lone Wild Idaho Rising Tide protester clad in an organizational T-shirt attended the auction, confronting the BLM with every question she could muster, witnessing possibly rigged, procedural discrepancies, and learning that allies had filed complaints of which few people aware [8].

Three bidders expressed intentions to participate in the lease sale, including Houston, Texas-based Alta Mesa, who purchased Bridge Energy’s eleven Payette County wells drilled in 2009-10 and drilled another eight wells since July 2013.  But only two companies registered to bid, and some observers asked if non-participating Bidder 1, Alta Mesa, is connected to the auction’s Bidder 3, Reagan Smith Energy Solutions, an Oklahoma oil and gas consulting company [6].  WIRT unintentionally met Bidder 2, the Kauffmans of Payette, Idaho, during our first entrance and sign-up for admission to the auction, when we overheard BLM staff saying that they expected protesters, to which we responded, “Yeah, one…”  When we considered registering to bid, Randy Kauffman joked that anyone can bid, if they have the money.  We replied, “Screw money, the root of all evil.”

Waiting for the auction to start and other protesters to arrive, WIRT read the auction materials in the outside court yard.  Upon re-entry, BLM staff hassled the solitary WIRT activist about an expired driver’s license, attempting to turn away another protester, like the one whom we later learned had forgotten to bring her photo identification but not her donated protest signs [9].  After producing a Social Security card and asserting that we rarely drive, the BLM illegally searched protester personal gear, a backpack within view and a computer case simultaneously beyond reach and sight.  BLM officials also insisted on protesters following procedures like wearing “Visitor 5/28/15” name tags, which we reluctantly stuck on a WIRT shirt and responded: “Yeah, the same rules that keep everything f**ked up.”

In the registration hallway, the auction room, and even among final lease payment transactions, WIRT pestered BLM staff with questions such as: “Which minerals are available in the parcels for lease?  Where is this information publicly available?  Will oil and gas drilling be allowed in parcels B, C, D, and E?  Are the BLM and bidders aware that nearby Alta Mesa wells may already be flaring and draining publicly-owned, BLM oil and gas, as documented by activist photos since September 2014?  Why is the BLM offering these leases before release of its final Four Rivers Resource Management Plan, which could modify lease stipulations?  How close is sage grouse habitat to these lease parcels?  How will this habitat affect activities on the lease parcels?  What became of the WildEarth Guardians protest and appeal?  Why did the BLM not record the auction?”  (A WIRT activist could not record, photograph, or videotape the situation while temporarily without proper equipment, so she took copious notes.)

After over an hour of these skirmishes, the bidders took their seats to vie for five parcels composed of 997 BLM acres and 5,352 split-estate acres of privately owned lands underlain by BLM subsurface minerals.  Bidder 2, Thana Kauffman, accompanied presumably by her husband, Randy, who constantly whispered bidding guidance, sat in the front right corner of the wide, rectangular seating.  Bidder 3, a female representing Reagan Smith Energy Solutions with a male companion, sat in the rear right corner.  About 25 people dozed in the audience, through all five extended bidding processes, mostly unaware of the bidders’ identities.  Ex-Halliburton fracking lobbyist and Alta Mesa vice president and attorney John Peiserich, Alta Mesa spokesman John Foster, and recognizable Idaho Department of Lands staff and industry officials seemed to surround and box-in the lone WIRT protester on the far right side of the room, away from other participants.

The auctioneer progressively increased bids by $1 increments for Bidder 2, the Kaufmanns, and in $5 increments for Bidder 3, who kept winning the first four offered leases.  Bidding proceeded predictably in this way between Bidders 2 and 3 lifting their green, numbered cards, starting at $2 per acre on each lease parcel, and progressing up (and down!) in increments of one and five.  Apparently in a rush to sell off public lands and minerals, after parcel A went for over $300, the auctioneer suggested that bids start at $300 instead of $2, to which everyone laughed in response.  He tried this tactic again with later parcel bids, but Bidder 3 seemed seriously intent on following the arduous process.  Several times, the male auctioneer accidentally fell back into a lower hundred range, and audience members had to remind him where he was in terms of dollar amounts.  He started writing down the progression of bids.

Overall, the five leased BLM tracts went for higher prices than parcels provided at WIRT-witnessed state oil and gas lease auctions.  Bidder 3, then-unknown Reagan Smith Energy Solutions, secured and bought the first four parcels auctioned off: Parcel A for $306 per acre, B for $545 per acre, C for $770 per acre, and D for $665 per acre [10].  Inexplicably paying a dollar more per acre ($771) for Parcel E than the highest Reagan Smith bid, the Kauffmans, Bidder 2, reacted somewhat ingenuously to their winning bid with, “Yes, finally!”  Although “Alta Mesa currently has a lease agreement with the Kauffmans and owns two wells on their property” up Little Willow Road, Thana purportedly purchased her newly leased BLM land as a personal investment, not planning to partner with Alta Mesa to drill it (Yeah, right!) [6].  Altogether, the BLM sold the five parcels for a total of $3.87 million dollars.

Although Alta Mesa has drilled eight oil and gas wells in the Little Willow Creek drainage and near its Payette River outlet, its most recent well and drilling application have both fizzled.  All except one previously drilled well remain inactive, awaiting completion of gathering lines, a pipeline, and a gas processing facility on U.S. Highway 30 south of New Plymouth.  Despite the high costs of new, unused infrastructure, the currently low market price of oil and gas, and the downward spiral of Alta Mesa’s investment ratings, the company has been hustling the BLM since early 2014, to lease and drill 187 acres of BLM split estates within a square, mixed ownership, 615-acre unit up Little Willow Creek.

Although the BLM hopes “to prevent uncompensated drainage of the federal minerals on those lands,” it could not lease that property to Alta Mesa, who would pay government royalties on extracted minerals, until the federal agency conducted an environmental assessment [6].  Meanwhile, Alta Mesa twice requested that the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission omit the BLM lands from its targeted drilling unit.  The commission denied Alta Mesa in September 2014, and then postponed its decision in October 2014, requiring Alta Mesa to provide more information about the gas reservoir in question.

But the speculative natures of the southwest Idaho gas field, Alta Mesa’s exploratory efforts, and the entire, post-peak oil and gas industry prevent accurate assessments of the potential viability of dirty energy ventures in Idaho.  Without drilling, no one can know the exact size and shape of a gas entrapment.  Exploration in the 1930s, 1950s, and 1980s found nothing noteworthy in the area, except lignite, dry holes, and a few blow-outs.  Most oil and gas companies and geologic research have neglected this Idaho play before the advent of advanced, available fracking technology.

But the state of Idaho, some of its more mercenary citizens, and relentlessly desperate fossil fuel perpetrators perceive only substantial financial benefits from these risky enterprises.  Previously overlooked Idaho gas fields are now primed to drill, and whatever finds result, Idahoans can expect to know little about the escalating situation and its enormous, unfavorable odds and to ultimately pay for the boom and bust with their tax dollars and contaminated air, water, and agricultural lands.

As reiterated at the May 28 auction, the BLM environmental assessment, published in December 2014, concluded that the BLM could offer leases but could not allow surface or subsurface occupancy until completion of its Four Rivers Resource Management Plan.  Thus, Alta Mesa, Reagan Smith, and the Kauffmans cannot drill into the five leased parcels from above or at an angle from nearby holdings, while the BLM Four Rivers office finishes its document over the next year.

At the auction, WIRT also learned more about the endeavors of our allies, dismissive of direct action confrontations while they work through the system, until they predictably lose on their written “protests” and possible, subsequent appeals.  The BLM announced at the beginning of the auction that it would resolve two such protests within 60 days and that its decisions could affect final leases.  Wildlands Defense, on behalf of Idaho Concerned Area Residents for the Environment and Brett Nelson, and WildEarth Guardians filed complaints on March 30, 2015 [11, 12].  The BLM denied both protests on June 10 and advised the groups on their rights to appeal.

[1] Events Calendar (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[2] Next Oil and Gas Lease Auction (Idaho Department of Lands)

[3] Other Applications (Idaho Department of Lands)

[4] Fighting Integration (June 26, 2015 Argus Observer)

[5] Fruitland Community Meeting on Alta Mesa’s Forced-Pooling Applications (June 19, 2015 Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability)

[6] Lease to Drill: BLM Leases Little Willow Creek Property for Gas Drilling (June 3, 2015 Independent-Enterprise)

[7] Idaho Oil and Gas (U.S Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management)

[8] Idaho BLM Oil and Gas Lease Protest (May 26, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[9] Idaho BLM Oil and Gas Lease Protest (May 26, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[10] May 28, 2015 Oil and Gas Lease Sale Results (Bureau of Land Management Idaho State Office)

[11] Wildlands Defense Protest and BLM Denial (March 30, 2015 Wildlands Defense and June 10, 2015 Bureau of Land Management)

[12] WildEarth Guardians Protest and BLM Denial (March 30, 2015 WildEarth Guardians and June 10, 2015 Bureau of Land Management)


Filed under: Idaho Fracking, Newsletters
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Coal Exports, Oil Transport, & Solutions Forum 6-23-15

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 16:00

The Monday, June 29, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) airs excerpts from the Coal Exports, Oil Transport, and Solutions Forum held at the Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, on Tuesday, June 23, and video-recorded by Rosie Ennis and Joe Comino of Dancing Crow Media.  We will hear from forum moderator and Center for Justice executive director Rick Eichstaedt, Spokane Tribal air quality coordinator Twa-le Abrahamson, Railroad Workers United steering committee co-chair Jen Wallis, Spokane City Council president Ben Stuckart, and Sierra Club organizing representative Jace Bylenga.  The next Climate Justice Forum, on the July 6 Lac Megantic bomb train disaster second anniversary, will likely host forum keynote speaker and Sightline Institute policy director Eric de Place.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

2015 Inland Northwest Climate Activist Workshop 1

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 17:00

Throughout the summer and fall of 2015, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies are providing workshops on nonviolent direct action, community outreach, and industrial activity monitoring, each with guest trainers.  Various Northwest groups are hosting and/or contributing toward these ongoing trainings, to educate, empower, and mobilize regional residents for upcoming protests of expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in southwest Idaho and dirty energy transportation through northern Idaho and eastern Washington communities, for Washington state and local agency hearings on Northwest coal and oil train terminals, and especially for coordinated, region-wide, Flood the System fall actions.

The first of these training sessions features Matt Landon of Vancouver Action Network in Washington.  Over the last few years, Matt has provided leadership, insights, and guidance among the Northwest community of citizens and activists, through two programs that he has developed, the Listening Project and the Twitter Oil Train Watch.  Through canvassing and other methods, the Listening Project has reached out to thousands of residents of the mile-wide “blast zones” around rail lines carrying volatile Alberta tar sands and Bakken crude oil trains through the Vancouver and Portland, Oregon metropolitan areas.  As reported by widespread, track-side train spotters, the Twitter Oil Train Watch has documented hundreds of dangerous oil trains moving across Washington.  Two significant situations make the techniques learned at this workshop critical components of community knowledge and protection: Every oil train passage increases the risks of devastating derailments, leaks, spills, and fiery explosions, and recently released federal regulations restrict the information about these trains available to the public and emergency responders.

This weekend, please join regional activists at Matt Landon’s Skyped, two-hour workshops in Spokane, Washington, and Sandpoint, Idaho.  Converge at 11 am on Saturday, June 27, in Meeting Room 1B, at the street level of the downtown Spokane Public Library, 906 West Main Avenue in Spokane, or at 2:30 pm on Saturday, June 27, in Rooms 103 and 104 of the East Bonner County – Sandpoint Library, 1407 Cedar Street in Sandpoint.  Do not miss these opportunities to enhance your personal and collective capacity to thwart the fossil fuel onslaught currently rampaging the Northwest, by attending these Inland Northwest Climate Activist Workshops and encouraging your friends, family, and co-workers to participate, and print and post the enclosed, letter-sized, event flyer.  Although event coordinators have worked to minimize workshop expenses, such as facilities rental and trainer and organizer travel, we would greatly appreciate participant donations to offset workshop costs.  WIRT welcomes your questions, suggestions, and discussion about and during these events and your advance confirmation of participation.  Thanks!


Filed under: Events
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Laura Ackerman 6-22-15

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 16:30

The Monday, June 22, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Laura Ackerman, a nature enthusiast, activist, and organizer for over 20 years, who serves as the oil and coal campaign coordinator for The Lands Council in Spokane, Washington.  Laura will talk about existing and proposed Northwest oil and coal facilities, upcoming public hearing opportunities, and oil train forums occurring in Spokane and Sandpoint, Idaho, this Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23 and 24.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Rod Tharp 6-15-15

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 14:30

The Monday, June 15, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes climate activist Rod Tharp of the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Climate Crisis Action Group in Washington, the principle co-organizers of the People’s Climate Action Fleet.  The June 21 water-based direct action against oil bomb trains, on the Salish Sea by the coastal tracks near the U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay, is drawing protesters from across Cascadia and worldwide media attention, like recent Arctic oil drilling blockades around Puget Sound.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Upcoming Summer WIRT & Allied Events

Wed, 06/10/2015 - 02:20

WIRT and allied agents of change, Please plan to participate in the following Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and associated events, and check the WIRT website Events Calendar often, for updates on upcoming happenings.

June/July: Climate Activist Training Workshops (Dates and times to be announced (TBA), Downtown Spokane Public Library, 906 West Main Avenue, Spokane, Washington; East Bonner County – Sandpoint Library, 1407 Cedar Street, Sandpoint, Idaho; The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street, Moscow, Idaho; and Main (downtown) Boise Public Library, 715 South Capitol Boulevard, Boise, Idaho

June/July: Ongoing WIRT and allied mobilization of regional residents for 1) an August, Lake Pend Oreille, water-based, mass protest of expansion of rail bridges and fossil fuels train transportation, 2) agency hearings on Northwest oil train terminals, and 3) coordinated, region-wide, #FloodTheSystem, fall actions

JUNE 2015

June 18: WIRT Third Thursday Sandpoint Monthly Meeting and Pizza (Thursday 7 pm, Second Avenue Pizza, 215 South Second Avenue, Sandpoint, Idaho)

June 23: Coal Exports, Oil Transport, and Solutions Forum hosted by Earth Ministry, Gonzaga Environmental Law Caucus, Power Past Coal, Sierra Club, Sightline Institute, Spokane Riverkeeper, Stand Up To Oil, and The Lands Council (Tuesday 7 pm, Gonzaga University School of Law Courtroom, 721 North Cincinnati Street, Spokane, Washington)

June 24: Sandpoint Oil Train Forum, Pipeline on Wheels through North Idaho hosted by the Idaho Conservation League, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper, and Sightline Institute (Wednesday 5:30 pm, The Heartwood Center, 515 Oak Street, Sandpoint, Idaho) June 27: Community Progressive V WIRT Information Table (Saturday 10 am to 9 pm, Julia Davis Park, 700 South Capitol Boulevard, Boise, Idaho)

JULY 2015 July 1: State Oil and Gas Lease Auction Protest 3 (Wednesday 8 am, Idaho Department of Lands Garnet West Conference Room, 300 North Sixth Street, Suite 103, Boise, Idaho)

July 2: WIRT First Thursday Moscow Monthly Meeting and Potluck (Thursday 7 pm, The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street, Moscow, Idaho)

July 11: Stop Bomb Trains Spokane (Stop Oil Trains Week of Action: Lac Megantic commemorative demonstrations) (Saturday 11 am, location TBA, Spokane, Washington)

July 12: Stop Bomb Trains Sandpoint (Stop Oil Trains Week of Action: Lac Megantic commemorative demonstrations) (Sunday time and location TBA, Sandpoint, Idaho)

July 16: WIRT Third Thursday Sandpoint Monthly Meeting and Pizza (Thursday 7 pm, Second Avenue Pizza, 215 South Second Avenue, Sandpoint, Idaho)


Filed under: Newsletters
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Dirty Energy Resistance 6-8-15

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 18:00

The Monday, June 8, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) discusses recent and upcoming coal, oil, gas, and tar sands resistance in Canada, Idaho, Washington, Utah, Minnesota, and Texas, and government facilitated, fossil fuel industrial developments.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Vote for Rising Tide North America!

Sat, 06/06/2015 - 22:00

Please vote early and often throughout June 2015 for Rising Tide North America (RTNA) to receive tens of thousands of dollars in donations from CREDO Action.  As Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and comrades across the continental, grassroots network of volunteer activists organize frontline communities to escalate resistance to the fossil fuel industry and its government facilitators, radical climate justice advocates need your support more than ever.

During November 2013 through October 2014, $1000 in funding from RTNA advanced WIRT collective work against Alberta tar sands and Montana refinery megaloads and Idaho oil and gas extraction.  From eastern Oregon to western Montana, we staged region-wide informational programs like the Gasland 2 Idaho Roadshow, direct action trainings involving the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance, and effective protests from Sun Valley to Sandpoint, Idaho, promoting locally organized confrontations of the root causes of the climate crisis.

Over the last month, Rising Tide chapters and core WIRT activists have blockaded Shell’s Arctic drilling equipment in Bellingham and Seattle and fracking sites in Texas.  For the summer and fall of 2015, we are already planning our largest endeavors yet, listening canvasses and assertive actions along Spokane and Washington rail corridors and on Lake Pend Oreille at Sandpoint, as we #FloodTheSystem of capitalistic, colonial perpetrators of oppression and climate change.

Each month, CREDO asks its members and customers to choose which groups will receive part of their revenue, contributing millions of dollars to a wide range of nonprofits.  As either a CREDO Action member (join by simply signing a petition) or CREDO mobile phone/credit card customer of the progressive communications company, you can provide crucial financial assistance for WIRT and Rising Tide activists.

With every vote for RTNA on CREDO Action’s ballot before the June 30 deadline, WIRT and our colleagues receive a larger percentage of this month’s CREDO funds.  So please share this request with your friends, families, neighbors, and co-workers and vote for Rising Tide at Credo Donations!  In sincere solidarity and appreciation for your activism and support…


Filed under: Newsletters
Categories: Climate Change

WIRT Gathering Tonight, June & July Events

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 18:30

As a reminder, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists are gathering at 7 pm tonight (Thursday, June 4) for our regular strategizing and planning convergence, the First Thursday Moscow Monthly Meeting and Potluck, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow, Idaho.  Over the next few days, we are also updating our Events Calendar on the WIRT website with June and July WIRT and allied events.  Please note that, due to modified state agency schedules, the State Oil and Gas Lease Auction Protest at the Idaho Department of Lands in Boise has been postponed from Wednesday, June 10, until Wednesday, July 8 (when we really need your protest participation!).  A lone WIRT protester confronted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with every question she could muster, at its oil and gas lease auction on Thursday, May 28, in Boise, personally witnessing (rigged?) auction discrepancies and learning that allies had filed appeals of which no one is aware.  Burdened recently with other distracting work, WIRT will produce a protest report soon.  With a few WIRT activists, please consider attending the Oil and Gas Forum in Emmett, Idaho, at 6:30 pm next Tuesday evening, July 9.  Thanks!


Filed under: Newsletters
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Chiara D’Angelo 6-1-15

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 18:00

The Monday, June 1, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) discusses recent and upcoming oil and gas resistance events in Idaho, Texas gasland flooding, another bomb train wreck in Minnesota, and updates on Salish Sea protests of Shell’s Arctic oil drilling ventures.  We also air an interview with Chiara D’Angelo, the Bellingham Rising Tide activist who locked down with Matthew Fuller to the anchor chain of Shell’s Arctic Challenger in Bellingham during three late-May days.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community resistance to fossil fuel development projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Guided Wildflower Hike on Paradise Ridge

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 20:00

To avert potential damages to fragile, remnant Palouse Prairie during this outing, the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition (PRDC) is limiting participation in a guided wildflower hike on Paradise Ridge to PRDC members and member organizations (Palouse Audubon Society, Palouse Broadband of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition, Palouse Group of the Sierra Club, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide).  Please meet at 1:30 pm on Sunday, May 31, at the University of Idaho Arboretum parking lot off Palouse River Drive, west of Highway 95 in Moscow, Idaho.  Attendees will carpool to the starting point for a hike to the top of Paradise Ridge, where we will visit the best sites of the last one percent of original Palouse Prairie.  Wear good walking/hiking shoes and bring a water bottle.  Event coordinators plan to offer plenty of opportunities for questions during the event lasting 2 1/2 to 3 hours, including travel time.  PRDC board members invite you to join as a member and a Sunday hike participant!


Filed under: Highway 95 Re-Route
Categories: Climate Change

Idaho BLM Oil & Gas Lease Protest

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 16:00

On Thursday, May 28, 2015, Wild Idaho Rising Tide and allied activists plan to protest the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oral auction and sale of leases of public oil and gas and minerals in the Little Willow Creek watershed six miles east of Payette, Idaho [1].  Managing 700 million acres of sub-surface minerals and more acreage (245 million) than any other federal agency, mostly in the western U.S. and Alaska, the BLM operates under the U.S. Department of the Interior.  Its Idaho State Office, at 1387 South Vinnell Way in Boise, will open registration to the public and prospective buyers at 7:45 am on Thursday and will begin the auction at 9 am in the Sagebrush Conference Room, offering five parcels totaling 6,475 acres for minimum lease bids of $2 per acre, following the national standard.  According to a map of the BLM proposed Little Willow Creek oil and gas leasing area, only one of the smaller parcels is available for oil and gas development, while the majority of the tracts could provide opportunities for private extraction of all federal minerals present [2].

Although the BLM asserts that this lease sale would “prevent federally owned oil and gas from being drained without compensation to the United States in the form of royalties,” “by law the Bureau of Land Management cannot auction off public lands to the oil and gas industry unless drainage is actually occurring” [2, 3].  For years, the primary architect of recent oil and gas wells, a processing plant expanded before completion, and gathering lines connecting all of this Payette County infrastructure, Alta Mesa Idaho (AMI) has pressured the BLM to open its public resources to its pursuits.  AMI’s environmentally, socially, and financially irresponsible onslaught of development has begrudged mandated, protracted, public review of BLM leasing proposals within the context of broader federal regulations, significantly more stringent that state oversight.  The Boise-based BLM Four Rivers Field Office confirmed in April 2015 that “no surface occupancy and no subsurface occupancy will be permitted until the Four Rivers Resource Management Plan is completed, which is scheduled for 2016” [1].

In mid-July 2014, the Bureau of Land Management joined the looming fracking fray of the Willow gas field in Payette County.  The Four Rivers BLM office proposed only an environmental assessment (EA) of this industry incursion into mostly split estates in its “oil and gas protective leasing area” [4].  But at a public scoping hearing at the Payette County Courthouse on the evening of July 17, concerned Idaho citizens residing in the vicinity of the BLM lease units and participating in the hearing expressed strong disapproval, and fracktivists pushed for a full environmental impact statement (EIS) [5, 6].  Nominally seeking to identify potential, related, environmental issues and alternatives to its proposal, the BLM requested receipt of comments from individuals and organizational spokespersons by August 11, 2014, sent to blm_id_littlewillowcrkleasescoping@blm.gov.

The BLM ultimately produced only an environmental assessment, instead of a legally essential EIS on its Little Willow Creek leasing proposal, and even released a finding of no significant impact before completion of its EA, reversing the usual, prescribed progression of studies and determinations of action consequences.  It opened this lease project EA to public scrutiny and a 30-day public comment period just before the winter holidays, on December 22, 2014 [7].  Its plan suggested a lease auction by April, which would offer 6,350 acres in five parcels for potential drilling in Payette County, southwest Idaho.  The agency issued a Notice of Competitive Lease Sale, accessible on an Idaho BLM oil and gas leasing webpage or at the Idaho State Office’s public room, and asked the public to file written, mailed or faxed objections with Tracy Hadley (208-373-3899), during a March 2 to March 31, 2015 protest period [8].

BLM officials have been battling the Houston, Texas-based oil company Alta Mesa over the purportedly profitable natural gas field in the Little Willow Creek watershed for years.  The BLM and tribal and climate activists suspect that nearby wells and other infrastructure on adjacent private lands are draining federal mineral resources, without paying U.S. royalties and Idaho taxes, and potentially damaging surface resources.  Alta Mesa fears the precedent-setting, prolonged possibilities of federal laws requiring environmental analysis in an area with plenty of BLM-administered lands and Alta Mesa wells.  In efforts to expedite gas production by the nascent industry in Idaho, Alta Mesa requested that the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission exclude 187 acres of BLM land from a 615-acre drilling unit.

Early September 2014 brought some of the best news ever to emerge from southwestern Idaho gasland, thanks to the prudence of the newly appointed Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the thorough federal review processes that will likely stall Alta Mesa’s reckless lease-and-drill pace on private properties interspersed with BLM lands.  After initially siding with the BLM, likely for state revenue reasons, the Commissioners rejected Alta Mesa’s petition with a 3-2 vote.  But they reversed their decision at a special, live audio-streamed, October 10, 2014 meeting at the Capitol in Boise, in response to Alta Mesa’s request for reconsideration of the Commission’s final September order [9, 10].  Their 4-1 vote favored a May 7, 2015 hearing in Boise, to gather additional evidence.  Alta Mesa suspended its request in late December, and the 2015 Idaho Legislature predictably facilitated industry abuses of clean air, a stable climate, wildlife, and citizens, by passing House Bill 124, a law granting “the five-member Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission the option to exclude federal mineral rights, if the federal government fails to grant leases” [11-13].

In early April 2015, WildEarth Guardians filed an appeal to prevent the federal government from auctioning off 6,000-plus acres of public lands for oil and gas leasing and exploitation in the Little Willow drainage of Idaho [3].  They expect a response before May 28, noting that oil and gas leasing across the American West during May 2015 could portend more risky oil and gas drilling, could poison iconic public lands, and could compound pollution and climate change, not to mention possibly destroy the critical habitat of diminishing species like sage grouse:

Spurred by industry demands, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management is planning to auction off nearly 180,000 acres of public lands oil and gas leases in the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming.  Throughout the month of May, a total of 183 lease parcels comprising 179,418 acres of public lands are slated to be sold to the oil and gas industry [14].

Please join Wild Idaho Rising Tide and allies at 8 am on Thursday, May 28, 2015, in the Sagebrush Conference Room of the BLM Idaho State Office, 1387 South Vinnell Way in Boise, as we protest this open, public auction of federal oil and gas and mineral leases surrounding Little Willow Creek in Payette County.  Bring your friends, family, and other associates, as well as your protest signs and spirit of resistance.  We gratefully and eagerly anticipate your participation on Thursday!

[1] Idaho BLM to Hold Oil and Gas Lease Sale (April 30, 2015 Bureau of Land Management Idaho State Office)

[2] Notice of Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale on May 28, 2015 (February 27, 2015 Bureau of Land Management Idaho State Office)

[3] Guardians Appeals to Overturn Public Lands Fracking in Idaho (Thursday, April 2, 2015 WildEarth Guardians)

[4] Proposed BLM Oil and Gas Protective Leasing Area (Bureau of Land Management project map)

[5] BLM Begins Process to Lease Oil and Gas Rights in Payette County (July 15, 2014 Idaho Statesman)

[6] BLM Asking for Feedback (July 17, 2014 KTVB)

[7] BLM Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Oil and Gas Lease Sale in Payette County (December 22, 2014 Bureau of Land Management Boise District Office)

[8] BLM to Auction Land Near Payette for Oil and Gas Leases (March 5, 2015 Boise Weekly)

[9] Idaho in Session Special Events (Idaho Public Television)

[10] Idaho Gives Oil Company Second Shot to Exclude BLM (October 13, 2014 Twin Falls Times-News)

[11] Feds Plan to Hold Idaho Oil and Gas Lease Sale (December 24, 2014 East Idaho News)

[12] Senate Committee OKs Plan to Exclude Federal Mineral Rights (March 6, 2015 Washington Times]

[13] Idaho’s Oil and Gas Laws Focal Point of 2015 Legislative Session (April 15, 2014 Idaho Department of Lands)

[14] Climate Denial at U.S. Interior Department, Fracking Free-for-All in Rockies (May 5, 2015 WildEarth Guardians)


Filed under: Alerts, Idaho Fracking
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Bellingham & Boise Protests 5-25-15

Mon, 05/25/2015 - 18:00

The Monday, May 25, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) discusses upcoming protests of oil and gas lease auctions in Boise, the Bellingham barge lock-down in defiance of Arctic oil drilling, and issue developments concerning coal, oil, and tar sands train traffic across the Northwest.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community resistance to fossil fuel development projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Herb Goodwin 5-18-15

Sun, 05/17/2015 - 18:00

Herb Goodwin & Seattle area kayaktivists (Katie Herzog photo)

The Monday, May 18, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes core WIRT activist Herb Goodwin of Bellingham discussing Seattle and Bellingham, land- and water-based, hundreds-strong protests of Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling equipment mooring and embarking from the Salish Sea this month.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community resistance to fossil fuel development projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

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