Sandpoint, Idaho: Fifth Panhandle Paddle, September 6-8

Cross-posted from Wild Idaho Rising Tide

September 2, 2019

Media contact: Helen Yost, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com, 208-301-8039

September 6-8 Fifth Panhandle Paddle

Annual Event Offers Rail Bridge Talk, Action Training, & Flotilla Rally

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allied activists invite Northwest residents to participate in weekend, Fifth Panhandle Paddle activities on September 6 to 8 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Grassroots movement organizers are calling for rail line community resistance to Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s proposed bridge and track expansion across Lake Pend Oreille, Sand Creek, and downtown Sandpoint, and to regional trains hauling volatile Alberta tar sands, fracked Bakken crude oil, dusty Powder River Basin coal, and other hazardous materials. Ongoing, increasing, fossil fuels railroad infrastructure and transportation recklessly risk and pollute water, air, climate, lands, lives, and communities, evident in seven 2017, north Idaho and northwest Montana, train derailments and collisions within 44 miles of Sandpoint and beyond. These incidents include disastrous coal and oil train wrecks, spills, and fires along the Clark Fork River near Heron, Montana, in the Columbia River Gorge town of Mosier, Oregon, and weekly throughout North America.

#No2ndBridge Talk

6 to 8 pm Friday, September 6

Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street, Sandpoint

At this informal forum and discussion, participants will provide information and brainstorm tactics for creative opposition and regulatory and legal recourse to the myriad, significant impacts of BNSF’s still federally unpermitted, $100 million, Sandpoint Junction Connector project and fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails across the Panhandle and almost one mile over Idaho’s largest, deepest lake, Pend Oreille. Bring your concerns, ideas, snacks, and beverages, and gather for conversations.

Direct Action Training

10 am to 3 pm Saturday, September 7

Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street, Sandpoint

Local and visiting, West Coast trainers will offer their expertise through interactive, presentation and practice workshops on topics such as knowing your rights, strategizing, target selection, scouting, action design and roles, media and police interactions, security, safety, and self-defense. RSVP to request particular, adapted sessions, and join WIRT and guests at any time during the workshops, to learn and share frontline skills, stories, and insights, and to contribute potluck food and trainer travel funds and arrangements.

Rallies & Paddle

10 am to 1 pm Sunday, September 8

City & Dog Beach Parks, Sandpoint

Come to the south boat ramp at City Beach, for music, speakers, and a flotilla around the present and proposed, Lake Pend Oreille, railroad bridge sites, launching after participants arrive by land and water. Around 12 noon, another rally will converge after paddlers reach Dog Beach Park, before they return. Bring canoes and other manual watercraft and distantly visible banners and signs. Respond to WIRT to reserve and help rent single or double kayaks or paddleboards from downtown businesses.

To access further, issue background and event descriptions, offer boats or supplies for these free events, print and post the color, PDF version of the Paddle flyer, or donate to cover the costs of watercraft rental, trainer travel and accommodations, and media advertising, visit the WIRT website,* and contact WIRT with your questions, suggestions, and contributions. Join us in these opportunities to support environmental, climate, and public health and safety, and to protect basic, global, human rights.

*Fifth Panhandle Paddle

https://wildidahorisingtide.org/2019/08/28/fifth-panhandle-paddle/

https://www.facebook.com/events/373303406915881

Wild Idaho Rising Tide: #No2ndBridge Regional Talks, March 5-10

Cross-posted from Wild Idaho Rising Tide

#No2ndBridge Regional Talks

During the upcoming week, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allied activists invite concerned, community members to participate in #No2ndBridge, regional talks and slide show presentations with refreshments in Missoula, Moscow, Sandpoint, and Spokane.  Event hosts of these free, open meetings ask everyone attending to bring and share snacks, stories, images, and donations, and learn about the natural and human environment of Lake Pend Oreille and the ongoing and potentially increasing traffic, noise, pollution, and derailment dangers of Northwest and north Idaho, railroad ‘funnel,’ fossil fuels and hazardous materials trains.

Discussions will cover the significant, adverse impacts of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s proposed Sandpoint Junction Connector construction and operation of two temporary and three permanent, parallel, railroad bridges and doubled tracks across Sandpoint, Sand Creek, and almost one mile over Idaho’s largest lake.  As described in the WIRT petition to deny and revoke permits for this BNSF project, which we encourage you to sign with comments, this flawed, railroad expansion risking bi-directional train passage would degrade lake and aquifer water (is life!) sources, air and scenic qualities, native fish, wildlife, threatened bull trout, and their habitats, indigenous cultures, treaties, and rights, public and environmental health and safety, historic sites and private properties, boat navigation and emergency and vehicle travel, and recreation, tourism, residence, business, and economic interests and values [1].

Missoula: Tuesday, March 5, at 7 pm in the Union Hall, upstairs ballroom, 208 East Main Street in Missoula, Montana, co-hosted with 350 Montana

Moscow: Wednesday, March 6, at 7 pm in the 1912 Center, Fiske room, 412 East Third Street in Moscow, Idaho, co-hosted with the Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (PESC)

Sandpoint: Saturday, March 9, at 10 am in the Gardenia Center, main floor chapel, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint, Idaho, with guest speakers

Spokane: Sunday, March 10, at 1 pm in the Liberty Park United Methodist Church, community room, 1526 East Eleventh Avenue in Spokane, Washington, co-hosted with The Oak Tree

Seeking to amplify regional resistance and rejection of this culpable, railroad scheme to build fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails infrastructure, by installing and removing over one thousand piles in train-spewed, stream and lake bed, coal deposits and bull trout critical habitat, WIRT activists will provide suggestions for oral testimony on March 13 at two Ponderay, Idaho, hearings and for comments due by March 25, on a draft environmental assessment (EA) released on February 6 by the project’s lead regulator, the U.S. Coast Guard [2].  Unless public processes or the courts secure a more scientifically-rigorous, community-preferred environmental impact statement (EIS), March 2019 offers the last opportunity for review and input on this BNSF proposal.  Presenters will also give updates and request support for the nine-month, WIRT petition for judicial review challenging the BNSF, lake encroachment permit granted on June 21, 2018, by the Idaho Department of Lands and State Board of Land Commissioners [3, 4].  Litigants currently await a district court decision on a February 8, 2019, hearing and state and intervenor BNSF motions to dismiss the case, after petitioner WIRT filed strong, meritorious arguments in a December 13, 2018, opening brief.

For further event and issue information, visit the WIRT facebook and website pages and outreach tables at regional, public events and farmers markets, contact us with your concerns, and print and post the accompanying flyer [5].  Ask the federal agencies reviewing BNSF applications and deliberating permit decisions to extend the comment period to 90 days, hold hearings in Sandpoint, include your comments in the project’s public record, and fully analyze this railroad expansion with an environmental impact study and statement.  Thanks!  #No2ndBridge!

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

[2] Railroad Bridges Hearings, Comments, and Updates, February 23, 2019 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[3] WIRT v. IDL/Land Board/BNSF, March 1, 2019 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[4] Crowdfund WIRT Litigation of Lake Railroad Bridges Permit, October 23, 2018 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[5] #No2ndBridge Regional Talks, March 1, 2019 Wild Idaho Rising Tide