Sandpoint, ID: Protest of Fossil Fuels Train Pollution

cross-posted from Wild Idaho Rising Tide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2020

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

Saturday Protest of Fossil Fuels Train Pollution

February 1, 10 am rally & carpool at Sandpoint City Beach Park, & 11 am march from Bonners Ferry Visitors Center

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), #No2ndBridge, and regional climate activists are hosting a Fossil Fuels Train Pollution Protest in Bonner and Boundary counties on Saturday, February 1.  Participants are gathering at 10 am around the City Beach Park pavilion in Sandpoint, Idaho, for a brief, information sharing rally.  Carpoolers are next traveling to the Gateway Visitors Center in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, to march at 11 am and return to Sandpoint by 1 pm.

This community event commemorates the one-month anniversary of the January 1, rockslide derailment and January 26 removal and current disassembly of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, mixed freight train locomotive that submerged and leaked at least 2,100 gallons of diesel fuel and engine oil into the Kootenai River near Moyie Springs, north Idaho.  Resistance to ongoing, coal, oil, and hazardous materials train pollution and derailment risks and impacts to public and environmental health and safety is increasing across the Idaho Panhandle.  Rural, rail corridor residents continue to oppose bridge, track, and operations expansions that compound these threats, such as BNSF’s inherently perilous, present and proposed, fossil fuels pipelines-on-rails across north Idaho, along the Kootenai River, and almost one mile over Lake Pend Oreille.

After dozens of derailments along waterways and deadly and injurious railroad collisions in north Idaho and western Montana during the last decade, frontline activists are demanding that multiple government agencies provide to the public and enforce several measures, to prevent and remediate the ecosystem and economic devastation imposed on rural communities by the Kootenai River wreck and similar disasters.  Through comment letters, they are requesting derailment oil spill information, independent water quality and environmental monitoring, protection of native and endangered fish and wildlife, a Federal Railroad Administration incident investigation and penalties, and railroad operation revisions and locomotive recovery plans.

Protest organizers ask that participants dress for winter warmth and dryness, bring friends, family, and creative, relevant signs and banners, assist with event transportation, and sign the Petition to Deny and Revoke Permits for the BNSF Sandpoint Junction Connector Project [1].  Contact WIRT for further event and emerging issue information, also described through the linked event flyer and announcements [2] and compiled photos and updates [3] on WIRT facebook and website pages.

[1] Petition to Deny and Revoke Permits for the BNSF Sandpoint Junction Connector Project

https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/petition-to-deny-revoke

[2] Fossil Fuels Train Pollution Protest

https://www.facebook.com/events/538778857035285

https://wildidahorisingtide.org/2020/01/27/fossil-fuels-train-pollution-protest

[3] BNSF Kootenai River Wreck and Spill 1-1-20

https://www.facebook.com/pg/wildidaho.risingtide/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1610550912427743

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

Rising Tide North America Statement of Solidarity with Anti-Fossil Fuel Activists in the Northwest

wild-idaho-rising-tide-on-cornerRising Tide North America Statement of Solidarity with Rising Tide and Anti-Fossil Fuel Activists in the  Northwest

In response to the recent news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continues its harassment of climate activists in Idaho, Washington and other parts of the Northwest, Rising Tide North America issued the following statement:

We believe that the extraction of fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and tar sands oil, and the expansion of pipelines and other transportation infrastructure, is a dangerous threat to our communities, our wild places and the climate. We further believe that grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action are bold and effective tools used to stop these threats.

The FBI’s recent harassment of activists and organizers in Idaho and Washington is nothing less than a concerted effort to intimidate and stifle dissent. It’s ridiculous that the FBI spends its time and resources investigating peaceful environmental activists, while the corporations responsible for oil spills, water and air pollution, toxic environmental racism and climate change continue to run amok.

We stand in solidarity with our friends and allies with Wild Idaho Rising Tide, and others in the Northwest, who’ve taken courageous stands against the Keystone XL pipeline, tar sands heavy haul shipments, natural gas extraction and coal exports. Furthermore, we stand in solidarity with all communities that have chosen to take a stand against this horrible industry and protect a livable future.”

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Rising Tide North America is continental network of climate justice groups and individuals challenging the root causes of climate change and for social, environmental and climate justice.