Big Wild Bi-Weekly February 18, 2011

Dear Wildland Lovers,

The past couple months have been extremely busy and we want to express our appreciation for all your activism concerning the various wildland issues taking place in the Clearwater Basin. Between the mega-loads on U.S. 12, the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange and the proposal(s) to de-list grey wolves we have our hands full. But that’s the cool thing about community. We all help each other and carry the weight as a team! Keep up the great work!

The 1st Conoco Phillips mega-load took approximately 10 nights to travel from the Port of Lewiston to Lolo Pass. The highly engineered travel plan said they would do it in 4 nights. Along with the extra week of travel, this first coke drum caused multiple delays over 10 minutes, including one of 59 minutes, and scraped a rock-face just past Orofino. Other violations included the blockading of highway turnouts more than 24 hours in advance. The 2nd coke drum will be traveling up the highway this weekend. Please consider watching this short video made by FOC member Marsha Schoeffler http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/node/1029.

There has been a lot of breaking news concerning the 34 ExxonMobil mega-loads parked at the Port of Lewiston. The Idaho Transportation Department has officially granted permits for the loads to travel, but a contested case hearing must occur first. No date(s) have been set yet. Despite telling the public that these modules are non-reducible and that U.S. 12 is the only conceivable route, ExxonMobil announced they are cutting 33 of the 34 modules in half and trucking them along a different route, yet to be announced. The one module not being reduced in height is set for a “test-run” along U.S. 12 on Tuesday February 22nd. Please consider watching this short video by FOC member Holly Schroeder http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/node/972.

Rep. Tom Trail (R) Moscow introduced legislation in the Idaho House Transportation Committee on Monday that would have required 1 public hearing for any over-sized load permits in excess of 500,000 lbs. Rep. Shirley Ringo (D) Moscow also endorsed the bill. It was however rejected by a vote of 11-3. The bill attempted to improve transparency of the permitting process and allow for more public involvement.

The Indigenous Environmental Network, North America Rising Tide and the Rainforest Action Network are co-sponsoring a grassroots workshop aimed at educating the public about the connection between the destructive Alberta Tar Sands in Canada and the mega-loads traveling along U.S. Route 12 in Idaho. The one-day event is this Saturday February 19th at the Event Center in the Clearwater River Casino in Lewiston. The free workshop is from 9:00am-6:00pm and will include lunch. The Heart of the Monster Action Camp will offer members of the community an opportunity to plan and organize with other concerned members of the public in the Clearwater Valley.

If you have not had the opportunity to comment on the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange you still have time to do so. The deadline to submit comments has been extended to Wednesday March 9th. Click here to learn where to send your comments: http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/node/1030. If you want to learn more about the proposal click here: http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/clearwater/Projects/Upper_Lochsa_LEX/Upper_Lochs….

Despite the Northern Rocky grey wolf being listed under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is accepting comments on the state of Idaho’s request to kill 50-60 wolves in the Clearwater Basin. The deadline for comments is Monday March 14th. Please use this link to learn more and submit a comment: http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/node/1000. The various anti-wolf bills being introduced in Congress right now are wholly separate from this proposal, but if passed they would permanently de-list wolves. Click here for more: http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/issues/wolves/delisting/delist.shtml.

Former Education & Outreach Director Will Boyd was recently interviewed by the Moscow-Pullman Daily News for his view on wolf management in the N. Rockies. Read it here: http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/node/1024. FOC member Bob Hoffman was also recently in the paper for his use of copper bullets when hunting in Clearwater country. Bob was interviewed by the Lewiston Tribune, which was doing a story on the growing controversy of using lead bullets and the negative impacts it can have throughout the ecosystem. Click here to read the article: http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/node/1031.

Keep up the great work everyone!

Brett

 

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