Big Wild Bi-Weekly October 12, 2010

Dear Wildland Advocates,

Never short on words, it’s time to do another two week summary of what is happening where and why across Wild Clearwater Country. In this issue you will receive a special invitation for a weekend hike, get updated on the diesel spill along the Lochsa River, hear the latest on the Highway 12 mega-load issue, be told why 10/10/10 was so important, and learn what certain Congressmen are trying to do with wolves in the Lower 48.

Please join us as we co-sponsor an exhilarating autumn hike into the Lochsa Research Natural Area this Saturday, October 16th to explore the coastal disjunct properties of wild Clearwater country! The White Pine Chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society is hosting University of Montana professor emeritus Paul Alaback, an expert in temperate forest ecosystems and our tour guide into lush, isolated, old growth forests off Highway 12. We will be car-pooling from the southern lot of Eastside Marketplace in Moscow at 7am. Please bring food, water, warm clothes, and a smile!

On Wednesday, September 29th a fuel tanker owned by Keller Transport of Billings, MT. spilled 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel after it recklessly failed to negotiate a curve on Highway 12. Not it’s first spill along the Wild & Scenic Lochsa River corridor, this particular load was dumped along the north side of the highway, away from the river. However, a few days later fuel was discovered in the river. Emergency response crews have placed containment booms and absorbent pads along the edge of the Lochsa and have been drilling under the highway to determine how much and how deep the diesel fuel penetrated. Wouldn’t it be great if we could learn our lesson(s) and not allow trucking of any hazardous material along Wild & Scenic river corridors in the future? Read this too:

http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/node/985.

On Friday, October 1st the Idaho Supreme Court heard the Conoco Phillips mega loads appeal and has yet to issue a decision. Meanwhile, despite permits not being issued for Exxon Mobil’s Tar Sands loads, the Port of Vancouver in Washington received it’s first shipment of oil processing equipment from a South Korean manufacturer. After being unloaded by cranes and placed on barges, the equipment will be shipped up to the Port of Lewiston. The Port of Vancouver expects at least fourteen more loads over the coming year. I say at least because the Lewiston Tribune just reported that the Idaho Transportation Department very recently met with the South Korean owned Harvest Energy Co. to discuss their inquiry into hauling additional Tar Sands loads up Highway 12 starting in June 2011. So for those of you keeping track, Big Oil now wants to truck between 251-271 gargantuan loads up the road. As the old saying goes, don’t let the camel’s nose under the tent.

Think Globally, Act Locally hit Friendship Square in Moscow this past Sunday as we teamed up with the Palouse group of the Sierra Club and countless student groups and citizens to do our share for the 10/10/10 campaign. October 10, 2010 was a day of global action where thousands of demonstrations took place around the world to show climate change is real and that we need to lower our carbon emissions in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million. Please go to http://www.350.org to learn about what the world was doing and why we need more citizen activism.

And despite wolves not being biologically recovered in the N. Rockies and recent studies questioning the sustainability of future wolf hunts, Idaho and Montana have officially submitted their requests to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to hunt and kill wolves this fall/winter. Both states, along with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, have also appealed federal Judge Donald Molloy’s August ruling that placed N. Rocky wolves back on the endangered species list. The coup de grace though is the attempt of various lawmakers to push a bill(s) through Congress that would exempt all wolves from future federal protection and permanently turn them over to state agencies. This article says it well:

http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/node/987.

Defend the Wild,

Brett

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