After ten weeks of dry, sunny conditions fire season has returned to the Northern Rockies. Up to this point the amount of acres burned has been small, but let’s wait and see what the next thirty days bring. In this issue you will receive information on the proposed Little Slate Creek timber sale, a must read article on the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange, the beginning of the wolf hunting season in Idaho, an update on the Moscow Mountain cedar grove lease, the Nickel Bros. megaloads set to travel on US 12, and in invitation to join us for a hike up Lookout Mountain.
To our disappointment, the Forest Service has released a plan to massively log in Little Slate Creek, a relatively intact drainage within the Nez Perce National Forest that offers crucial fresh-water habitat for salmon, steelhead, bull trout and west-slope cutthroat trout. The deadline for public comments is Tuesday September 6th. Click to learn more:
Marilyn Beckett with Friends of the Palouse Ranger District has recently authored an Op-Ed in the Missoulian, a well-scripted critique of the contentious proposals being considered by the Forest Service for the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange. Friends of the Clearwater continues to advocate for a complete purchase option, and firmly believes an exchange of intact public lands for the cut-over upper Lochsa is not in the best interest of the American public. Read here:
On August 30th, the state of Idaho began its deadly assault on Northern Rocky grey wolves with the beginning of the hunting season. Groups were unable to get a preliminary injunction from the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and therefore the hunts in Montana and Idaho are free to proceed. To read the press release click:
Meanwhile the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance (NIWA) is doing some great grassroots organizing, and have already had one protest in Coeur d Alene, and also gotten the controversy behind the witch-hunt on local television stations. Click here:
The Latah County Commissioners have agreed to pay the 2012 fiscal year lease for the 300-acre ancient cedar/larch grove on top of Moscow Mountain. The Moscow Mountain Cedar Grove Advisory Committee has also offered to pay half of the 2013 fiscal year lease, with possible financial assistance form Avista Utilities. The county currently leases the 300-acre area from the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) for recreation and education purposes, but IDL is considering a proposal from the state’s Department of Homeland Security to build a communications tower near the grove instead. A long-term plan to appraise and purchase the entire grove from the agency is also being considered.
A company called Nickel Bros. is on the verge of trucking eleven megaloads of various sizes and weights up US 12. Public records requests indicate that the equipment, which is destined for a Weyerhauser plant in Canada, range from fourteen feet to twenty-four feet wide, with many weighing over four-hundred-thousands pounds, not counting the push and pull trucks. The Idaho Transportation Department has indicated that permits will be issued soon and the equipment will be transported between now and October 14th. Check out Fighting Goliath:
Things have really heated up in Moscow, as six people were arrested for blocking an Exxon/Imperial Oil megaload traveling through the downtown area on August 26th. Because of the legal roadblock on US 12, Exxon has been forced to consider alternative routes, and they have begun using US 95. It has been reported that the corporation plans on hauling between sixty and seventy megaloads from the Port of Lewiston north along Idaho’s busiest highway over the next couple months. Click here for more coverage of the Moscow protest:
Lastly, Friends of the Clearwater is organizing an end of summer hike to Lookout Mountain on Saturday September 10th. A carpool will be leaving Moscow early in the morning. Click here to learn more:
Wildness & Democracy Matters,