Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Nez Perce Standing up to Big Oil on Clearwater and Lochsa
In the latest fight over shipping mega-loads of oil mining equipment to the Alberta Tar Sands over Idaho's wild and scenic highway 12 corridor, the Nez Perce are leading the fight. Earlier this month, the Idaho government and Oregon based industrial moving company Omega-Morgan defied Forest Service regulations and a resolution from the Nez Perce tribe that should have blocked future megaloads from the highway 12 corridor. So on August 5th, Nez Perce tribal members took to the highway, blockading the Alberta bound load under the threat of arrest.
At issue is the future of the Snake River, the Wild and Scenic Lochsa and Clearwater Rivers, and our planets climate. With barging companies desperately grasping at any opportunity to save their heavily subsidized industry, they are partnering with oil companies in Alberta seeking to save a few dollars on shipping heavy equipment from Asia. In allowing the Snake river to become a conduit for oil extracting equipment, we are tacitly supporting an industry that has already devastated millions of acres of boreal forest, poisoned ground and surface water throughout much of northern Alberta, wreaked havoc on wildlife and blatantly disregarded the rights and well being of indigenous communities throughout Alberta and BC. We are also allowing the barging industry on the Snake River, a toehold to ensure that the four dams on the Lower Snake river will not come out in our lifetimes.
More information on the struggle to stop megaloads in a column in the Idaho Statesman:
and from Save our Wild Salmon: