Idaho Rivers United editorial in the Idaho Statesman-

Megaloads have no place in Idaho. By Bill Sedivy. Idaho Statesman.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

7 Responses to Megaloads have no place in Idaho

  1. avatar DB says:

    However you feel about the importance of this issue, it’s odd the Clearwater NF has ignored their responsibilty as administers of the W&S rivers. The forest supervisor did write a letter to ITD last fall expressing concern. It could be “starve the beast” kicking in.

  2. avatar Doryfun says:

    I have supported IRU over the years, and it is a great organization, having fought many a battle for the rivers and canyons of Idaho, helping save a lot of the integrity of our state.
    It is too bad they now feel the need to take the USFS to task over their neglect in doing the same for one of our most historic waterways, byways, highways, and trails.

    What good is a Wild and Scenic Designation, if their is no protections put in place to maintain the integrity of that distinction? This is not a wilderness area, so commerce is allowed, and big rigs have been using it for a long time.

    The mega loads are a different animal. This carnivorous beast has the will and mite to turn a byway facilitating commerce and tourism into an ugly industrial corridor for itself and futre members of the pack.

    These are the real wolves people should be getting informed about and making such a fuss over. Instead, everyone gets caught up in the four legged wolf fight, when the biggest and cruelest of all predators is prowling along in the dark – blazing a trail to the pot of gold (oil) in Canada.

    If our leaders and the people were really serious about weaning ourselves off oil due to the climate crisis, we would be giving more serious attention to this issue. Instead, we waste more energy and emotion over wolves, buffalo, and smaller issues under the environmental umbrella that covers it all. It is a distraction the mega-corp wolves love to see happen.

    When resistance pushes back, and are forced into using the legal system of the courts, then some of the politicians try to take that option away, too, by passing bills that will aid the real wolves. (another example of corporatocracy).

    Again, I would urge anyone who hasn’t read, Heart of the Monster by Rick Bass & David Duncan, to do so. It shines a light on many of the things hidden in the dark about this issue.
    Also, Naomi Keins book Disaster Capitalism is a book Salle has recommened over and over on this blog, and now that I am near completing it, I can see why. Like Heart of the Montser, it digs into the very workings (shocking in itself) of capitalism and the cozy (costly) relationship between lareg corporations and government.

    Because barges are used to get the megaloads into Lewiston, the staging area for the Highway 12 exodus, it will then serve as another entrenhment in support of dam breaching resistance.

    The Columbia River anadromous fishery is a mega world class natural resource. Many of our fishery science experts support dam breaching as having an 80 % chance of bringing back the wild fish stocks. This fact alone, is reason enough to work at quelling Lewiston as a staging area for Big Oil interests.

    Rivers are the foundation of mother earth. Weather is the roof. Integrity of both are needed for the health of all life inbetween. Go Bill and IRU. Wake up USFS. Wise use or negligent abuse, which is it?

  3. Doryfun,

    I largely agree with you about the rank of importance of issues. I keep posting about Highway 12. Maybe 15% read the stories about it. Nevertheless, I will keep posting for the reasons you mention and more.

    • avatar Doryfun says:

      Thanks Ralph,
      Ya, I know the mega-loads are not that glamorous. It reminds me of my cross-country days in highschool and college, with gruellling workouts and little attention compared to football players basking in all the lime light. Or, photographers perched on rocks at class V rapids waiting for carnage to get sprctacular photo’s. For some reason, us humans seem to quest high drama, blood and guts, high profile events.

      Repetition helps, so keep posting when appropriate, please. This is a hugely impactful and far reaching issue.

  4. avatar DB says:

    Ralph,

    Great, keep posting on this issue. Hopefully folks will begin to see that the main objection to the megaloads is that the use aids and abets the tar sands fiasco and makes relevant a “seaport” in Lewiston and the continued existence of Snake River dams.

    Unffortunately, the interruption of traffic, roadway damage, aesthetic and recreation conflicts, and possible saftey concerns are the only arguments that opponents can use in court. The Idaho legislature passed an anti-megaload law this session which restricts court challenges by requiring huge bonds based on a percentage of the insured value of the loads. Ironically, their argument (aside from the absurd notion that such suits were “frivolous”) was to assit in the development of tar sands and make the country less dependent on foreign oil!

    • avatar Doryfun says:

      DB,

      Ya, you wold think Idaho Republicans whom supposedly hate big government so much, would support efforts to question the status quo of business as usual, rather than contribute to repression of those who don’t follow the herd mentality. By all means, crush the resistance with whatever mechanisms possible. Support your local Chicago School of Economics movement.

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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