Save Wild and Scenic Rivers from Industrialization


Target: US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Goal: Protect Wild and Scenic Rivers from becoming a transportation zone for industrial oil “megaloads.”

In 1968, Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to ensure preservation of some of the most beautiful and impressive rivers in the United States. Today, more than 200 rivers have been protected because of this historic law, which limits the construction of industrial infrastructure on and near designated rivers. However, in Idaho, some of the world’s biggest oil companies are attempting to transport massive industrial equipment through the Clearwater and Lochsa Wild and Scenic River corridors, threatening the local environment and the natural characteristics of these rivers. The US federal government must take a stand for the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and prevent this project from moving forward.

For the last several years, ExxonMobil and other oil companies have sought to bring massive pieces of oil processing equipment through the Clearwater and Lochsa corridors, in order to get the equipment to the tar sands oil fields in Alberta, Canada. The Alberta tar sands patch is one of the fastest-growing oil extraction areas in the world, and the largest source of carbon emissions in Canada. Tar sands oil development threatens Canadian old growth forests and waterways in Alberta, but transporting equipment to the tar sands also has environmental impacts.

The pieces of tar sands processing equipment destined for Alberta are known as “megaloads,” because of their massive sites. Moving megaloads through the Clearwater and Lochsa corridors would require altering rural highways to accommodate the loads, degrading the character of the Wild and Scenic Rivers. This precedent could open the door to similar industrial projects along other Wild and Scenic Rivers. Sign the petition below to tell the US Department of Agriculture, which manages the affected areas, not to allow megaloads in the Clearwater and Lochsa corridors.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

As the federal entity overseeing our National Forest lands, one of the Department of Agriculture’s most venerated tasks is to ensure that Wild and Scenic Rivers in National Forests are preserved in accordance with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. We, the undersigned, are writing to urge you to take a stand for this important Act, by directing the Forest Service to prevent industrial oil equipment “megaloads” from being moved through Idaho’s Clearwater and Lochsa Wild and Scenic River corridors.

Transporting massive industrial equipment along rural highways through Wild and Scenic River areas is inconsistent with the original goals of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Recognizing this, the Forest Service has already stated its opposition to transporting megaloads through the area; however, much more still needs to be done. To give its position any teeth, the Forest Service must actually close down roads to prevent megaloads from moving through. We urge you to direct the Forest Service to take this step, and show that the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is to be taken seriously.

By stopping megaloads from moving through the Clearwater and Lochsa corridors, the Department of Agriculture can send a strong message that it intends to uphold the spirit of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and protect designated Wild and Scenic areas from harm. Please act to keep megaloads out of the Clearwater and Lochsa corridors, and know that in taking this step, you have the public will solidly behind you.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: US Forest Service via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Stop this development! The company would scour the river to make loads move quicker n to stop them snagging. The ecology of the river would change making the natural ecology rarer n the surrounding ecology would be unadapted to it.

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