SANDPOINT — A clutch of local groups and climate activists gathered on Monday to protest against a second BNSF Railway bridge across Lake Pend Oreille.
The protest was held at Dog Beach, according to Wild Idaho Rising Tide.
Helen Yost of WIRT said BNSF again attempted — but failed to rush — a westbound, unit oil train past a rail-line community, in advance of another demonstration. The train crossed over Sand Creek near its lake outlet, on the single-track bridge that BNSF plans to double-track along with construction of the parallel lake bridge. Water protectors at the event stood with banners in the mid-morning light and close proximity to the train that WIRT activists documented with high-resolution photos identifying its “1267” crude oil hazmat placards.
Marching with protest signs visibly close to Highway 95, the Bonner County residents and three Washington resident waved to the BNSF cops and contracted Oregon workers, before reaching the lakeshore and standing with banners in front of the pile drive crane and the Lake Pend Oreille rail bridge. As new participants arrived, they circled, smudged, prayed, drummed, and sang in ceremony, then reflected on and discussed second rail bridge concerns among themselves and on video.
During almost three hours of relaxed, invigorating activities, BNSF police maintained a watchful presence, WIRT officials said.
As confirmed by existing group knowledge and several government administrators, WIRT official said BNSF has not received any public permits for exploratory pile driving, which it apparently did not accomplish on May 8.