With Whaling Ships Under Attack, Japan Will Recall Fleet

Victory !!

“Japan will cut short this year’s annual whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean after obstruction by an environmental group largely prevented its ships from killing whales, the government said Friday.” Read about in in the New York Times. By Martin Fackler.

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Earlier in this blog. 11/30/10.  Has the Japanese Whaling Fleet Surrendered? By Ken Cole.

Local megaload opposition relents on first 4 megaloads

Opponents of the megaloads drop fight on the first four-

Having lost before the Idaho Department of Transportation, opponents of the oil megaloads will no longer try to stop the first four of them.  These are bound for the existing oil refinery in Billings, Montana. The next 200 megaloads (not approved for now) are for what many see as the tar sand pits from hell in Alberta, Canada.

Movement of the first four should reveal much about who is right about them?  Will the loads have great difficulty getting up the highway and over Lolo Pass?  Will there be an accident?  Will they be safely parked during the day, or will they end up blocking traffic? Will the megaloads harm the highway surface or warp the bridges?  Will the megaloads generate any local employment beyond a few people holding signs and public revenues going to pay for highway patrol escorts?

Idaho megaload opponents: Let big rigs roll to Billings. By Kim Briggeman of Missoulian. missoulian.com

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Feb. 1, 2011 update. As Megaloads Roll, What Two of Three Plaintiffs Learned About Opposition. New West (feature article). By Steve Bunk.  New West has done an outstanding job covering the megaloads issue. This is their latest feature article.

I was particularly impressed with this quote in the article, “Referring to state troopers who accompany megaloads through Idaho, Laughy remarked, ‘I find it particularly interesting that our state could be contracting out our police to the South Korean government.’ ”  I say it’s a good example what happens when we (the United States) are well on our way to being a colony of the corporations of other parts of the world (thanks to the work of people like provincial governor Butch Otter).

Oil company megaloads to stay at port in Lewiston for Christmas

Idaho activists successfully delay megaloads into 2011-

Hearing officer does not issue a decision on the international oil company megaloads sitting at the Port of Lewiston, Idaho. Decision will be coming out at an undefined future date.

No ruling before Christmas on megaloads. Lewiston (ID) Tribune on-line

Conservationists seek to expand wolf range across U.S.

Center for Biological Diversity seeks to return wolves to West Coast, New England, Southern Rockies and Great Plains

The Center for Biological Diversity has filed litigation in response to the lack of response to their petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to expand protections for wolves across a significant portion of their historical range.

Conservationists seek to expand wolf range across U.S..
Laura Zuckerman – Reuters

Lawsuit Launched to Recover Wolves Across Country
Center for Biological Diversity Press Release.

Swiss philanthropist buys $35M in Plum Creek Timber land in western Montana

This is not the first land protection buy-up in the Rockies by the Swiss billionaire-

This purchase seems to be a very good thing for conservation of the Montana landscape, but I’d bet this post will stir up a lot of debate about billionaires buying land (or maybe just about billionaires and why there are so many of them all of a sudden).

Swiss philanthropist buys $35M in Plum Creek Timber land in western Montana.  By Matthew Brown. Associated Press

Has the Japanese Whaling Fleet Surrendered?

Activism at work.

Humpback Whale © Ken Cole

Humpback Whale © Ken Cole

I’ve never written about this here but I have been following this campaign for many years and I have been acquainted with a number of people who have volunteered for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society over those years. Of all of the anti-whaling groups out there they are the most effective but also the most controversial. They operate in international waters against a fleet of Japanese whalers who are illegally hunting in a whale sanctuary near Antarctica. Their actions have been chronicled in the popular Whale Wars series on Animal Planet.

I recently met several dedicated employees and Captain Chuck Swift of the Bob Barker, a ship named after the game show host who donated the funds to buy it, while traveling with my friend Mike Mease of the Buffalo Field Campaign and his stories were amazing. These people really put their lives at risk to save wildlife from unsustainable harvest. Chuck gave me a hoody sweatshirt that I wear with pride.

While this may be a short lived victory it is sweet nonetheless. I commend them for their dedication.

Ken Cole.

Has the Japanese Whaling Fleet Surrendered?.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Update December 2, 2010: Japanese whaling ship heads to sea

Movement of giant oil equipment through Montana sparks Missoula protest

Oversized, outsized equipment protest. . . the first of years of citizen anger against environmental disruption and traffic delays?

It seems to me that this will not be a one time event because the passage of this huge equipment through north central Idaho and then Montana will be ongoing for many years.

Missoula demonstrators protest big rigs, fossil fuels at Exxon station. By Gwen Florio.  Missoulian