Protect Our Wild and Scenic Rivers from Big Oil!

Empowered By

The Sierra Club's mission is to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth.

About the Petition

Tar sands mining is destroying the pristine boreal forest in Canada, but America's forests are being threatened by this exceptionally dirty source of oil as well.  

For years, Big Oil has been working to spoil a scenic stretch of Highway 12 that twists through forests alongside the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers in Idaho. Their goal: turn this Wild and Scenic River corridor into an industrialized "megaload" transport route to Alberta's tar sands.  

Urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect the Wild and Scenic Lochsa-Clearwater from industrialization by oil companies!

Photo Credit: Roger Inghram

To: Undersecretary Bonnie , Deputy Undersecretary Blazer

October marks the 45th year the USDA has upheld the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, passed by Congress in 1968 to protect our pristine, scenic, and culturally and historically important river corridors. Since 1968, the USDA and the American people have wisely invested significant amounts of taxpayer money enhancing and protecting what are now 156 Wild and Scenic river corridors. 

However, multinational oil corporations are now attempting to industrialize the corridor along the Lochsa and Clearwater Rivers in north central Idaho—which were among the original eight rivers protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers act—by turning its single narrow and winding highway (U.S. Highway 12) into a megaload truck route to the Canadian tar sands in Alberta.  

Oil corporations have proposed sending hundreds of massive transports—which can be up to 29 feet wide, 29 feet tall, 250 feet long, and weigh 650,000 pounds—through this protected area. These slow-moving mountains of metal would travel in 15- to 20-vehicle convoys of bright lights and noise, disturbing the native wildlife and causing continuous rolling roadblocks for recreationists, travelers, and emergency vehicles. 

The U.S. Forest Service has publicly expressed opposition to megaloads, but failed—until ordered by a Federal court—to use USFS authority to close the road to these disruptive megaloads.  Even now, while engaged in a study of megaload transport impacts, the USFS is challenging the court's order alongside a tar sands corporation. 

The industrialization of two Wild and Scenic river corridors would disregard and weaken the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and put all 156 Wild and Scenic rivers at risk. Furthermore, the U.S. Forest Service will have abandoned its congressionally mandated responsibility to protect the remarkable intrinsic values of Wild and Scenic river corridors.   

I urge you to ensure that the USFS takes a proactive leadership role in permanently protecting these pristine Wild and Scenic rivers by closing the Lochsa-Clearwater U.S. Highway 12 corridor to all megaloads. 


[Your name here]


  • 3299
    Deborah A. Niwa
    Meadville, PA
    36 minutes ago
  • 3298
    Armando Ramirez
    Missouri City, TX
    1 hour ago
  • 3297
    Toni Mc Cray
    Lanham, MD
    12 hours ago
  • 3296
    Rocco Frangione
    Long Beach, CA
    17 hours ago
  • 3295
    Randy Oravec
    1 day ago
  • 3294
    Darren Zap
    Boca Raton, FL
    2 days ago
  • 3293
    Veronica Rehne
    3 days ago
  • 3292
    Grove City, PA
    4 days ago
  • 3291
    Karin Haag
    West Linn, OR
    6 days ago
  • 3290
    Bethany Lloyd
    United Kingdom
    6 days ago
  • 3289
    6 days ago
  • 3288
    Marie D Anna
    Ridgefield, NJ
    6 days ago
  • 3287
    Cat Neshine
    6 days ago
  • 3286
    Ginger Carter
    Decatur, AL
    1 week ago

Get More