Sandpoint, Idaho Blessing Coming Up!


Sandpoint Coal Train

Sandpoint, Idaho is a city built on railroads. While trains historically transported lumber from Sandpoint to Eastern markets, Sandpoint now serves as a point of convergence for trains carrying coal from the Powder River Basin and oil from the Bakken Oil Fields as they travel to terminals and refineries on the West Coast. Recent proposals by coal and oil companies threaten to double the number of coal and oil trains passing through Northern Idaho every day. The proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal in Longview, WA, for example, would export 44 million tons of coal per year, increasing rail traffic in Sandpoint by 18 trains per day. As trains make their way through the Idaho Panhandle, they make a one-mile crossing over Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho’s largest lake. Crossing over this trestle endangers the safety of Sandpoint’s water supply, in addition to the wildlife that rely on this resource. The consequences of increased fossil fuel transports through Sandpoint include the accumulation of pollutants and toxins in the air and water, decreased diversity of local fish populations, increased traffic delays for residents, and a continued economic reliance on fossil fuel production. (Resource:  WIRT Newsletter: Recent Idaho & Montana Oil & Coal Train Issues)

~Naomi Price-Lazarus,

Location: Sandpoint City Beach (turn right off of 1st Avenue in Sandpoint and head to the end of Bridge Street. The Blessing Ceremony will take place on the paved area behind the concession stand, left or east side of the beach).
Time: 9:00 am

Guest Presenters:

  • Gary Payton, Idaho Conservation League and Presbyterian for Earth Care
  • Shannon Williamson, Sandpoint City Council member