In opposition to what they call a dangerous path toward fracking in Idaho—the controversial method of injecting high-pressured solids and liquids into the earth to enhance gas drilling—members of Wild Idaho Rising Tide and United Vision for Idaho, dubbing themselves “frack-tivists,” took to the streets of downtown Boise June 7.
The demonstration targeted the Boise offices of the Idaho Department of Lands at Sixth and Bannock streets. IDL is the agency ultimately responsible for oversight of the burgeoning gas exploration industry, focused primarily in and around Payette County.
“We are trying to bring attention to the fact that Idaho is about to be fracked," demonstrator Alma Hasse told Boise Weekly. "[Fracking is] a procedure to get gas to flow out of unconventional fields quickly and easily. Toxic and carcinogenic chemicals are used underground to break up rock.”
Activists waved signs that read, “Idaho says No to Dirty Energy” and “Expect Resistance; The Future is Unwritten.” Other demonstrators expressed their displeasure in chalk-written notes on the sidewalks outside the IDL office.
“The people in this town are fairly well-educated, have fairly decent jobs, are very fond of their property values and having clean water,” said Shavone Hasse, who wrote one the chalk messages: "Department of Lands is Selling Our Health to the Highest Bidder."
Withing the first hour of the June 7 protest, a larger crowd gathered, prompting Boise Police to remind the demonstrators of the civic rules of protest.
“Fracking is fracking, whether you call it mini-fracking or acidizing,” said Alma Hasse. “If you wonder why people are upset at the Idaho Department of Lands, it’s because of their seeming inability to tell the truth to the public and citizens of Idaho.”