Talking tar sands and megaloads with Bass and Duncan

Alright you megaload maniacs, you still have time to log on and hear Montana authors Rick Bass (The Ninemile Wolves) and David James Duncan (The River Why, The Brothers K) speak out — in a live, interactive online forum — against turning some of the area's most scenic highways into an industrial corridor so oil companies can haul enormous mining gear to help stripmile oil shale out of the ground in northern Alberta.

All but five of the (so far) 274 proposed megaloads are bound from the Port of Lewiston on the Snake River, up the snaking U.S. Highway 12 into Montana and north to Canada. Most of the proposed loads will take up both lanes of rural two-lane highways and weigh in excess of 500,000 pounds.

Environmental ethic and a sense of place inform the writings of both Bass and Duncan, and the two authors have collaborated on a piece in opposition to the megaloads — The Heart of the Monster. During this afternoon's event, which begins at 4 pm PST, they will read from The Heart of the Monster, and discuss ways to oppose the megaload haul, as well as the oil sands mining projects.

For information on how to log onto today's forum, sponsored by Orion Magazine, go here.