Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tribune: Forest Service Officially Blocks Mega-Loads From U.S. 12 ... For Now

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 9:44 AM

It's official.

One week after a federal judge ruled that it had the authority, the U.S. Forest Service issued a formal order Sept. 18 blocking mega-load shipments across U.S. Highway 12 in north central Idaho, until the agency can complete an analysis of the impact of the massive shipments on the Wild and Scenic River Corridor.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that the new order requires a hauler to either seek another route to get its equipment to the tar sands oil fields in Alberta, Canada, or to hold tight until its study can be completed.

Meanwhile the environmental activist group Wild Idaho Rising Tide, which has adamantly pushed back against the mega-loads from traveling on any of the region's thoroughfares, sent out an email to its supporters on Sept. 17 that one of its advocates had spotted an an employee of Omega Morgan—the latest contractor to move mega-loads through the region—"measuring height clearances on U.S. Highway 95, which travels the spine of northern Idaho.

"Apparently, the price of protecting regional wild lands and rivers and tribal treaty rights, homelands, and sovereignty entails the most destructive energy mining project on Earth using our city streets and rural roads for boreal forest/wetlands ecocide and First Nations genocide," wrote the WIRT memo.

Meanwhile, Omega Morgan would need a permit from the Idaho Transportation Department to travel U.S. Highway 95. No word yet if the state agency is mulling that request.

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