Thursday, October 10, 2013

U.S. Judge: No Reconsideration of Mega-Load Injunction

Posted By on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 1:21 PM

A federal judge has put another roadblock in front of movers who want to pull another mega-load across U.S. Highway 12, telling them to cool their heels until the U.S. Forest Service can complete its analysis of the impact of giant rigs rolling through the Wild and Scenic River byway.

"This is a win for all who cherish the esthetic, spiritual and recreational values of the Lochsa and Clearwater rivers,” said IRU Conservation Director Kevin Lewis. “Once again, we’re calling on the U.S. Forest Service to take a leadership role and exercise its authority to protect one of America’s premier Wild and Scenic River canyons.”

Simply put, U.S. 12 remains closed to the mega-loads for now.

In September, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill blocked additional mega-loads until a corridor review and consultation with the Nez Perce Tribe could be completed.

In August, several members of the Nez Perce Tribe were arrested following a series of protests where they tried to block a mega-load from rolling through the corridor on its way to the Tar Sands Oil Project in Alberta, Canada. The mega-load ultimately made its way through the picket lines, with help from law enforcement. But a court hearing the following week allowed Idaho Rivers United and the Nez Perce Tribe to argue against future oversized shipments.

“These rivers represent the embodiment of what the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was meant to protect,” Lewis said. “They anchor cathedral-like forests. They are recreational Edens for fishermen, campers, hikers, hunters, bicyclists, history buffs and whitewater boaters. And they form the cultural and spiritual roots of the Nez Perce people. Industrialization of this river corridor is incompatible with the values Americans cherish and expect to be protected.”

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