indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
New Yorker: Nez Perce Tribe takes stand against megaloads

Filed Under: Environment | Law | National
More on: energy, idaho, nez perce, treaties
   

The Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho took a stand against megaload shipments through the reservation and through its treaty territory:
Last summer, a subsidiary of General Electric, Resources Conservation Company International (R.C.C.I.), began moving even larger machinery along the Highway 12 route. R.C.C.I. and its Oregon-based moving company, Omega Morgan, are under contract to deliver eight mega-loads of water evaporators and water-purification units to Alberta. The U.S. Forest Service expressed concerns about Omega Morgan’s route, but the Idaho Transportation Department permitted the new mega-loads, and Omega Morgan ordered its trucks to proceed. For the Nez Perce tribe, which had been sitting on the legal sidelines, that decision signalled a turning point.

“I’ve been at this for forty years and seen the way that they have treated the corridor,” Silas Whitman, the chairman of the Nez Perce tribal executive committee, said. “I saw the loads start out as logging trucks, then freight haulers, then hazardous materials. They had several accidents,” he said. “But it has always been a trail through our homeland.”

When he learned about R.C.C.I.’s gargantuan evaporators, Whitman and his council decided to take action. In the early-morning hours of August 6th, as the Omega Morgan trucks lumbered toward the reservation, the Nez Perce, joined by volunteers from Laughy and Hendrickson’s network, stormed the highway and blocked the road for several hours. “It was dramatic,” Laughy recalled. “The basalt walls of the canyon were echoing with that singing the tribe does, low guttural singing with high-pitched sounds.” Idaho State Police troopers arrested Whitman, the tribal council, and a dozen other tribe members, and charged them with disorderly conduct. Two days later, the Nez Perce and Idaho Rivers United filed a federal lawsuit against the Forest Service, again claiming that the agency was breaching the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and also alleging that it was violating the tribe’s federally insured land rights.

In September, the federal judge B. Lynn Winmill issued a temporary injunction in the tribe’s favor, basing his decision on the terms of the land rights outlined in the U.S.-Nez Perce treaty of 1855. The ruling immediately blocked Omega Morgan from driving its oversized trucks along the route, a closure that R.C.C.I. estimates will cost it nearly eighty-four million dollars in lost revenue in the next year. (The company is now trying to get to Alberta using different roads and is behind schedule to deliver its machinery there.) After attempting to stay the injunction, R.C.C.I. dropped out of the case, but the Forest Service maintains that mega-loads fall outside of its domain, because the highway belongs to the State of Idaho, not the federal government, according to Phil Sammon, a Forest Service spokesman. The Forest Service is deciding whether to appeal the decision.

Get the Story:
Another Oil-Sands Challenge: Transporting Equipment (The New Yorker 3/18)

Related Stories:
Walla Walla Tribe files petition against megaloads in Oregon (02/11)
Warm Springs Tribes concerned about megaload shipments (11/26)
New route through Oregon and Idaho for megaload shipment (11/22)
Al Jazeera: Nez Perce Tribe battles big energy shipments (10/14)
Nez Perce Tribe stands up for treaty rights in megaload case (09/26)
Editorial: Idaho to blame for mess over megaload shipment (9/23)
Gabe Galanda: Decision favors Nez Perce Tribe's treaty rights (9/18)
Nez Perce Tribe wins decision against 2nd megaload shipment (9/13)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe gears up for uranium battle (8/20)
Eyapaha Today: J. Waylon Miller leads Friends of Cesar Romero (8/20)
Native Sun News: Oglala man's business dealings under scrutiny (8/19)
Mark Trahant: Behind the scenes of Obamacare in Indian Country (8/19)
Peter d'Errico: Book told from perspective of the colonial invaders (8/19)
Brian Pierson: Recent federal court decisions affecting Indian law (8/19)
Opinion: Elder of Wukchumni Tribe working to keep language alive (8/19)
Large crowd turns out to denounce supremacist group's activities (8/19)
Oglala Sioux Tribe suspends officer who repeatedly used stun gun (8/19)
Alaska Native man being treated after being shot by police officer (8/19)
Another guilty plea comes in Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption case (8/19)
Leader of Muscogee Nation goes on trial in theft case next month (8/19)
Court in California won't let Choctaw girl be placed with relatives (8/19)
Tribes hail Oregon decision to deny permit for coal export project (8/19)
Al Jazeera: State struggles with Native language voting material (8/19)
NPR: Osage Nation disputes wind development on mineral estate (8/19)
Chickasaw Nation sell new blend of coffee made from chocolate (8/19)
Activists won't sue over school's Warriors mascot in Minnesota (8/19)
Broadcasters won't use racist mascot of Washington NFL team (8/19)
NIGA to hold mid-year conference at Chickasaw Nation casino (8/19)
Court won't allow former casino workers to sue Morongo Band (8/19)
Official from wine group likens a tribal casino to 'foreign nation' (8/19)
MPR: City pushes for casino amid battle with Fond du Lac Band (8/19)
Editorial: Karuk Tribe casino poses competition to Coquille Tribe (8/19)
Tim Giago: Media was well represented at Wounded Knee 1973 (8/18)
Native Sun News: GOP candidate rejects Senate debate at UTTC (8/18)
Clara Caufield: A Cheyenne Voice celebrates another milestone (8/18)
US House candidate John Lewis proud of Warm Springs heritage (8/18)
Aaron Payment: Story missed the boat on Soo Tribe gaming bid (8/18)
Michael Baines: Stop fighting land decision for Alaska Natives (8/18)
Albert Bender: Fair treatment needed for indigenous migrants (8/18)
John Christian Hopkins: How I became a writer at a young age (8/18)
Neil Young and Willie Nelson stage anti-Keystone benefit show (8/18)
Authorities in Manitoba probe murder of 15-year-old Native girl (8/18)
Judge dismisses case against Fort Peck Tribes housing official (8/18)
Museum in Germany balks at repatriating scalps to tribes in US (8/18)
Hundreds mourn death of six-year-old girl from Nooksack Tribe (8/18)
Indian residents of city in Montana upset by supremacist fliers (8/18)
Opinion: Tribes need greater control of justice on reservations (8/18)
KGOU: Cherokee man creates living map of indigenous nations (8/18)
Alaska Natives look to Obamacare to cover IHS budget shortfall (8/18)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes update health system (8/18)
Radio program in New York aims to keep Kichwa language alive (8/18)
USDA Blog: Addressing food insecurity on Nevada reservations (8/18)
Editorial: Work with North Dakota tribe to address flaring of gas (8/18)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe won't renew gaming management contract (8/18)
Navajo Nation gaming executive concerned about smoking ban (8/18)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe fires top executive of casino operation (8/18)
Alabama governor cool to idea of Poarch Creek casino compact (8/18)
Connecticut tribes report another drop in slot machine revenue (8/18)
Editorial: Gaming isn't the answer to problems of governments (8/18)
Native Sun News: WEWIN to honor entrepreneur Karlene Hunter (8/15)
Secretary Jewell to visit Indian schools in Maine and Minnesota (8/15)
Steve Russell: The third time is not the charm for the war in Iraq (8/15)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.