indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Colville Tribes hail 'historic victory' on aboriginal hunting rights (3/27)
Dakota Access confirms pipeline about to go into service with oil (3/27)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs considers new round of bills (3/27)
Witness list for hearing on diabetes prevention and Native youth (3/27)
Tim Giago: There's a smell of treason in the air in nation's capital (3/27)
Mark Trahant: The fight ahead for the future of Indian health care (3/27)
Bill John Baker: Woman play important roles in Cherokee Nation (3/27)
Brian Lightfoot Brown: One last victory for the Narragansett Tribe (3/27)
Native Sun News Today: Oglala Sioux Tribe questions loss of funds (3/27)
James Giago Davies: Troubled times are coming to Lakota country (3/27)
Sarah Van Gelder: Huge bank divests from Dakota Access Pipeline (3/27)
Cronkite News: Navajo Nation hails decision on aging power plant (3/27)
Tiffany Midge: There's a happy ending for Standing Rock out there (3/27)
Steven Newcomb: Getting to the true meaning of our sovereignty (3/27)
Steve Russell: Losing our status as 'domestic dependent nations' (3/27)
Mona Evans: Creek Nation fails to support Indian Child Welfare Act (3/27)
Oklahoma Democrats hire LaRenda Morgan as first Native liaison (3/27)
Chukchansi Tribe fires back at gaming firm seeking $21M in court (3/27)
Tribes mount another fight after Trump approves another pipeline (3/24)
Native Sun News Today: Navajo elders continue long fight on land (3/24)
Editorial: Just another day of trying to keep up with the Trumps (3/24)
Elizabeth LaPensée: Video games encourage indigenous culture (3/24)
Mary Annette Pember: Native women work with youth offenders (3/24)
Tiffany Midge: Trump continues to conjure hero Andrew Jackson (3/24)
John Kane: Seneca Nation money train coming to end in New York (3/24)
Grand Ronde Tribes secure approval of school mascot agreement (3/24)
Editorial: Federal recognition for tribes in Virginia is long overdue (3/24)
Seneca Nation ends casino payments after sending $1.4B to state (3/24)
Appeals court hears slew of Indian cases amid focus on nominee (3/23)
Internal tribal disputes continue to trip up federal court system (3/23)
Mark Trahant: Indian health care gains ignored in political debate (3/23)
Native Sun News Today: Young fighters maintain Lakota tradition (3/23)
Ivan Star Comes Out: America loses its self-respect and humanity (3/23)
Rosalyn LaPier: Why water remains sacred to indigenous peoples (3/23)
Winona LaDuke: North Dakota spreads filth about water protectors (3/23)
Harold Monteau: Tribal governments are abusing their own people (3/23)
Alex Jacobs: Donald Trump in middle of the 'deep state civil war' (3/23)
Secretary Zinke announces 'doggy days' for Interior Department (3/23)
Keystone XL Pipeline route crosses Ponca Tribe's forced removal (3/23)
Indian lawmaker resigns after being charged for child prostitution (3/23)
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.