Environment | Law | National

Nez Perce Tribe wins decision against 2nd megaload shipment

A federal judge has barred a megaload shipment from crossing a federal forest in Idaho until the Nez Perce Tribe is consulted about the route.

Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered U.S. Highway 12 to be closed to the shipment between mileposts 74 and 174. This part of the highway runs through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, an area where the tribe retains hunting, gathering and other treaty-based rights.

"Although the National Forests are no longer part of the Nez Perce Reservation, the tribe retains treaty rights in the lands, and the Forest Service manages these National Forests consistent with those treaty rights," Winmill noted in his decision.

Winmill said the U.S. Forest Service let the first megaload shipment pass through the forest without completing a study in consultation with the tribe. That won't be happening again under his watch.

"To allow a shipment with that potential to proceed before consulting with the tribe is likely an 'abdication of statutory responsibilities,'" Winmill wrote.

The first truck passed through the reservation and the forest last month. The second truck was due to start its journey on September 18.

Get the Story:
Judge halts megaloads across Highway 12 in Idaho (The Spokesman Review 9/13)
Federal Judge Temporarily Stops Megaload Shipments Through Idaho (AP 9/13)
Idaho judge bans megaload shipment pending USFS review (KAJ18 9/13)

Related Stories:
Leaders of Nez Perce Tribe charged for protesting megaloads (9/12)
Nez Perce Tribe in court to block second megaload shipment (9/10)
Silas Whitman: Nez Perce Tribe ignored on megaload shipment (9/9)
Nez Perce Tribe hopes litigation blocks second megaload truck (08/13)
Editorial: Address controversy affecting megaload shipments (8/12)
Nez Perce Tribe aims to stop megaload shipment with litigation (8/9)

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