Opinion: Nez Perce Tribe battles megaloads through territory

The Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho is fighting megaload shipments and that should make us question our energy choices, writer says:
In 1877 Chief Joseph and his Nez Perce Tribe were pursued for 1,500 miles as they struggled to reach refuge in Canada. They posed no real threat to white settlers, but the pursuit of them was regarded as a path to "progress," and they were halted 40 miles short of safety. Among all the conflicts with Indians, this one has captured the sympathy of Americans perhaps more than any other event.

Now the Nez Perce have again risen in defense along the Idaho-to-Canada route, this time allied with a feisty group called Idaho Rivers United.

To export oil from the Alberta tar sands, energy corporations insisted on shipping "mega-loads" of equipment, some three stories high and 300 feet long, consuming two lanes of highway. The route runs along the transparent, fish-filled Lochsa River. Idaho's Department of Transportation granted permission to commandeer the highway, but overlooked two details: the Indians' treaty rights, along with congressional mandates that the U.S. Forest Service safeguard one of America's premier National Wild and Scenic Rivers. The Lochsa ranks among the prestigious eight streams initially protected in that system, which include iconic waterways such as the Rogue and Middle Fork Salmon.

Get the Story:
Tim Palmer: The march of the 'mega-loads' (The Oregonian 5/12)

District Court Decision:
Nez Perce Tribe v. USFS (September 13, 2013)

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)

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