Anti-Mega-Load Protests Grow on U.S. Highway 12

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A mega-load was again met by protesters Aug. 8 along U.S. Highway 12 in north central Idaho.
  • A mega-load was again met by protesters Aug. 8 along U.S. Highway 12 in north central Idaho.

Another morning, another mega-load confrontation.

More than 100 protesters, including members of the Nez Perce Tribe, were out in the pre-dawn hours near Orofino today to greet a massive oil equipment rig inching across U.S. Highway 12 in north central Idaho. Witnesses said the protesters did their best to hold their ground until the Idaho State Police approached on foot, shouting, "Get off the road."

With police vehicles in the lead and more State Police vehicles in the rear to hold back as many as 40 vehicles behind the mega-load, the massive shipment continued to roll across U.S. 12. The mega-load continued until just before dawn, where it was parked near Milepost 90, 16 miles into the Wild and Scenic Corridor.

"This is a sad day for Idaho," said Idaho Rivers United Executive Director Bill Sedivy. "The Nez Perce Tribe has done an excellent job protesting this load's shipment across the reservation, and now the load has entered public land and the Wild and Scenic River Corridor. This is a clear violation of the U.S. Forest Service's order denying shipment across public land. We are consulting with our attorneys ... and plan to proceed to protect the tribe's homeland and our Wild and Scenic Rivers."

Dozens of vehicles were backed up behind the mega-load shipment as it crawled across U.S. Highway 12 Aug. 8.
  • Dozens of vehicles were backed up behind the mega-load shipment as it crawled across U.S. Highway 12 Aug. 8.