“This solidifies the injunction that’s in place and will remain in place for the foreseeable future,” said IRU Conservation Director Kevin Lewis. “Instead of spending our time in court we need to be working with the Forest Service to solve this problem. The threat of industrialization of this amazing place is still very real.”
On Oct. 10, federal Judge B. Lynn Winmill denied a request by General Electric and the U.S. Forest service to stay his September injunction blocking megaloads from traveling U.S. Highway 12. That injunction was the result of a lawsuit filed by IRU and the Nez Perce Tribe after GE hauled a 250-foot-long megaload through the Wild and Scenic River canyon in August.
General Electric filed Aug. 26 to intervene alongside the Forest Service as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. The suit sought to protect the Lochsa and Clearwater Wild and Scenic rivers and Nez Perce homeland from the transport of enormous industrial megaloads bound for the tar sands of northern Alberta.
“Industrialization of one of America’s first Wild and Scenic river canyons is not acceptable, and the courts have agreed with us,” Lewis said. “We look forward to working with the Forest Service to establish permanent rules that protect this wild and magnificent place.”