Tribes and environmentalists oppose megaloads traveling through Idaho.
FORT HALL, IDAHO – The Shoshone Bannock Tribes are deeply concerned with the recent approval of an Idaho Transportation Permit allowing Omega Morgan to transport a 640,000 pound shipment of water treatment equipment through pristine areas used by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
These shipments are being transported through the Tribes’ aboriginal homelands where we are allowed to exercise our treaty rights from the Forty Bridger Treaty of 1868 for hunting, fishing and gathering in those areas.
The permit granted and approved by the Idaho Transportation Department was issued without consultation to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
Beyond the infringement on their aboriginal territory where tribal members still gather medicine roots, the Tribes are worried about the long-term impact on Mother Earth according to a tribal spokesperson.
The Tribes were made aware of the decision to alter the approved route of transportation from US 12 to one that impacts the Tribes directly. Based on Judge Windmill’s decision, the proposed transport of the equipment would travel through a corridor along two Wild and Scenic Rivers, possibly impacting natural resources of our Tribal Nation.
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of October 1968 pronounced : “It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.”
The Salmon, Snake, and Selway rivers have always been and will continue to be significant natural resources for the Tribe and the state of Idaho.
The Tribes hunt, fish and gather regularly in those areas along the corridors. The Tribes are concerned about the potential for adverse impacts or accidents which may occur on the shipping route that passes over or near the scenic rivers or tributaries. If there are any adverse impacts by this shipment the Tribes expect a full and complete mitigation of any damages or incidents that may impact the environment in the shipping corridors.
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 5:22 p.m. – ET.