FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2013
Contacts: Gary Macfarlane (208) 882-9755 Brett Haverstick (208) 882-9755
Group Calls on Federal Government to Stop Omega Morgan From Transporting Giant Megaloads on Highway 12
Moscow—Friends of the Clearwater is calling on the Obama Administration to prevent Omega Morgan from transporting two giant loads of tar-sands mining equipment across Idaho through the Wild & Scenic Middle Fork Clearwater/Lochsa River corridor. Following a two-hour blockade by the Nez Perce Nation that included the arrest of the entire Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee, Friends of the Clearwater seeks further involvement of the federal government in enforcing federal law, noting that if the U. S. Forest Service (USFS) will not stop these loads, someone in Washington, D.C. must act.
A federal judge in February 2013 ruled the USFS had acted unlawfully in not addressing the megaload issue. “It is time someone from the Obama administration show the leadership and courage exemplified by the Nez Perce people last night,” stated Brett Haverstick, Education and Outreach Director for Friends of the Clearwater.
In an act of defiance of U. S. federal authority, Omega Morgan elected to ignore Forest Service objections to their crossing the Nezperce-Clearwater National Forests with loads weighing 640,000 lbs. and extending for 252-feet over a narrow, winding highway immediately beside the Lochsa and Clearwater Rivers.
“While police were arresting Nez Perce tribal members, the real criminals are officials with Omega Morgan”, said Gary Macfarlane, Ecosystem Defense Director for Friends of the Clearwater. “The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests supervisor has clearly stated that the agency does not consent, approve or authorize such loads in the Wild and Scenic River Corridor.”
Friends of the Clearwater recognize that Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter is ultimately responsible for the state’s involvement in the active support of converting the Wild and Scenic River Corridor and Northwest Passage Scenic Byway into a permanent industrial truck route for giant tar sands mining equipment.
“The actions of the Idaho Transportation Department and the Idaho State Police reflect the Governor’s disdain towards federal jurisdiction,” added Haverstick.
Friends of the Clearwater are calling on top officials in Washington D.C. to uphold federal law and prevent Omega Morgan from further desecrating our democracy and the will of the American people.