Megaloads

U.S. Forest Service shuts down Highway 12 to megaloads

2013-09-18T15:49:00Z 2014-04-22T19:45:41Z U.S. Forest Service shuts down Highway 12 to megaloadsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
September 18, 2013 3:49 pm  • 

BOISE, Idaho – Federal forest administrators issued a closure order Wednesday for a section of U.S. Highway 12 through north-central Idaho that for now suspends all future trucking of big and wide loads.

The order, signed by Faye Krueger, Northern Region forester, targets a 100-mile stretch of the roadway that passes through the Lochsa-Clearwater Wild and Scenic River corridor.

The order also comes days after a federal judge in Boise blocked a second shipment of oil-field equipment that was scheduled to begin its journey across the state Wednesday, into Montana en route to Canada’s tar sands.

Oregon-based hauler Omega Morgan trucked an enormous 225-foot-long, 640,000-pound water evaporator along the route earlier this year, touching off protests from Nez Perce tribal members and others opposed to using the scenic highway for a megaload shipping route.

The closure order is effective immediately and is in place until the agency agrees to lift it, most likely when forest officials complete a study on the impacts the shipments could have on the river corridor. The agency has also vowed to consult with tribal officials on the impact to treaty rights and cultural values.

Under criteria spelled out Wednesday, the closure applies to any load that exceeds 16 feet in width, 150 feet in length or takes more than 12 hours to travel through the corridor. The closure begins just east of the town of Kooskia and extends to the Idaho/Montana border.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(11) Comments

  1. MT Libertarian
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    MT Libertarian - September 19, 2013 1:45 pm
    So you support halting all transportation on highway 12?
    Food and fuel shipments to localities, wind powered turbines and huge blades that routinely roll over 12?
    If you truly hate large trucks, that's o.k. My guess though is you're a hater of oil, manufacturing, trucking, and those of us who work for a living.
  2. hdrider
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    hdrider - September 19, 2013 1:18 pm
    Does the US Forest Service have jurisdiction over Rt 12? Depends on how the USFS acquired the land and what the state of ID has determined. This would be filed in the state courthouse. The USFS has limited jurisdiction over the land they actually own, not exclusive jurisdiction. The USFS signed an order- was this an emergency order?, was it reviewed by the Office of General Counsel (USFS Attorneys), did the USFS follow the required steps to implement the order? Just because the Regional Forester signed the order does not make the order a valid order. The USFS is required to have an enforcement plan when implementing this order, is there a plan on how they will enforce this order???
    There are a lot of questions to this and I would think that the attorneys would dig into whether the USFS can legally issue this order and if so did they follow the legal steps when the order was prepared.

    Maybe the US Forest Service should post this "closure" in the Missoulian for the public to review...
  3. mbond55
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    mbond55 - September 19, 2013 10:33 am
    The oil companies make their equipment in Korea, and the oil is up in Canada. What good jobs are you talking about???
  4. mbond55
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    mbond55 - September 19, 2013 10:30 am
    Highway 12 is designated Wild and Scenic Corridor. Not a transportation route. Large trucks should never have been allowed on this highway. This is a great decision!!! Oil companies make billions every year, they can pay to fix I-90 if they want to transport large items. Simple as that.
  5. DVanVorous
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    DVanVorous - September 19, 2013 10:12 am
    Apparently they do have a say because had followed this whole deal over the past couple years you would know that the FED judges rules that the USFS had to rule on the environmental impact of the loads moving thru the scenic area last year...go figure.
  6. jus wundrin
    Report Abuse
    jus wundrin - September 19, 2013 9:32 am
    So you are against good paying jobs for folks that want to provide for their families? More driving = more pollution, so you also support that? Its obvious that you also support a growing police state, and will continue to put those folks in office as long as they hate the same people that you do.

    "I am not an expert and certainly do not claim to be."

    Then you should stick to your murals and shut up.

    BTW, how much paint do you flush down the drain a year???????
  7. MT Libertarian
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    MT Libertarian - September 19, 2013 8:46 am
    What are our roads for?
    The lbs. per tire on these mega-loads are less than a typical RV, they are not hauling toxic waste, what's the issue here folks?
    Oh wait I forgot, they hate oil, manufacturing, jobs, and working people.
  8. montanamuralist
    Report Abuse
    montanamuralist - September 19, 2013 6:34 am
    Seems it might have been appropriate for the business interests to do a little better planning in moving their equipment. Perhaps I-90 and north on I-15 to Canada might have been better??? I am not an expert and certainly do not claim to be. What I do know is all this upset will translate in higher gas prices that will be shipped to other countries. It will result in more record profits for the oil companies. Nothing for consumers. Tell me why that is not true. The Forest Service has some jurisdiction here over roads that pass through their national forest but......meanwhile the big oil interests could care less about our roads and scenic by ways. They just want the quickest route to the oil fields and their bottom line. They could care less about my wallet and well being. Find a different route to the oil fields and shut up.
  9. Macgruder
    Report Abuse
    Macgruder - September 19, 2013 6:08 am
    Exactly, what does the Forest Service have to do with our transportation system. This is just a socialistic approach to ruining our country! First we have Judges involved in these issues far exceeding their authority and now the Forest Service?
  10. smiley mike
    Report Abuse
    smiley mike - September 18, 2013 6:46 pm
    Since when does the US Forest Service have jurisdiction over a federal highway? Shouldn't the Transportation Department make that call? Our government is completely off its rocker.
  11. jus wundrin
    Report Abuse
    jus wundrin - September 18, 2013 5:07 pm
    I dont recall this ever happening before. Where will it stop?
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