I don’t understand what all this is really about, honestly. In fact, I couldn’t find a post category to really describe it, other than climate change.
I live in a part of the world in which megaloads of mining equipment are..well… somewhat routine, even in daylight hours.
I understand that it’s a Wild and Scenic River .. but it’s one with a State Highway next to it.
There apparently are a total of 10 loads, required to go by “state-ordered guidelines that include traveling at night, not holding up traffic for longer than 15 minutes and not making any alterations to the roadways or surrounding vegetation,” according to the LA Times story here excerpted below. For headline watchers, note that the title includes “Idaho Wilderness”. Of course, wildernesses don’t actually have roads in them, at least not state highways.
“Everything is in there,” said Silas Whitman, chairman of the Nez Perce tribal executive committee and among those arrested. “Yet they want to make it an industrial corridor.” By allowing the loads, he said, the tribe would “be a party to the destruction to those areas.”
The load this week has raised questions about who has the authority to approve such convoys. Omega Morgan, the Oregon contractor transporting a General Electric water evaporator, said it was operating under an oversized load permit approved by the Idaho Department of Transportation.
The company said it followed state-ordered guidelines that include traveling at night, not holding up traffic for longer than 15 minutes and not making any alterations to the roadways or surrounding vegetation.
But the U.S. Forest Service claims to have authority in cases in which the loads travel through protected lands. It has voiced opposition, saying in a statement that it disagreed with the state permit through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests until a study could be completed in the coming months.
Forest Service officials are examining not only the effect on the ecosystem, but other intangible factors such as the spiritual value of the land to the tribe.
“That’s the part we struggle with, the intrinsic and spiritual value of this corridor,” said Rick Brazell, forest supervisor for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. “We can touch those biological things and get a feel for the numbers. We can’t gather that [kind of information with] intrinsic things you can’t see and touch, and they mean a lot…. We are on a path to get that information.”
It is interesting that spiritual values come up..and how we might estimate the impact of a particular policy on spiritual values. As regular readers know, I am a great believer in the Unseen. Still, it will be difficult to describe in an EIS. We have to look no farther than the world news today, on the celebration of the end of Ramadan, to see that there are many views of the Unseen that are sometimes in conflict.
If it’s really about keeping our neighbor to the North from engaging in policies we don’t agree with, well .. they are our neighbors with their own scientists and politicians, and it seems (to me anyway) to take a bit of hubris to tell them what they shouldn’t do. After all, you know the admonition, attributed to a spiritual leader, “First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Anyway, here is another news story. Lewiston here.