Idaho, Feds at Odds on Megaloads

State ready to issue permit; U.S. Forest Service applies the brakes, says study and tribal advice needed

At the request of the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), the U.S. Forest Service is revising one of its interim criteria designed to define and govern the transport of megaloads through national forest land.

But the change won’t make it any easier for the massively oversized shipments to win approval for travel along U.S. Highway 12 as it passes through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest and its Wild and Scenic River corridors.

The Forest Service is also asking to review megaload applications before permits are awarded by the state and is taking issue with the state’s insistence that it lacks authority to deny the permits.

In February, federal Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled the Forest Service has authority to review megaload shipments that cross national forest land and pass through the Lochsa and Middle Fork of the Clearwater Wild and Scenic River corridor. Continue reading