Megaload issue domintes Nez Perce Tribe General Council meeting

KAMIAH, ID - The first day of the Nez Perce Tribe's General Council meeting is in the books, however business is far from finished.

Several tribal members expressed their growing concern over the megaload issue.

The Nez Perce Tribe gathers twice a year for three days straight to discuss natural resources, debate resolutions, and talk about the issues affecting the tribe. However one issue that's dominating the conversation this year is megaloads and the ongoing litigation between the tribe and United States Forest Service.

"I don't think our leaders knew what was in us, what was in our hearts to show up every night and not give up and to continue and continue and continue," said Rebecca Miles.

August 5th 2013 was the first of several megaload protests along Highway 12, and the emotions still raw to this day.

"Our Nimmipu women we go everywhere with our babies," said Mary Jane Oatman. "We don't leave them behind, their right there with us. It was our papaya it was our babies that kept us from getting pepper sprayed that night

That first stance on the highway prompted a series of events afterward. The first being a lawsuit against the United States Forest Service.

"I was very glad to sit there with you and hear the testimony and the declaration," said Erik Holt. "And the response from Judge Winmill and to hear what he says."

The federal judge ruled to temporarily block the big rigs until an impact study is done on the scenic corridor. However many feel that decision only buys time.

"They're going to plug in to the minimum requirements to get the megaloads to go by us again," said Holt. "It's just a study, a time-frame and a loophole."

The tribe strategy for moving forward and handling the newly filed appeal to the judges ruling was discussed in executive session.