BOISE -- A federal judge has granted a request from the Nez Perce Tribe and an environmental group to temporarily stop shipments of giant oil-field equipment from moving across a winding Idaho highway.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued the ruling Friday morning, barring Omega-Morgan from shipping the so-called megaloads along Highway 12 until certain conditions are met.

The highway passes through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests and through the Nez Perce Tribe's reservation land, and the tribe and Idaho Rivers United sued because they contend the route isn't appropriate and the shipments could cause irreparable harm to the rights of the Nez Perce people.

Omega-Morgan says it could face millions in damages if it's prevented from getting the equipment to Canada's tar sands in an efficient and timely manner.

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