ELKO, Nev. -- Nearly 1,000 disgruntled Westerners paraded through town with 10,000 shovels recently to protest federal environmental policy and lend support to residents feuding with the U.S. Forest Service over a washed-out road.

Horse-drawn wagons, makeshift floats, ORVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles and pickup trucks loaded down with tons of shovels from all over the West made up the 200 entries in the Jarbidge Shovel Brigade Parade.Another 2,000 to 3,000 people lined the streets with shovels and American flags, babies bundled against the cold and toddlers waving plastic, sandbox shovels. Several protesters carried signs that read "Stop Clinton's War on the West," and "Tree Huggers: the other red meat."

"It has taken on a life of its own," said O.Q. "Chris" Johnson, a local businessman who helped organize the parade. "It's bigger than the Fourth of July."

"I think you are making history," he told a rally at the county courthouse at the end of the three-mile parade route. Elko County Sheriff Neil Harris estimated the crowd there at 3,500 to 4,000.

Ranchers, loggers, miners and small business owners donated the shovels in a show of support for locals' efforts to rebuild the South Canyon Road along the Jarbidge River in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The Forest Service has fought their efforts, saying the road work and erosion would harm the river's population of bull trout, an endangered species.

"We have learned we must stand together, shoulder to shoulder to defeat those who would destroy our way of life and the West as we know it," said State Assemblyman John Carpenter, R-Elko.

"We are tired of being treated as second-class citizens. We will no longer be the pawns for the games of the greens in the White House," he said to cheers.

The rally at the courthouse was in front of a 30-foot giant shovel engraved with thousands of names supportive of the locals' effort. Local politicians began the rally with the "Star Spangled Banner," a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

"Enough is enough. The line has been drawn in the sand," said Roberta Skelton, chairman of the Elko County Commission and a Jarbidge native.

Most of the shovels were delivered in a caravan from Montana, where loggers and mill workers long have been at odds with the Forest Service. The Eastern Oregon Mining Association of Baker, Ore., the Bunker Hill Mine of Kellogg, Idaho, the Libertarian and American Independent political parties were others represented in the parade.

"Somehow, sending a shovel seems symbolic. Maybe it will make a difference," said Cary Hegreberg of Helena, Mont., executive vice president of the Montana Wood Products Association.

"Most people understand shovels are a symbol of work. That's something we have in common -- we want to work," he said.

Elko County Commissioner Mike Nannini, who helped organize the parade, said shovels arrived by mail from as far away as Rhode Island and Maryland.

"It's just a grassroots deal. It's not just the West anymore. These people are saying 'No more,' " he said.