Palouse Prairie Foundation’s Tim Hatten Speaks about Rare Ecosystem Threatened by U.S. Highway 95 Realignment Plans

KRFP Radio Free Moscow features an interview with Tim Hatten of the Palouse Prairie Foundation, between 15:29 and 6:09 of the Thursday, December 13, 2012, Evening Report, Palouse Prairie & U.S. 95.  Tim describes this rare grassland ecosystem and Highway 95 realignment threats to its integrity.

Highway 95 Section Needs Fix Sooner than Later

Murf Raquet (for the editorial board), Moscow

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 12/13/12

Realignment, reroute, fix, or upgrade, whatever term you prefer, it looks as if a treacherous portion of U.S. Highway 95 is finally getting the attention it has needed for a long time.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has issued a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for its selection of a new route for Highway 95 between Thorn Creek Road and south Moscow.  ITD has picked the E2 route to the east of Highway 95 on Paradise Ridge.

More than a decade ago, Idaho officials had planned to build a straighter and safer 6.5-mile stretch of the state’s major north-south road.  They had proposed numerous options to the west and east of the curvy part and one that improved the existing section.

An alternative that rerouted the highway over parts of Paradise Ridge was then also favored by the state.  Residents on the ridge and others objected, saying the road would have a disastrous effect on portions of Palouse prairie that manage to exist in patches on the ridge.

A lawsuit was filed in 2003 saying the state did not properly conduct a DEIS for the route.  (Some folks even tried to save the beleaguered prairie by tying it to the giant Palouse earthworm, but the grassroots movement gained little traction.) Continue reading

Bakken Oil Field Equipment on Idaho Roads?

…In other business, Lewiston Port Commissioners on Wednesday also discussed another possibility for hauling machinery or supplies to the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota.

The port has already received an inquiry from a business that wants to barge supplies up the Columbia and Snake rivers and load them onto trucks at Lewiston for the last leg of the journey, Port Manager David Doeringsfeld said.

The port’s staff is drafting an ad to appear in North Dakota newspapers that would promote how the Port of Lewiston is less than 900 miles from the oil fields, Doeringsfeld said.

Haulers who want to send regular and oversized shipments through the port could be among the new customers the port generates through the promotion, Doeringsfeld said.

(Excerpt from Food Processing Facility for Multiple Ventures Proposed by Elaine Williams, The Lewiston Tribune)