In spite of years-long efforts to persuade transportation officials not to realign U.S. Highway 95 from Moscow to Thorncreek Road over Paradise Ridge and through an untouched area of the Palouse Prairie, the federal Record of Decision was signed this week verifying the choice to do just that.
“It’s a great day for the public,” said Ken Helm, project manager for the Idaho Transportation Department.
“It’s kind of what we expected,” Steve Flint, one of the board members of the Palouse Ridge Defense Coalition, said about what the group considers a disappointing choice.
In 2003, the coalition and other groups successfully argued the ITD failed to adequately examine the environmental effects of its plans for U.S. Highway 95, and a judge ordered a full environmental impact statement process be completed.
Last year, the group announced it was willing to take legal action based on the latest project documents, specifically the FEIS, if they appeared inadequate.