Federal grant to benefit fourIdaho scenic byways
Attentive motorists traveling a scenic route in southeast Idaho will discover remnants of Idahos first grist mill, a historic Mormon academy and the location of the Bear River Massacre. For the less observant, new signs will be added in the future that will make those and other scenic vistas easier to identify.
The National Scenic Byway Program, administered by the Federal Highway Administration, will provide nearly $100,000 to implement the sign plan for the Pioneer Historic Byway which includes parts of U.S. 91 and Idaho 34 between the Utah and Wyoming borders (from Franklin to Freedom).
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta last week announced that Idaho will receive $173,966 as part of $15 million awarded nationwide for 104 projects in 37 states. Grants help fund such projects as scenic overlooks, visitor information centers, educational and promotional materials, pedestrian trails, bike paths and safety improvements.
In addition to implementation of the Pioneer Historic Byway sign plan, funds also have been allocated for three scenic byway corridor management plans in Idaho. The Payette River Scenic Byway, Northwest Passage and the Pend Oreille Scenic Byway will receive $24,852 each for work on their management plans.
Idahos 25 scenic byways and the 1,869 miles of highway give travelers incredible views of Idahos greatest assets and rich history. They extend from the arid plains of the Owyhees (Thousand Springs Scenic Byway) and portions of the historic Oregon Trail (Bear Lake-Oregon Trail Scenic Byway) to Pend Oreille National Scenic Byway and Panhandle Historic Rivers Passage in northern Idaho and the trail of Lewis & Clark (Northwest Passage National Scenic Byway and Lewis and Clark Back Country Byway).
Scenic byways enjoy special protection and offer facilities such as expansive turnouts, overlooks, picnic areas, walkways and campgrounds, according to Taking the Scenic Route, a publication produced by Garry Young, ITDs scenic byways coordinator.
And best of all, they pass through some of the most breathtaking and intriguing landscapes youll ever see, the guide continues.
Copies of the new directory, which includes contributions from nearly a dozen state organizations and departments, is available by contacting Young. Information about Idahos awesome routes is available at: http://www.itd.idaho.gov/planning/reports/scenic/byways.html
Two new scenic byways that honor the role of Native Americans in the states rich history joined the family of Idaho Scenic Byways in January with approval of the Wild Horse Trail in the northern panhandle and the Sacajawea Historic Byway near Salmon in eastern Idaho.
The national byway system includes 96 highways in 39 states. The program recognizes roadways around the nation based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational or scenic qualities.
Our nations scenic byways provide a vital link between countless travelers and Americas small towns and rural areas, supporting hundreds of mom and pop shops along the way, said FHWA Administrator Mary E. Peters.
The Bush Administration is committed to helping local communities support, improve and promote these important resources.
For information about the National Scenic Byways Program, visit www.bywaysonline.org or call toll-free 1-800429-9297 (1-800-4-BYWAYS).