The Idaho Transportation Board will consider a request to approve a corridor management plan for the Fort Henry Historic Byway and Lost Gold Trails Loop Corridor when the board meets in Boise next week. The monthly business meeting will be Wednesday and Thursday at the ITD Headquarters Auditorium.
“The story of eastern Idaho’s Fremont and Clark counties is a tale replete with explorers, trappers, mountain men, Native Americans, miners, ranchers, stagecoach lines and railroads,” according to the corridor management plan. “Many left memories of hardship, ordeal, and bravery while passing through this big country near the world-famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River and Yellowstone National Park.
“The Fort Henry Historic Byway traverses the West of old, characterized by mountains, rivers, wildflowers, lakes, deserts, wildlife, geology, sage brush, sand dunes, and expansive vistas in a sparsely settled country – much like it was 100 years ago. The byway takes its name from the first fur-trapper settlement in Idaho, located along the Snake River near present-day St. Anthony.
“The Lost Gold Trails Loop in Clark County is a backdrop for many intriguing stories about the lure of Montana gold. Miners and freighters traveled through the daunting expanse of mountains and plains between Montana and Utah over the Continental Divide through eastern Idaho to the newly discovered gold fields of Montana. Today, the historic Nez Perce Trail, the Short Line Railroad, early homestead settlements, opals, wildlife, and the ghost towns of Beaver Canyon, Humphrey, and Idmon are only a few of the attractions in this most scenic region of Idaho.”
The historic byway committee developed a corridor management plan with the intent of preserving, promoting and enhancing the route. The plan provides a framework to protect the desired natural rural character of the byway and loop corridors while encouraging recreation and improving highway safety.
The document is a local effort to balance the byway’s experience and capitalize on local economic development opportunities. It also lays out strategies to promote the corridor while balancing the care and conservation of the valuable scenic, historic, and cultural sites.
Other board agenda items
Annual Human Resource Services report
In calendar year 2009, employees used 117,882 hours of sick leave. This compares to 115,894 hours in 2007 and 108,217 hours in 2008. The total does not include additional medical leave, such as family medical leave.
For fiscal year 2010, through Jan. 10, the total vacancy rate was 4 percent. The vacancy rate in FY09 was 4.5 percent, and the average for FY07 and FY08 was 6 percent. The engineering series has seen a significant reduction in vacancy rate during that time period. So far in FY10, the rate is 2.9 percent, while the average in FY07 and FY08 was 17 percent.
ITD now has 1,766 classified employees. Sixty-eight (3.9 percent), have reached the Rule of 90 and are eligible to retire. Another 332 employees (19 percent), will reach the Rule of 90 in the next six years.
In Fair Employment practices, the top underutilized categories are female professionals, female technicians, female skilled craft workers, Hispanic male technicians, and Asian or Pacific Islander male technicians.
Equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaints recorded in calendar year 2009 included gender – 4; sexual harassment – 4; race – 2; retaliation – 2; age - 1; and sexual orientation – 1.
The Training and Development report states that 678 in-service training sessions were offered with 7,330 attendees. A total of 985 attendees participated in 117 out-service classes.
Wellness Program annual report
Education was provided on both the “seasonal” and H1N1 “swine” flu, along with resources to empower employees in the fight against the spread of germs. A “Stay Healthy” campaign delivered e-mails on flu prevention tips, useful Web sites, brochures, posters, and vaccination information.
The theme for the annual spring challenge was “Tour de Byways.” For the 10-week event, 759 participants met the exercise goal with at least 30 exercise hours. This effort set a record with 34 more employees finishing than in 2008.
Some of the district highlights include: