Thursday, August 11, 2016

11/08/2016: US officials skeptical that US$57 million will succeed

A group of Montana and federal wildlife officials has expressed opposition to a $57 million concrete dam and fish bypass that the U.S. government says would help an ancient and endangered fish species in the Yellowstone River.

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers and Interior Department are proposing the irrigation dam and bypass on the lower Yellowstone near the Montana-North Dakota border. That's where aging pallid sturgeon have been trapped for decades downstream of their spawning grounds, according to an article recently published by

Pallid stugeon img source
But wildlife officials from a government-sponsored pallid sturgeon recovery group dismissed the project's alleged benefits for the fish as "unfounded" and "purely theoretical."

The group, known as the Upper Basin Pallid Sturgeon Workgroup, includes representatives of state and federal wildlife agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Interior's Bureau of Reclamation.

The group's concerns were detailed in a July 28 letter to the Army Corps that was obtained by The Associated Press. It puts the Interior and Army Corps in the awkward position of promoting a costly construction project opposed by a group that includes members of their own staff and those from other agencies.

Project manager Tiffany Vanosdall said the Army Corps continues to believe the dam and fish bypass would help sturgeon. An environmental study of the project is due to be completed late this year, Vanosdall said.

"We are working on other analyses of why we believe the bypass channel would work," she said.

Pallid sturgeon — with their shark-like shape and long snout — have changed little over the past 200 million years, earning the species recognition among scientists as a "living fossil."

Read more HERE

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