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Wednesday, June 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

Funding $17 million short for Montana dam to save fish

By Matt Volz Associated Press

HELENA – A federal agency that plans to build a new Yellowstone River dam and bypass channel meant to save an endangered fish only has about half the money needed for construction.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers inked a $36 million contract with Ames Construction to build the irrigation dam and the channel for endangered pallid sturgeon in Montana. But the agency has only $19 million in hand.

Project manager Christopher Fassero says a funding request has been made to Congress. The money was not in a spending bill released Monday, and President Donald Trump has proposed cutting the Corps’ budget $1 billion next year.

A federal judge last month cleared the Corps to begin construction. Wildlife groups that oppose the dam plan to ask the judge as early as Tuesday to block the project again.

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