Future of ancient fish, old dam debated in federal court in Great FallsNews Type: State, Regional, Federal Source: Great Falls Tribune
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The fate of an ancient fish and a century-old dam that supplies farms and communities with water across a vast region of northeastern Montana clashed in U.S. District Court in Great Falls Thursday.
Two courtrooms were packed with interested onlookers, mainly farmers and business people in the Yellowstone River valley who rely on the dam. One group watched live. An overflow crowd watched the proceeding on television screens in a courtroom next door.
“This isn’t just about farmers,” said James Brower of the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District. “This is about the drying up of the lower Yellowstone valley.”
The case is also about the survival of the pallid sturgeon in the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. It’s been around since the days of the dinosaurs but is in danger of extinction today.