Appellate court gives key ruling in favor of Yellowstone River diversion dam

Posted at 6:38 PM, Apr 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-05 20:38:54-04

GLENDIVE – A federal court recently gave a second green light to a new dam on the Lower Yellowstone River near Glendive. 

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the construction of the Lower Yellowstone Diversion Dam, including a new fish bypass, can move forward.

The dam along the Lower Yellowstone River provides water to more than  58,000 acres of farmland.

A conservation group, "Defenders of Wildife," is claiming the bypass would hurt the wild pallid sturgeon

The Ninth Circuit overruled U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Great Falls, who blocked construction. 

Another hearing in the case is scheduled for April 19 in Great Falls.

The economic impact of irrigation on eastern Montana is valued at more than $54 million. Five communities in the area rely on the Yellowstone for drinking water.

See also: Montana Ag: The future of the Lower Yellowstone Diversion Dam