The Army Corps of Engineers has restored fish passage on a river in Montana while serving needs of farmers and ranchers

On July 26, 2022, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Omaha District) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation co-hosted an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Joe’s Island near Glendive, Montana to celebrate the completion of the Lower Yellowstone Intake Diversion Dam Fish Passage Project.

The celebration also acknowledged the Bureau off Reclamation’s 120th anniversary.

Attendees included Col. (P) Geoff Van Epps, Commander, USACE Northwestern Division, Col. Mark Himes, Commander, USACE Omaha District, and representatives from the USBR and U.S. Department of the Interior, among others.

The success of this three-year, $44 million Omaha District civil works project was due in part to the joint coordination efforts and contributions of intergovernmental organizations, and collective resources to help improve passage for the endangered pallid sturgeon and to ensure continued irrigation diversions to the Lower Yellowstone Project.

This is a momentous occasion more than ten years in the making,” Col. Van Epps.

The collaboration on this project presented unique challenges and opportunities to meet conservation and recovery responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act while continuing to serve the needs of stakeholders that use the river. The professionalism and mutual respect of all involved provided a healthy, dynamic work climate in which to operate to achieve common goals and objectives,” he added.

The Lower Yellowstone Project is a 58,000-acre irrigation project located in eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

The project is operated and maintained by the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District Board of Control under contract with the Bureau of Reclamation.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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