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US judge blocks water pipeline in Montana that was meant to boost rare fish


Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. judge blocked a proposed water pipeline through a wilderness area in southwest Montana that was intended to help a rare fish species that’s seen sharp declines due to habitat loss, warming temperatures and other pressures. The mile-long pipeline was intended to move oxygenated water that’s beneficial for fish from a creek to a lake in the Red Rock Lakes Wilderness. The judge said Wednesday that environmentalists raised valid concerns that the pipeline and its construction would disturb the wilderness area, where motor vehicles and structures are largely prohibited under federal law. The number of grayling in Montana’s Centennial Valley plummeted from more than 1,100 fish in 2015 to 73 fish last year.

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