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Trump Administration Faces Lawsuit Over Glacier Bull Trout Fatalities

Bull trout swims in British Columbia’s Wigwam River drainage in this 2009 photo.
Joel Sartore/ National Geographic & Wade Fredenberg/ USFWS
Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Bull trout swim in British Columbia’s Wigwam River drainage in this 2009 photo.";

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies today announced a 60-day notice of intent to sue federal agencies over declining bull trout numbers in Glacier National Park.

Alliance Executive Director Mike Garrity says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are failing to adequately protect the threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

He says dams and irrigation systems operated by the Bureau of Reclamation create warm and shallow waters and cut off upstream migration, killing up to 600 bull trout annually.

“The best outcome is, they consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service and fix their irrigation system so they’re no longer killing bull trout,” Garrity said.

According to Garrity, the issue is with Saint Mary Diversion and Sherburne Dams of the Milk River Irrigation Project. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a five year plan for the restoration of bull trout in 2004. Numbers continued to decline. The Service plans to release a new recovery plan on Monday. A spokesperson declined to comment.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was unavailable for comment by deadline.