WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Interior today released a report highlighting the progress made in the fight against invasive zebra and quagga mussels, which can impair the delivery of water and power, diminish boating and fishing, and devastate ecosystem health.
The report comes after U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced in June a set of initiatives to protect western ecosystems and hydroelectric facilities from the destructive species through continued collaboration with western governors as well as federal, state, and tribal agencies.
Helena, MT – Governor Steve Bullock issued an executive order today declaring a statewide natural resource emergency for Montana water bodies due to the detection of the larvae of invasive aquatic mussels at Tiber Reservoir and suspected detections at Canyon Ferry Reservoir and the Milk and Missouri rivers. The signing of the Executive Order triggers the deployment of an interagency rapid response team to respond to the emerging situation.
“Aquatic invasive species are a serious threat to Montana’s critical infrastructure and economy. The deployment of the multi-agency rapid response team will work quickly to identify and contain existing mussel populations, and prevent future introduction to other water ways,” Bullock said. “The potential economic, ecological and recreational impacts for Montana and our region must be addressed quickly and every effort must be taken to prevent the additional spread of this threat.”