BILLINGS (AP) – Montana officials are asking state lawmakers to approve $11.5 million in state and federal funds over the next two years to fight aquatic invasive species.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks director Martha Williams told a budget panel Tuesday the money would be used to protect the state’s dams, irrigation and infrastructure.

The department recently announced the creation of an Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau in response to the larvae of invasive zebra mussels being found in Tiber Reservoir last fall and suspected in other parts of the state.

Department of Natural Resources Director John Tubbs says the goal is for half the funding to come from the federal government.

The Billings Gazette reports Republican Rep. Carl Glimm of Kila told agency representatives that filling the request may be difficult in a year of budget cuts.

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