Gov. Steve Bullock is approving a plan to build new trails, fishing access sites and other recreational features along the Yellowstone River to make up for damages from a 2011 Exxon Mobil Corp. pipeline spill.

The 63,000 gallon oil spill near Laurel damaged thousands of acres along an 85-mile stretch of the famous waterway.

Exxon agreed to pay $12 million for environmental damages, including about $2.3 million for lost recreational opportunities. The spill required a months-long cleanup.

Bullock announced the recreation plan during a Wednesday event in Billings

Bullock says the projects due to receive money will improve public access to a river that plays a major role in Montana's $7 billion outdoor recreation economy.

The AP contributed to this story.

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