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HELENA - A trust fund created in 2002 by the sale of 265 cabin sites around Canyon Ferry Lake lost $5.4 million in 2008 - almost a quarter of its value.

The downturn in the stock market is blamed for the Canyon Ferry Trust falling from a value of $20.3 million at the beginning of 2008 to $14.9 million at the end of the year. The fund's value had fallen to $13.9 million this week.

The Citizens Advisory Board that recommends projects for funding from the trust discussed Thursday whether to offer any money in 2009.

Board members eventually decided to say $125,000 might be available, but they'll reconsider that number in June. Board members will also decide then whether $200,000 that went unallocated last year will be used to fund projects.

Interest from the Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust is to be used for projects that enhance wildlife and fisheries habitat and to acquire land or access for hunters, anglers and others who enjoy the outdoors.

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