OMAHA – A judge has ruled that the federal government must pay landowners on the lower Missouri River for flooding damage caused by the Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to protect endangered species. Judge Nancy Firestone, with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, ruled this week that the Corps caused increased flooding by changing habitat on the river to comply with the Endangered Species Act. She says that violated constitutional protections against taking property without compensation. The ruling affects property owners from Sioux City, Iowa, to St. Louis, although not all landowners will qualify for payments. The ruling doesn’t cover all flood-related damages.