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Posts tagged: levee policy

Sacto Rubs Corps Nose In Own Study

Coeur d’Alene isn’t the only community miffed at the loopy demand by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clear-cut viewtiful trees from flood prevention levees. Sacramento, Calif., is, too. The corps, as you may recall, freaked out after Hurricane Katrina, ordering communities to remove trees and vegetation from levees (like the ponderosas on Coeur d’Alene’s waterfront dike road), claiming the vegetation destabilizes them. Cash-strapped California communities and flood agencies could spend millions of dollars removing trees and shoring up levees to meet the corps’ inflexible demand. In an editorial urging the corps to revise its levee policy, the Sacramento Bee pointed to a study conducted by the agency that shows some levees are strengthened, not weakened, by trees. The Bee concludes that corps muckety-mucks should heed the findings of their own study and “develop a more flexible, case-by-case policy for levee maintenance nationwide.” Bingo/DFO, Huckleberries. More here.

Weekend SR columns:

Paper Rips Corps Levee Tree Policy

When it comes to trees and levees, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs to revise its one-chainsaw-fits-all policy. A new study by the Corps reveals why. The study, conducted by an Army Corps research unit in Mississippi, examined how trees affect flood-control levees in California, the Pacific Northwest, New Mexico and Mississippi. It found that trees actually strengthen levees in some situations. It also urged that engineers conduct site-specific evaluations to determine if trees on levees are harmful or beneficial, according to a report Saturday by The Bee's Matt Weiser. The Corps didn't need to commission a study to inject some common sense into this debate. But we are glad it did/Sacramento Bee Editorial Board. More here. (SR file photo/Kathy Plonka: Roger Smith, a retired civil engineer from Coeur d'Alene, said the Ponderosa pines in question are an “aesthetic heritage feature” for the city)

Question: Do I sense that momentum is changing in this debate (which includes the Corps of Engineers goofy demand to clear-cut Coeur d'Alene Dike Road trees)?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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