Friday, July 30, 2021

Play

Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.

Play

Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Lawsuit Challenges Federal Policy to Remove Trees from CA Levees

Play

Tuesday, June 21, 2011   

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Please, leave the trees: that's what conservation groups who've filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are saying about a policy that requires all trees and shrubs be removed from California levees. The federal policy aims to improve flood safety by removing vegetation that the Corps maintains weakens the levees.

However, Kelly Cattlett, California representative for Defenders of Wildlife, says there's clear evidence that the levee trees, which represent the last 5 percent of riparian habitat in California, are vital to endangered wildlife.

"It provides habitat for species; it stops erosion, so it actually strengthens the levees with the roots of the vegetation; and the overhang provides shade, which cools the water, which is good for aquatic species."

The policy was put in place after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Cattlett says California's needs are different, and contends a "one-size-fits-all" policy doesn't work.

"It's clear that this is a very ill-thought-out policy change. And when they did it, it seemed to be a knee-jerk reaction to what occurred in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina."

There are other critics of the federal policy. The California Department of Water Resources has said removing the levee trees will cost billions of dollars that would be better spent on projects to make levees stronger. Cattlett agrees.

"In order to comply with the policy, levee owners are going to have to divert limited funds that they have already allocated to do things like strengthen their levees and prevent under-seepage."

The Corps maintains that trees can blow down during storms and take parts of the levee with them, and that the roots may provide a path for water to seep through the levees.

The lawsuit filed on Monday alleges the federal policy is illegal because the Corps hasn't prepared an environmental impact study or consulted with federal wildlife agencies.

More information is at www.defenders.org




get more stories like this via email

In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


Environment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …


Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021