Corps orders Washington counties to remove trees from levees

07/11/2008 | SeattlePI.com

Flood safety is taking precedence over salmon runs in Washington state, where workers are cutting down trees that may weaken levees while providing needed shade to the fish. The Army Corps of Engineers says shade trees planted along the levees to protect the endangered Puget Sound chinook salmon increase the chance of flooding, and county officials in Washington have been told they could lose millions of dollars in federal repair funds if the trees are not removed. Though engineers in King County believe that "vegetation on river banks is desirable" for flood control, officials have sent in the chainsaws rather than lose out on $17 million in federal assistance.

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