|Whoa fellas the Corps has Bigger Guns......|
The plan by the Corps is in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the policy requires the removal of all tees and shrubs on federal levees. Trees and shrubs are thought to have weaken levees in Louisiana, increasing flooding and flood damage.
The lawsuit claims vegetation along levees is critical to several endangered species in CA including;
Chinook salmon, Central Valley Steelhead and the riparian brush rabbit. All of which are on the endangered species list.
Interestingly the Corps own studies show that trees and brush along levees actually improve flood control. Studies from 1955, 1967, 1999 and 2008 all show that shoreline vegetation minimizes flood damage while improving shoreline habitat.
To make matters worse cost estimates to remove the vegetation from levees in California top $7.5 billion dollars and takes money away from much more pressing issues of seeping and eroding levees throughout the state.
Despite years of discussions between the Corps, California Fish and Game and other officials the issue of vegetation removal was never resolved. California Fish and Game officials felt they were left no other option to protect habitat and ensure the enjoyment of resources for the public.