December 6th, 2007 5:33 pm | by Jonah Sandford News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

A Tree Grows in Bridgeton --For Now


You may remember the fight raging up in North Portland's Bridgeton neighborhood over the fate of 115 mature trees on the Bridgeton levee.

The Bridgeton Neighborhood Association has been battling to keep the trees from being cut down since August, and it looks like it may have won the latest round.

According to a press release from the Bridgeton association and its allies at Columbia Riverkeeper, the Army Corps of Engineers has decided to review its "levee vegetation policy" and will issue new standards for levee management around the country as part of a "National Levee Vegetation Roundtable" early next year (Mark your calendars. You know I'm definitely going to try and get invited.).

The neighborhood association believes the trees will be saved, thanks to those upcoming standards that take into account the latest scientific evidence.

“This is heartening,” said BNA Chair Matt Whitney in the release. “We have argued from day one that the best scientific studies available do not support the Drainage District's call to clear cut the Bridgeton Neighborhood.”

Brent Foster, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper, chimes in: "We are encouraged that the Army Corps is finally going to start considering the current science related to trees on levees after operating for decades under the guiding principle of continuing the status quo. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that trees, such as those on the Bridgeton Levee, increase the stability and strength of the levee and preserving those trees are important both for wildlife and to protect the people who live behind the levee."

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