Legislation may save trees along Ouachita River - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Legislation may save trees along Ouachita River

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A bill now before the U.S. Senate may save the trees along the Ouachita River Levee.  The Corps had issued a decision back in 2006 to cut the trees and vegetation along the levee.  But the legislation, if approved, may revise that policy.

John Stringer, Tensas Basin Levee Board: "It would require the corps to look at levee systems to see if the trees were harmful.  We think when that happens, they'll determine after 80 years they are not a problem.  Hopefully they'll change the policy."

John Stringer, as executive director of the Tensas Basin Levee Board, has used his position to argue that the decision to remove trees from the levee is not in the area' best interest.
"I think the people who put this policy out are making decisions based on theory and not based on scientific evidence."

Language is also included in the Water Resources Act that will address the bank cave-ins that have been a problem along the river in recent years.

"It would give the corps the authority to stabilize the bank to protect the navigation project as well as our levee system."

Stringer believes that funding and protecting our water infrastructure is essential for the area's future.

"We're going to lose some of the valuable assets in this navigation project and this levee system if we don't start placing emphasis on keeping them intact."

The bill was sponsored by LA Senator David Vitter, who is the ranking republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

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