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Among the Trinity Topics Before the Council, Pulling 2,800 Trees Out of Levees

Almost immediately after Schutze posted his wrap-up from the Monday-morning press conference at Dallas City Hall, where Mayor Tom Leppert drove his Chevy to the levees, a Friend of Unfair Park pointed our attention to Page 18 of the Trinity River Corridor Project briefing the city council will cover this morning. Because on Page 18, it says the city will need to spend $3 million to remove "approximately 2,800 trees" from the Trinity levees.

Which, sure, is but one issue among many: $29 million in additional study costs, months-long delays predicated upon everyone doing everything right at the same time and the threat of FEMA floodplain map's showing "no flood protection by levees" if the unacceptable isn't made acceptable by January 2011. But the issue of removing nearly 3,000 trees? "I don't remember hearing that before," says council member Angela Hunt, who counts that issue among "some of my questions today."

Steve Houser, chair of the Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee, tells Unfair Park this morning that his committee was aware "some trees would be removed" for floodwater conveyance, "and that it would be quite a few." But he wasn't aware of the exact number till I read the briefing to him. He didn't think it would be so high.

"It requires further investigation," he says. "Are these small trees, or are they 40-, 50-inch trees? Since it's a conceptual plan, I assume we'll hear more about it, and we do have a liaison to the Trinity River Corridor Project, but I need to do further investigation on size and location."

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