-- Last Updated: Apr-24-13 6:10 PM EST --
where I live, where it is flat and low and we get a lot of rainfall and are floodprone. Most of our creeks and bayous are channelized. I have done a lot of stormwater planning and permitting for industrial facilities, and have worked with the flood control district extensively. They do routine maintenance, including vegetation removal, and usually catch a downed tree when they are in the area, but they also encourage private citizens to inform them of downed trees or other damage to channels through their citizen service center.
From their website:
"Does the District remove debris from channels? From property?
Debris Removal operations remove dead trees and other impediments to conveyance from district channels. A number of channel locations have been identified as areas where debris collects regularly; these locations are on cyclical schedule for debris removal approximately once every eight weeks. The District also has programs to collect floatable debris (such as Styrofoam cups) from several waterways in Harris County. The District is not allowed to remove debris or trees from private property."
"Please help to ensure that the District knows about damage to any particular channel. The District would appreciate it if you would let us know about the problem, so appropriate action can be taken to repair it. Please contact the Citizen Service Center."
It's not about some states being "backward" or "old-fashioned", it is about balancing human uses and needs with ecological considerations, and since the topography, hydrology, and ecology vary greatly across this country, the way other states manage drainage basins may differ from the way your state manages its (or you believe it manages its) but that doesn't mean they are wrong.
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