-- Last Updated: Apr-24-13 7:00 PM EST --
I get it. Basically, your natural channels have mostly been replaced by ditches. Naturally they need to be prevented from returning to their natural state if they are to function as originally intended. I suppose if you don't have much higher ground available in the area, continued development in such places can't be avoided. Here, it's the other way around, and it's very difficult to get government approval to build in lowlands like that, and channelization of natural rivers and creeks is no longer done. It wasn't always like that of course, and I view the current level of protection afforded to such places as progress, hence my comment to the effect that the continuation of destructive practices like that seems old-fashioned by comparison.
As far as what I "believe" to be my state's policy toward removing deadfall, never in my life have I heard of them doing anything of the kind. Local highway departments will, on very rare occasions, find it necessary to remove logjams from the upstream side of bridge pilings, but that's not a reflection of river management. Rivers that are small enough to be blocked by downed trees simply aren't "managed" to maximize or otherwise alter rates of flow. For that matter, other than what the Army Corps of Engineers does on the Mississippi and commercially-used parts of the Fox, it's not done on larger rivers either. I understand that there WAS some occasional dredging of the upper reaches of the Fox River because it's connected to an ancient barge canal, though neither that part of the river nor the canal have been used since the arrival of the railroads more than 100 years ago. That dredging was the result of some sort of mindless federal game, where deciding whether or not the channel needed to be maintained simply hadn't been assessed during the whole time the system remained unused, so it was done on principle. That's the way it was explained to me by someone who keeps track of such things, but I was also told that they eventually "figured out" that the work was unnecessary and it hasn't been done in a very long time.
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