City officials: Vandalism killing trees along Columbia River

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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Vancouver city officials are asking for the public’s help in addressing vandalism to trees along the Columbia River Waterfront Renaissance Trail.

Damage to a large cottonwood tree on the jetty was discovered in August. Since that time, the city’s urban forestry staff has found other trees vandalized in a similar way. City officials did not release details about damage to the trees, citing an ongoing investigation. Officials said that the vandalism led to the trees’ death.

The city’s Tree Conservation Ordinance specifies that destroying trees could lead to a civil fine of up to $1,000, plus restoration costs. It could also result in criminal charges.

Community members are asked to be on the lookout for individuals damaging trees and call 911 if they see something suspicious.

Those who have information related to the investigation are asked to contact Urban Forestry at 360-487-8328 or charles.ray@cityofvancouver.us.