A city crew's decision in September to clear cut an acre of trees that was sheltering homeless campers near the American River could cost the city well over $200,000.
A report issued by a City Council-appointed committee to address the incident has recommended planting dozens of trees inside Sutter's Landing Park - to the tune of $206,000. That committee also hired a consultant to help with its months-long study, and city officials said that consultant could cost $30,000.
The City Council is scheduled to address the committee's recommendations tonight.
Utilities officials cut down the 50 cottonwood trees after homeless campers were found to be cutting a hole in a fence surrounding a former landfill at Sutter's Landing. A city crew cut down the trees, but without telling the City Council or the public.
That upset some council members, who formed the "28th Street Landfill Tree Removal Mitigation Committee," made up of neighborhood and environmental activists. Many of those environmentalists worried that the trees - which represented most of the trees in Sutter's Landing - provided essential nesting habitat for wildlife.
According to a tree committee report, the area where the trees were removed "is located in one of the richest areas for raptors along the American River Parkway, especially for the Swainson's hawk, which is a threatened species."