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FROM THIS EPISODE

Anybody can paddle a kayak on the Los Angeles River if the cops aren't watching, but does that mean it's "navigable?"  Sounds like a distinction without a difference but not if you're the US Supreme Court, the Army Corps of Engineers or a developer as far upstream as Ventura County. Also, will the Union Pacific kill prospects for high-speed rail? 


Banner image: David McNew/Getty Images

Producers:
Dan Konecky

Reporter's Notebook Union Pacific Balks at High-Speed Rail 6 MIN, 33 SEC

In November's election, California voters will be asked to approve money for a bullet train from LA to San Francisco. It may be technology whose time has come, but the Union Pacific Railroad has other ideas.

Guests:
Eric Bailey, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times

Main Topic The River That Navigation Forgot 18 MIN, 13 SEC

The Army Corps of Engineers says the Los Angeles River is not "traditionally navigable." That may not surprise those who see it as a concrete flood control ditch. But to those who want to restore the river, it's an outrage. Other critics say the Corps' decision could lead to uncontrolled development as far upstream as Ventura County. North of Chatsworth, a rancher wanted to pave over some dry stream beds to build a road and control erosion. When there is water, the streams flow into the LA River, where the Army Corps of Engineers has jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.  When the rancher asked the Corps for guidance, it turned to a recent decision by the US Supreme Court. 

Guests:
David Beckman, Senior Council with the Natural Resources Defense Council
Colonel Thomas Magness, Commander, Los Angeles District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
George Wolfe, LA River Expeditions

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