Army engineers halt stripping of LA area

LOS ANGELES - There's good news for bird lovers who were furious after the Army Corps of Engineers bulldozed 43 acres of a former Los Angeles wildlife refuge.

The Los Angeles Times says the corps on Tuesday agreed to stop removing brush and trees from the Sepulveda Basin until at least mid-September -- partly because nesting birds have been discovered there.

Spokesman Tomas Beauchamp told the Los Angeles City Council that the corps will meet with environmentalists to work out a rehabilitation plan.

Last December, the corps dug up shrubs, willows and other trees. Critics say that devastated an area that attracts many birds.

The corps says the thick vegetation also drew the homeless and those committing lewd behavior.

It plans to eventually replace the non-native plants with native species.

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