VANCOUVER City officials were asking for the public s help to identify suspects who vandalized trees on the Columbia River Waterfront Renaissance Trail in Vancouver.

Officials discovered the vandalism in August after a report of damage to a large cottonwood tree (pictured above), according to Charles Ray, Urban Forester for the City of Vancouver Public Works.

City staff recently found other trees that had been similarly vandalized in a way that kills the trees, Ray said.Details of the vandalism were not released due to the investigation.

According to Ray, healthy trees reduce storm water runoff, improve air quality and provide wildlife habitat. The trees along the river trail also help protect the trail from erosion and high waters from the Columbia River.

Destroying a tree in Vancouver can lead to a civil fine of up to $1,000 plus restoration costs, Ray said. Anyone with information about the vandalism was asked to contact Urban Forestry at 360-487-8328.

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