VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- Budget cuts are forcing the Forest Service and University of Washington to stop operating a crane that put researchers at the top of 200-foot tall trees in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwest Washington near Carson

The Wind River Canopy crane's arm allowed them to maneuver within a 560-foot circle above the forest.

The Columbian reports the old construction crane has been operated since 1995, with most of the funding coming from the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Researchers have studied how forests grow and use water and carbon dioxide. They've also studied canopy-dwelling species like bats and flying squirrels.

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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