WUI in the News

Here you can find current news articles about wildland-urban interface issues in the U.S. and abroad. Please note that while Interface South maintains news archives for reference, the links may no longer be active. You may need to contact the source or host website for more information.

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Apr 2003 contains 60 News Articles.

Official Supports Legislation
Voices, CT - 30 Apr 2003
"While we have increased security measures to protect our reservoirs, our water supply already is being threatened, due to the abandonment of reservoirs and development of surrounding watershed lands."

Pennsylvania shows how to preserve farmland
Charlotte Observer, NC - 30 Apr 2003
Although Pennsylvania is hardly synonymous with enlightened land use, it does have one stellar program that could serve as a model for the most of the counties in the Piedmont. Since 1993, Pennsylvania's Lancaster County has used growth boundaries, strict agricultural zoning and the purchase of conservation easements to save its farmland and protect its economy.

Storm water rules tax local budgets
Detroit News, MI - 30 Apr 2003
Communities across Metro Detroit and Michigan are spending millions of dollars in a new campaign to attack the last remaining uncontrolled source of Great Lakes pollution -- storm water runoff.

Spotted beasts on the prowl
The Tribune, India - 30 Apr 2003
The officers of the Wildlife Department, however, maintain that the increase in the cat population is not the main reason behind the increasing human-animal conflict. It has more to do with the shrinking and fragmentation of forests by roads, impounding of rivers and encroachments.

Pandas' Natural Habitat Must Expand, Experts Warn
National Geographic News - 28 Apr 2003
Although this rare and beautiful animal lives in dense bamboo forests high on the slopes of remote mountains in China, human settlement and roads are dividing them into small, isolated pockets. Unless corridors of wilderness are allowed to link these patches, researchers warn, the smaller groups will not be able to survive.

Official: Rainfall determines start of fire season
Aberdeen American News, SD - 27 Apr 2003
The Black Hills are green this spring, a big change from a dry 2002, when the first big forest fire was in June.

City, county seek common ground: Little room available for new projects
Durango Herald, CO - 27 Apr 2003
Only about 20 percent of the land in La Plata County stands a chance of being considered for approval for new development. For the county to consider a new subdivision or a land-use change, developers must prove there is adequate water, sewage-disposal facilities and road access available. That task is practically impossible in some areas.

Water regulation to face legal battle
Newark Star Ledger, NJ - 27 Apr 2003
Gov. James E. McGreevey's war on sprawl moved from rhetoric to regulation last week when he announced a new rule that sharply curbs development around 15 bodies of water, including nine reservoirs. But before the regulation becomes reality it will have to survive a court of law.

MDC plans to clear trees
Framingham Metro West Daily News, MA - 25 Apr 2003
Within the next two years, the Metropolitan District Commission Division of Watershed Management will clear the trees and create a healthier and more diverse forest . . . Nearly all the trees will come down because no forest management has taken place since the trees were planted, sometime between 1914 and 1917.

Cheap Coffee Is Lousy For Tigers, Elephants, Rhinos, Study Says
Science Daily - 25 Apr 2003
The study says that increased production of robusta coffee, the inexpensive variety commonly sold in cans and used in instant coffee, is leading to deforestation of lowland forests in Indonesia, home to that country's last remaining populations of wild tigers and other species . . . all of which are declining due to fragmentation and loss of their forest home.

Can You Dig It?
Salt Lake Tribune, UT - 24 Apr 2003
Shrinking wildlife habitats and fragmented wilderness stand as the top threats to biodiversity. Creating special wildlife corridors would help species survive as cities and towns continue to expand . . .

Flames on the horizon
The Daily Evergreen, WA - 23 Apr 2003
Specialists are predicting an above-average fire season this year, though it will not be as bad as the 2002 season . . . Oregon, along with western Arizona and southern and central Alaska, could experience some of the worst fire seasons in the nation.

WSU professor studies social impact of fires
The Daily Evergreen, WA - 23 Apr 2003
WSU Associate Professor Matt Carroll studies wildland fire as "a disturbance element in communities." For the past five years he has been conducting research about people in communities who have been effected or could be affected by wildland fires.

Hurdles lie in path of shopping center
Oregonian, OR - 23 Apr 2003
Emmert International Properties would need to secure rezoning of the 25-acre site from industrial to commercial, and it must obtain permission to fill wetlands and relocate part of a creek.

Experts express uncertainty about 'historic' water pact
Birmingham News, AL - 23 Apr 2003
While the governors of Alabama and Georgia touted a water-use agreement signed in Dothan on Monday as "historic," experts expressed uncertainty about what the pact would do to protect Alabama's rivers from Georgia's growing demand for water.

Forest chief: Debate focuses on wrong issues
The Olympian, WA - 23 Apr 2003
The four main threats, according to Bosworth, are overgrown forests that need thinning or controlled burning to prevent catastrophic fires; invasive species that threaten native plants; habitat fragmentation from development near forest lands; and unmanaged recreation.

How to become extinct
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia - 23 Apr 2003
The simple answer to what is causing the crisis is homelessness. The habitat that our extraordinarily evolved species depend upon is being destroyed for agriculture and development, degraded by new management regimes or invaded by feral residents.

Water Quality is Focus of IDEM Campaign
WISH, IN - 22 Apr 2003
It’s easy enough to take advantage of the clean water that comes out of our taps. But it’s becoming increasingly costly to maintain that quality . . . experts believe it's non-point sources that are causing most of the problem and they're being targeted in a new IDEM campaign.

Leaky industrial wastewater pond drained
Mercury-Register, CA - 22 Apr 2003
The city of Oroville's industrial wastewater ponds released wastewater into the underlying soil and groundwater, prompting the city to hire an engineering firm to evaluate the extent of the damage and design a plan to correct the problem.

Official wants land-use change
St. Petersburg Times, FL - 22 Apr 2003
It will bring urban sprawl. It will jam the highways. It will guzzle too much water . . . Such was the criticism of several state agencies asked to evaluate a plan that would invite suburban-style housing on 1,034 acres of pasture belonging to Pasco County Commissioner Ted Schrader.

Growth and Environment: When man evicts beast
Tucson citizen, AZ - 21 Apr 2003
Leaving food and water out for pets, setting trash out unprotected, even putting in gardens and setting out bird feeders create different kinds of habitat that some wildlife can use . . .

As area grows, river's water quality suffers
The Free Lance-Star, VA - 21 Apr 2003
Development in Rappahannock River basin hurts efforts to revive Chesapeake Bay.

Interior officials brace for early fire season
Anchorage Daily News, AK - 21 Apr 2003
Fire season has already begun in Southcentral Alaska. Residents in the Mat-Su area, Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak have to obtain a burn permit before burning open fires. The Anchorage Fire Department has issued a total fire ban on all open burning in Anchorage.

Urban sprawl swallows county
Charlotte Observer, NC - 20 Apr 2003
The development means more affordable homes and the convenience of working and shopping nearby. But it also comes at a steep price: worsening air and water quality, congestion, loss of wildlife, as well as overcrowded roads and schools.

Ibis invasion
Queensland Sunday Mail, Australia - 20 Apr 2003
The native Australian white ibises are becoming so brazen they are stealing everything from sandwiches to cream cakes . . . City workers and shoppers told The Sunday Mail they had been hassled, stalked and even pecked by the birds.

Forests threatened in northern Alta.: Study
Canoe News, Canada - 20 Apr 2003
Alberta's two largest resource industries remain on a collision course, with rapid oilpatch development in the province's north threatening to wipe out old-growth softwood in a generation, a new study says.

Feeding city bears could be hard on your wallet
Anchorage Daily News, AK - 19 Apr 2003
If you want to keep Anchorage's bears wild and alive this season, put away pet food and manage your garbage responsibly. Or brace yourself for some bad financial news: a $100 fine.

Pair of geese attack disabled man near nest
Indianapolis Star, IN - 18 Apr 2003
A disabled Plainfield man was attacked by two Canada geese outside a Northwestside department store in the latest conflict between people and the growing number of the aggressive birds settling in at local ponds.

Latinos form river group
Pasadena Star-News, CA - 18 Apr 2003
A new group enthusiastic about restoring the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo rivers is hoping to become a Latino version of the Sierra Club . . . As an offshoot of the Los Angeles chapter of the Sierra Club, the group is hoping to empower a community it believes cares about the river and the environment but is rarely involved in the political aspect of choosing projects.

Burns reduce wildfire threat
Pensacola News Journal, FL - 18 Apr 2003
A prescribed burn reduces the danger of wildfires by getting rid of underbrush and other potential fuel sources. And as wildfire season peaks this month and next, federal climate and fire officials hope El Nino-fueled rainfall will bring more of that damp soil and less of a fire threat.

Senate approves conservation tax incentives for landowners
Summit Daily News, CO - 18 Apr 2003
The U.S. Senate approved a bill this week that offers landowners four new tax incentives if they place their land in a conservation easement.

Clouds Retreat from Appalachian Forests
Environmental News Network - 17 Apr 2003
Urbanization and deforestation has resulted in warmer air lowland temperatures in the region. Clouds form where warm air hits cold mountain air. But the extra temperature difference has pushed the cloud boundary up higher.

Denver limits lawn watering for 1.2 million customers
Environmental News Network - 17 Apr 2003
The city of Denver restricted outdoor watering for 1.2 million customers Wednesday, saying last month's blizzard did not do enough to ease drought conditions. The rules, which take effect May 1, will allow residents to water two hours twice a week.

County ripe for big burn
Santa Cruz Sentinel, CA - 17 Apr 2003
Santa Cruz County’s scenic ridges and beachside forests are some of the greatest residential fire hazards in the state. Some insurance companies have taken notice and are no longer offering coverage in local neighborhoods. With fire season fast-approaching — the danger period starts in June — area fire chiefs say local urban-wildland corridors are ripe for ignition.

County restricts rural affordable housing
Aspen Times, CO - 17 Apr 2003
Although the application failed, it highlighted the philosophical Catch-22 that arises whenever the county's desire to build affordable housing runs up against its longstanding effort to limit sprawl and preserve the environment.

A hard sell for cellular tower
The Olympian, WA - 17 Apr 2003
Beyond health concerns, neighbors in the Northeast Neighborhood are concerned about the potential damages to the environment, wildlife and property values.

Tree population continues to dwindle
Avon Grove Sun, PA - 17 Apr 2003
The [tree] services are many, she said. In addition to their aesthetic appeal and creating a wildlife habitat, they reduce stormwater runoff, doing the job of municipal sewer systems and other costly public works.

Suburban counties continue to grow
San Antonio Express, TX - 17 Apr 2003
The surging population strains school districts, fire and EMS services, roads and water supplies, officials said, and the spread of impervious cover ' things such as slab foundations, driveways and streets ' causes runoff problems that aggravate flooding.

Sherwood seeks brakes on growth
Oregonian, OR - 17 Apr 2003
Oregon's fastest-growing city during the 1990s has had its fill -- and infill -- of expansion. Officials there are now rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Irrigation blamed for warming effect in San Joaquin, study says
Environmental News Network - 16 Apr 2003
John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said rising valley temperatures may be caused by an overabundance of irrigated land that increases humidity in the air.

GarCo development must be more fire resistant in future
Grand Junction Sentinel, CO - 15 Apr 2003
Future development in rural Garfield County may have to include more fire-resistant building materials and use "defensible space" when landscaping mountain homes, under a new code discussed Monday.

Land owners use secret weapon
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH - 15 Apr 2003
Conservation easements cover 2.6 million acres of farm and privately owned land in the United States, according to LTA's 2000 national land trust census. While still a small percentage of the nation overall, the acreage has quintupled during the past decade.

Planners want proposal to widen road blocked
Boulder Daily Camera, CO - 15 Apr 2003
The Colo. 93 expansion, if not done in concert with regional land-use planning, could spur growth and create traffic instead of meeting the traffic demands that exist today, Toor said.

Winter's legacy could be unsafe water
Norwich Bulletin, CT - 14 Apr 2003
Susceptible wells include all dug or shallow wells, improperly sealed or leaking drilled wells, wellheads at or below ground level, springs and ones that are in densely populated areas because of proximinty to septic systems.

Residents in south Martin County worry about changes to land use
Stuart News, FL - 13 Apr 2003
Ciasulli, of Highland Beach, has asked that the land-use designation be changed . . . might not be appropriate because of environmental impacts . . . Two other proposed rezonings in the south county are to be discussed Tuesday . . .

Hordes of starlings are causing a prodigious flap in Indianapolis
Baltimore Sun, MD - 13 Apr 2003
In Indianapolis, as in many other cities across the United States, Scheiffelin's legacy thrives - much to the dismay of civic leaders and public health officials who have repeatedly tried but failed to drive away a flock estimated to be as large as 100,000 birds.

Klamath irrigation plan gives water to farms and fish
Environmental News Network - 11 Apr 2003
Federal officials said Thursday they expect to have enough water in the Klamath Basin this summer to avoid battles in which farmers pried open irrigation gates one year and environmentalists blamed a massive fish kill on the government the next.

Subdivision raises annexation concerns
Grand Island Independent, NE - 9 Apr 2003
It would cost about $1.3 million to bring in city sewer with just 16 single-family homes to share the cost. Instead, developers K.C. Hehnke and Rick Johnson set out conservation easements on each home lot for both a septic system leachfield and a future backup leachfield.

Rate changes among water saving ideas
Ruidoso News, NM - 8 Apr 2003
Warning that the available quantity of fresh water isn't keeping pace with the consumption demand, members of a village water task force are proposing some dramatic changes for conservation.

Lake water deal decision delayed
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI - 8 Apr 2003
New Berlin's water woes involve both quantity and quality. As the area has grown, the sandstone aquifer that serves much of the region is declining, leading to water-quality problems.

Sussex County, land trust purchase 43-acre farm
Cape Gazette, DE - 7 Apr 2003
Sussex County Council contributed $600,000 to buy a 43-acre parcel, April 1, thus completing a $4 million conservation project that permanently protects 592 acres within the Great Marsh Conservation Area . . . These riparian corridors provide aquatic habitat, a means of travel for plants and animals, as well as a conduit for nutrient exchange between the bay, the marshes and the uplands.

BLM considers changes to grazing policy
SierraTimes.com - 7 Apr 2003
Ranching remains important to the livelihood of many families, to the social and cultural identity of the West, and to the economic vitality of Western rural communities. Also, in the rapidly growing West of the 21st century, ranching plays a critical role in preserving open space and providing wildlife habitat.

Unexpected Babies in Your House?
PNN, VA - 7 Apr 2003
This time of year, people may think they're home alone until they hear ghostly scratching noises coming from the attic, or chirring sounds resonating from the chimney. It's baby season! Springtime is when many wild animals take advantage of holes in attics, uncapped chimneys, and openings under sheds to raise their young.

New urbanism rises from company towns
West County Times, CA - 5 Apr 2003
Hercules has garnered the attention of academics, planners and national publications as a pioneer of the New Urbanism and the creative reuse of brownfields -- fallow, often polluted industrial land -- as cleaned-up housing or cleaner industries.

Protecting land becoming a trend in scenic Rappahannock
Loudoun Times Mirror, VA - 3 Apr 2003
Permanent landscape protection has become a major land use objective of private owners, and the amount of land so dedicated may in 2002 have achieved "critical mass" in Rappahannock.

EPA honors Water district
The Dispatch, CA - 3 Apr 2003
The district demonstrated several watershed protection activities to be considered for the status, including . . .

Too many deer in city?
Vilas County News Review, WI - 2 Apr 2003
Ludwig said the emergency statewide ban on deer feeding and baiting brought many deer into the city in search of food, including residents' plants, cedar shrubs and fruit trees. The statewide ban was put in place last summer after chronic wasting disease (CWD) was discovered in deer in southern Wisconsin.

New thinking needed to stop pollution
Mille Lacs Messenger, MN - 2 Apr 2003
To fight non-point source pollution ' more than 50 percent of which is phosphorous and other algae-breeding nutrients contained in every rain drop ' requires a new way of thinking, Michels said . . . 'Water quality is tied to land use, which is determined at the local level,' he said.

Tips on fire-safe landscaping
Morgan Hill Times, CA - 1 Apr 2003
Every year there are news clips of homes lost to wildfire. Many people think they are lucky it wasn’t their home. Luck may play a part, but there are steps homeowners can take to reduce the risks of wildfire.

Officials want homeowners to learn how to avoid fires
Durango Herald, CO - 1 Apr 2003
Fire officials believe more wildfires are unavoidable in Southwest Colorado this summer. So using lessons learned last summer, local, state and federal officials plan to educate more residents on how to protect their homes. They also plan to create new fire-mitigation programs.