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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May 2003 contains 52 News Articles.

S.L. County Cutting on Blaze Risks
Salt Lake Tribune, UT - 31 May 2003
With a heavy fire season expected during a fifth year of drought -- and under pressure from home-insurance companies -- some of the foliage close to the home has to go.

Ill-tempered swan tamed
Milford Daily News, MA - 31 May 2003
Officials with the Humane Society of the United States think they have changed the behavior of an ill-tempered swan that has been terrorizing paddlers who dare venture into its territory on the Eel River in Plymouth.

Vegas drought may wither growth
USA Today - 29 May 2003
When one of the worst droughts on record hit America's fastest-growing urban area, something had to give.

Study Says Agriculture and Urban Growth can Coexist
CIVITAS2004 - 29 May 2003
A new study suggests that agriculture can successfully coexist with continuing population growth and urban sprawl in some areas of the US Great Plains. The study finds that despite explosive population growth over the last 50 years in Denver, Boulder and other nearby cities, the total harvested area in the region increased by five percent and the amount of irrigated land that is harvested jumped by 73 percent.

Los Angeles County board approves environmental plan for huge development
Environmental News Network - 28 May 2003
The proposed 20,885-home Newhall Ranch development, in oak- and sage-covered hills about 35 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, will need more approvals from a judge and county officials to be built. But the 4-1 vote was a defeat for environmentalists, who said they may sue to stop the project.

Half U.S. Climate Warming Due to Land Use Changes
Environment News Service - 28 May 2003
The growth of cities and industrial agriculture is responsible for more of the rise in temperature across the United States than scientists previously believed, according to a new study by scientists at the University of Maryland. They found that land use changes may account for up to half of the observed surface global warming.

West girds for water wars
Salem Statesman Journal, OR - 27 May 2003
Fast forward two decades, when Salem’s population is expected to swell by about 25 percent. Even in nondrought years, that will increase the city’s demand for water, and ratchet up competition among irrigators, recreationers and imperiled fish and wildlife. That’s why a recent report by the U.S. Department of the Interior lists Salem among a batch of western cities likely to face conflicts about water by the year 2025.

Lake water quality influences land values
Agri News, MN - 27 May 2003
A new study of lakes in north-central Minnesota shows that clear water can boost the value of lakeshore property, giving property owners and elected officials a new reason to think about land-use and development issues.

Collecting rainwater helps world water supply
Environmental News Network - 27 May 2003
Cheap measures like collecting rainwater or plugging leaky pipes can go a long way to meeting a U.N. goal of improving water supplies in the developing world by 2015, the new head of a U.N. commission said on Monday.

Fire mitigation practices protect homes
Summit Daily News, CO - 26 May 2003
Fire mitigation won't eliminate the chances of a fire burning down a house, but it will reduce the odds . . . There are numerous things homeowners can do to reduce those odds . . .

Colorado Outfitters Optimistic on Summer
Dayton Daily News, OH - 26 May 2003
A year after wildfires and a persistent drought crippled the outdoor recreation industry, rafters, fishermen and boaters are beginning to return to the water.

A Losing Battle
High Country News - 26 May 2003
We're spending billions to fight 'catastrophic' forest fires. But the big blowups will continue, whether we like it or not. For the forests, this may be good news.

Fire-prone properties could lose coverage
The Casper Star Tribune, WY - 24 May 2003
Over the next few years, some 1,200 State Farm customers in Wyoming's wildfire-prone areas must create "defensible space" around their homes or risk losing home insurance coverage.

New Jersey Is Running Out of Open Land It Can Build on
New York Times, NY - 24 May 2003
New Jersey, far more densely populated than any other state ' more crowded than Japan or India, for that matter ' is on course for another distinction: it will be the first state, land-use experts say, to exhaust its supply of land available for development.

Fire chiefs offer controlled-burn tips
Durango Herald, CO - 23 May 2003
When burning grass fields or slash, the Fire Chiefs’ Association recommends the following guidelines for a safe burn . . .

Chattanooga inventory of trees uses satellites
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN - 23 May 2003
Global positioning satellite technology pinpointed the location of each tree. City Forester Gene Hyde said the inventory, now stored in a computer format known as a global imaging system, will be an aid in managing tree maintenance costs.

Thirsty Work
Bremerton Sun, WA - 23 May 2003
The Kitsap Peninsula might have far less drinking water available than experts once believed . . . Some ideas not even proposed a few years ago -- such as recharging Kitsap's underground aquifers with treated sewage effluent -- already are being considered for one or more pilot projects.

Division of rural lands threatens wildlife, family farms
Country World, TX - 22 May 2003
According to press releases and material offered by the study group, Texas' rural lands that are being divided into smaller "ranchettes" are threatening wildlife and the family farms who make their living off the land.

City Installs First Fuel Cell Power Plant
CIVITAS2004 - 22 May 2003
Downtown Los Angeles can now draw power from a hydrogen-powered fuel cell thanks to the successful installation of the powerplant by FuelCell Energy Inc.

The 2003 Fire Season
Whitehouse.gov, DC - 20 May 2003
The Bush Administration - through the Department of the Interior agencies and the Forest Service at the Department of Agriculture - is responding to this challenge by: proposing record levels of funding for firefighting (up 55 percent from 2000), hiring additional fire fighters, purchasing additional equipment, accomplishing record levels of fuels treatment (this year's estimated 2.8 million acres being treated is up 1,600,000 acres since 2000) and by advancing its Healthy Forests Initiative (including four administrative reforms and proposed legislation) as a long-term solution.

Fires: Season will be bad one
Modesto Bee, CA - 18 May 2003
Fire season is a late bloomer this year, said Karen Terrill, information officer for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. But once here, it will pose bigger risks than usual, she warned.

Vast pipeline proposed to restore quality, quantity
Great Falls Tribune, MT - 18 May 2003
Two test wells will be drilled in early June to find out if there is enough good water in a deep aquifer at the foot of the Little Belt Mountains to connect communities on the lower Musselshell River to a proposed 220-mile pipeline. The regional water system has the potential to serve Utica, Hobson, Moore, Judith Gap, Harlowton, Shawmut, Ryegate, Lavina, Roundup, Musselshell, Melstone and Broadview.

Glades water woes go unsolved
Palm Beach Post, FL - 18 May 2003
Working-class residents who live in Pahokee and the other small cities along the eastern and southern edges of Lake Okeechobee have dealt with bad drinking water for years. Smelly water. Water with a green tint. Water with stuff floating in it.

West Nile panic threat to wetlands
St. Catharines Standard, Canada - 16 May 2003
West Nile virus could take a bite out of Niagara’s fragile wetlands this summer as worried residents consider filling in swampy areas to ward off virus-spreading mosquitoes.

Drain walkers track pollution
Port Huron Times Herald, MI - 16 May 2003
The gray-green sludge oozing from a septic-system pipe Tuesday into an open ditch on Plank Road was one of about 100 pollution problems found by officials last year in St. Clair County's southern tip.

Water shortage may halt developments
San Mateo County Times, CA - 15 May 2003
"Show me the money" may be an outdated saying, at least in the context of land-use planning in Redwood City . . . With the city already exceeding its allocation of Hetch Hetchy water by more than 1,100 acre-feet a year, and several large developments in the works, "show me the water" is more applicable.

Top 25 turtles on death row
EurekAlert, DC - 15 May 2003
Turtles are increasingly threatened by human exploitation and development-related pressures. Of particular concern is the unrelenting demand from the Asian food and traditional medicine market . . . threats include development, habitat destruction and fragmentation, as well as unregulated pet trade collection.

New Portland to improve water quality
Kingfield Irregular, ME - 14 May 2003
For the past several months, the New Portland Water District has been in the process of improving the quality (uranium levels) and quantity (recent drought) of the town's water.

Deal reached to save endangered fox on private farmland
Environmental News Network - 14 May 2003
The federal government and a private farming company have reached an agreement to protect the endangered San Joaquin kit fox in Kern County, the first time such a deal has been struck to protect endangered species on private land, wildlife officials said.

Water conservation starts at home
Environmental News Network - 14 May 2003
Drought-parched areas may look skyward for help from Mother Nature, but how well the United States copes with water shortages depends on down-to-earth conservators: homeowners.

Authorities begin to crack down on California homeowners without water meters
Environmental News Network - 14 May 2003
Water meters have been a touchy subject in Central California. While all businesses are metered in Fresno, residents have repeatedly voted down measures to install residential water meters, even changing the city charter in 1992 to ban meter reading.

Martin proposes higher impact fees
Stuart News, FL - 14 May 2003
The proposal includes across-the-board increases in the cost of building new houses, stores, restaurants, offices, banks, churches, day care centers, service stations, industrial buildings, and recreational facilities . . . used to pay for new law enforcement, emergency services, transportation, recreation, library and local government facilities, county records state.

Hallowell attains status as latest Tree City USA
Central Maine Daily Sentinel, ME - 14 May 2003
John Rosenow, foundation president, said the national award recognizes cities that have proven their commitment to an effective urban forestry program.

Urban sprawl threatens forest
Augusta Chronicle, GA - 12 May 2003
Although it might seem to be a permanent fixture, the urban forest - including some trees now nearly 90 years old - is susceptible to the commercial growth around it and is becoming more in need of maintenance.

Smart Growth quietly moving along
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI - 10 May 2003
Dogged by controversy from the day it was proposed, the state's Smart Growth land-use planning law is no less controversial today - even as hundreds of communities around the state start to meet its requirements.

Beasts in the Back Yard
Washington Post, DC - 10 May 2003
Across the region, an influx of refuse-raiding raccoons, mooching deer and carrion-crunching crows are invading backyard gardens and infiltrating garbage cans. And as with the geese at Lake Barcroft, residents have been faced with the conundrum of how to handle animals many view with equal parts awe and anger.

Vail tries to bolster wildfire defenses
Vail Daily News, CO - 9 May 2003
Almost a century of putting out wildfires has left forests too dense and thus more susceptible to larger fires . . . Worsening the problem is a pine-beetle infestation that's killing many trees in the valley.

Unplanned growth threatens super city
Brisbane Courier Mail, Australia - 9 May 2003
He will tell a planning conference on the Gold Coast today that Brisbane and the surrounding region displayed many symptoms of "dumb growth", including an over reliance on car transport, the gradual disappearance of green open space and high pollution levels.

Homeowners take advantage of fire supression program
Reno Gazette Journal, NV - 8 May 2003
'Some folks were concerned because we hadn’t moved anything from the site,' he said, 'but what we’ve done is rearrange the fuel dramatically and that changes the fire behavior. If this material caught on fire, you’d be looking at 6-inch flames you could probably stamp out with your foot. That’s compared to fire jumping from tree to tree.'

Park Schedules Prescribed Fires this Spring
Mammoth Times, CA - 8 May 2003
Yosemite National Park will be conducting prescribed fire activities this spring to meet the 2003 management goals for wildland-urban interface protection and ecosystem restoration. Park operations will continue as usual during these prescribed fires, scheduled for ignition between April 28 and July 1.

Brushy growth, hotter weather fuel fire danger in Valley cities
Arizona Republic, AZ - 8 May 2003
Many of the houses in those old burn areas are built in fire-resistant masonry construction and red-tile roofs. But they're still being built on top of grassy hillsides.

At 10,000 Feet, Can a Fire-Spotting Camera Discriminate?
New York Times, NY - 8 May 2003
Now Donald McKeown and Michael Richardson, two imaging scientists at the Rochester Institute of Technology, have come up with an airborne array of four digital cameras that they plan to begin testing this summer. They say the array will overcome several significant problems with current aerial camera systems and distinguish fires as small as one foot across from a height of 10,000 feet.

Corner to stay free of retailers
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, FL - 8 May 2003
A request to turn 23 rural acres into a commercial development was rejected this week without a word from the more than 100 residents who showed up to oppose the proposal.

Ecologists' new lab: the asphalt jungle
Christian Science Monitor - 6 May 2003
Marzluff and his students are studying the behavior of these urban crows and other, less resilient birds, figuring out how each species gets by. By sharing this data with local planners, they hope to preserve Seattle's disappearing biodiversity.

Fire Safe Council Awarded $1.1 Million in Grants to Prepare California Residents for Fire Season
Business Wire - 5 May 2003
Today marks the opening of Wildfire Awareness Week, May 5-11, and the California Fire Safe Council (FSC) is calling on Californians to take action to give their homes and communities a fighting chance against wildfire this season.

Bills pushing to curb sprawl
Ventura County Star, CA - 5 May 2003
As new subdivisions continue to chew up vast swaths of farmland throughout California, a band of legislators is aggressively pushing bills aimed at curbing the state's legendary sprawl while creating more affordable housing.

Photo of panther provides anti-growth ammunition for environmental groups
Bonita Daily News, FL - 3 May 2003
The photograph was taken on university property that's adjacent to the proposed Miromar Lakes land use change. Much of the land east of the university is considered priority panther habitat by government agencies.

Government to study how cell phone towers affect the environment
Environmental News Network - 2 May 2003
Federal regulators launched a broad effort Thursday to study and police how the growing number of cell phone and broadcast towers sprouting across the country affects historic sites, Indian land, and the environment . . . "we need to look at the bigger picture: the effects of towers on things like wetlands and fisheries and birds."

Cities See Increased Rainfall from Urban Heat Island Impact
CIVITAS2004 - 1 May 2003
Researchers at the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) have used a rainfall-measuring satellite to confirm that "urban heat-islands," the phenomena where cities are hotter than their surrounding areas, create more summer rain over and downwind of major cities.

Public-Private Pact Protects Hawaii's Forest Watersheds
Environmental News Service - 1 May 2003
To restore degraded forest watersheds and protect Hawaii's water resources, Governor Linda Lingle has signed an agreement with 50 public and private landowners to voluntarily protect large areas of forested watersheds for water recharge and preservation of native ecosystems.

The Effects of Growth Management on Berthoud
Denver Post, CO - 1 May 2003
This study examined the growth cap in this context of overall net impact to a community and found that the consequences were far reaching and immediate.

Saltwater plan gets fresh start
Augusta Chronicle, GA - 1 May 2003
It's a long shot, but the Georgia coast could become an important source of water for Atlanta if removing salt from seawater proves to be cost-effective.