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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Aug 2003 contains 33 News Articles.

Fire a fact of life if you build in woods
Edmonton Journal, Canada - 31 Aug 2003
Fires on what is now called the "wildland-urban interface" are a growing phenomenon as people attempt to combine the amenities of urban life with the pleasures of nature.

Acreage, number of fires surpass 2000 season
The Missoulian, MT - 31 Aug 2003
The 2003 wildfire season has officially surpassed that of 2000, both in the number of fires fought and the acreage burned in the northern Rocky Mountains.

Alberta town working to reduce forest fire risk
CTV, Canada - 31 Aug 2003
Over the past three years, forestry workers have laboured diligently to protect the hamlet of 300 people, just east of Banff National Park with a 300-metre wide fire break around the community, by thinning out the forest, removing older trees and getting rid of the dead wood and growth on the forest floor. In town, they have done the same on every patch of provincial land.

Group to file suit to halt water releases
Stuart News, FL - 30 Aug 2003
As water managers significantly increased the volume of water being released from Lake Okeechobee, the Rivers Coalition on Friday voted to sue state water quality regulators to try to stop the polluting discharges.

Something for, against the birds
Arizona Republic, AZ - 29 Aug 2003
The issue of bird feeding is controversial in Maricopa County and elsewhere. On one hand are people like Robert Witzeman, conservation chairman for the Maricopa Audubon Society, who points to the health risks to birds related to feeding them. On the other are the backyard bird feeders who are alarmed about an upcoming program by the Arizona Department of Game and Fish that aims to discourage people from feeding wildlife.

British company running Guyana's water company to cut supply for unpaid bills
Environmental News Network - 27 Aug 2003
In a bid to make up millions of dollars in debt, the British company running Guyana's water utility said Tuesday it would begin cutting supplies to press thousands of customers to pay their bills.

U.N. seeks donors to fight loss of fertile soil
Environmental News Network - 27 Aug 2003
The gradual decline in soil productivity resulting from deforestation, over-grazing, and climate change threatens the food security of 1.2 billion people in 110 countries, said the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

European research helps fight fires in Southern Europe
Europa, Belgium - 27 Aug 2003
Due to this summer's unprecedented heat wave, we have been witnessing particularly devastating fires in Southern Europe, particularly around the Mediterranean. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest in Portugal, France, Spain and Italy have gone up in smoke, causing loss of life, destruction of homes, and millions of Euros in damage. European forest fire research is helping to fight such problems by providing improved fire suppression techniques, from the air and on the ground, and through daily fire danger maps, which provide valuable information to civil protection authorities to dispatch their ground forces and heavy equipment. Fire monitoring equipment and remote smoke and fire detection devices used to supplement human lookout towers are also being used in the fight against forest fires. These techniques and deliverables result from a series of EU research projects.

U.S. expands long-term land and water reserve
Environmental News Network - 26 Aug 2003
The Agriculture Department said Monday it will expand its premiere land, water, and wildlife stewardship program by accepting 2 million acres into the Conservation Reserve.

A perfect setting -- for disaster
Edmonton Journal, Canada - 26 Aug 2003
The forested fringe of one of Canada's most attractive cities seemed to many well-off Kelowna property owners like the perfect place to build a home, but the growing trend is resulting in an increasing number of disasters in western North America.

Game and Fish proposes ban on feeding wild animals
Arizona Republic, AZ - 25 Aug 2003
Officials attribute a recent rise in aggression by wild animals, especially coyotes, to a growing reliance on humans for food. Fed animals lose their natural fear of humans.

New Wildland Fire Report Addresses Fire Service Needs
Yahoo News - 23 Aug 2003
Congress and the federal government can significantly reduce the damaging impacts of wildfire by improving the preparedness of rural firefighters working on the front lines to defend at-risk communities and resources, according to a report released today by the nation's leading fire service organizations.

New study aims to preserve land and water
Holland Sentinel, MI - 19 Aug 2003
The 90-page report from the Michigan Land Use Leadership Council proposes more than 150 recommendations to regulate or guide growth and land use.

Lightning fire used to manage fuels
Porterville Recorder, CA - 18 Aug 2003
A lightning fire which has been allowed to burn since Aug. 1 has become the largest fire use project in the history of Sequoia National Forest. The fire has burned more than 500 acres, consuming brush, pine needles and small trees.

Arundo grass: Boon to some, bane to others
News-Sun, FL - 17 Aug 2003
A Gulf Breeze-based firm reportedly is considering bringing a new plant to Highlands County. It is called arundo grass, or Arundo donax. The bamboo-like grass can reach heights of 30 feet, growing as much as three inches or more overnight. While officials of the Biomass Investment Group believe it is the next big thing in energy production, experts at the University of California Davis have listed it as one of the worst invasive species in the golden state.

Invasion of non-natives threatens environment
Baltimore Sun, MD - 17 Aug 2003
This summer, a number of Maryland ponds are endangered by harmful non-native animals and plants, and many of the invasions are the result of careless actions by people.

Conditions ripe for record fire season
Great Falls Tribune, MT - 17 Aug 2003
As of Saturday, 51 large fires were burning in Montana and Idaho, according to the fire center. In the past three days, an average of eight new significant fires were reported daily -- that's not including hundreds of smaller fires that rural and volunteer crews have tackled.

Cattle ranch could be protected from development
San Jose Mercury News, CA - 17 Aug 2003
The 870-acre Grossi beef ranch could be preserved as part of a program that allows farmers and ranchers to keep their land while selling the development rights, according to officials with the Marin Agricultural Land Trust.

Precious resource endangered
Shawnee News Star, OK - 16 Aug 2003
The city [Shawnee] and surrounding communities are facing increasing challenges in making its water readily available and drinkable. The problems are not one-dimensional.

Rio Poco: The once-mighty Rio Grande has slowed to a trickle
Environmental News Network - 15 Aug 2003
But amidst the growth [in the Lower Rio Grande Valley], an important fact was overlooked. The valley, geographically speaking, is one step away from being a desert. Groundwater supplies are poor, brackish, and unhealthy. The Rio Grande made the lower valley an oasis, providing virtually the only source of water for people, crops, industry, and wildlife. But as the border region has grown, the river has not, and people on both banks have a big problem on their hands.

Texas governor considers withholding water from Mexico in treaty dispute
Environmental News Network - 15 Aug 2003
The United States should consider stopping the flow of water to Mexico from the Colorado River if the southern neighbor continues to lag behind in its water-sharing obligations under a 1944 treaty, Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday.

Proposed Purchase of Conservation Easement Creates New Definition of 'Conservation' for Fisheating C
Earth Justice, CA - 15 Aug 2003
The State of Florida is considering buying a conservation easement on 24,000 acres in Glades County at a cost to taxpayers of $23 million. The sale of this conservation easement would not actually conserve the land, but subject it to severe environmental harm.

Great Haven for Families, but Don't Bring Children
The New York Times - 13 Aug 2003
Everyone agrees that this recently rural township, its sleepy streets fringed by old farms, is a fine place to rear children. And in just a few years, hundreds of children have arrived, each like an invoice addressed to taxpayers. Now the town faces another expense, the legal defense of a new ordinance that will, in effect, keep down the number of families moving in. The courts will decide whether the restriction, limiting new multifamily housing units to two bedrooms, crosses a fine line between zoning meant to slow galloping development and zoning meant to keep out families with children.

Wildlife authorities on Maui want to eradicate an invasive parrot species
Environmental News Network - 13 Aug 2003
Wildlife authorities on Maui want to eradicate an invasive parrot species they say threatens crops and native forest. The flock of about 200 mitered conures is "a ticking time bomb" that could become impossible to control and lead to the spread of the pernicious miconia weed, said state wildlife biologist Fern Duvall.

Swans: The Ugly truth
Wakefield Observer, MA - 13 Aug 2003
Wakefield has a wild geese problem, but another variety of waterfowl may be struggling to gain a foothold in the region. Mute swans, though rarely seen here, are beginning to appear in greater numbers in the region, and that could be another headache for towns that become unwitting hosts to the messy birds.

16,000 landowners saving habitats for wildlife and people with Ducks Unlimited Canada
Environmental News Network - 13 Aug 2003
To date, DUC and its partner landowners have saved 1.6 million hectares (4 million acres) of land through management agreements, conservation easements and sustainable land use programs. That's close to the size of Lake Ontario.

Highlands protection 'a burning ecological concern'
Brookfield Journal, CT - 11 Aug 2003
A band of largely non-urbanized forest snaking through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Northwestern Connecticut may soon have a nationally recognized name and federal money designated for its protection.

Uncommon landscape invites wildlife
Muncie Star Press, IN - 11 Aug 2003
The 6-acre property is not dominated by mowed turf and exotic ornamental plants, nor is it dependent on chemicals and supplemental watering. Instead, the couple have tried to restore some ecological balance by creating wildlife habitat such as Indian grass, milkweed, a blackberry patch, home-made bird houses, wetlands, and a butterfly garden.

Six states say California's water-sharing deal is unacceptable
Environmental News Network - 8 Aug 2003
Six Western states that share the Colorado River with California have told Gov. Gray Davis that a landmark deal aimed at weaning the state from its overuse of the river's water is unacceptable.

Drip irrigation isn't just for commercial gardeners anymore
Environmental News Network - 7 Aug 2003
Extensive drought and tougher water restrictions are forcing homeowners to water more efficiently and more responsibly. In many areas of the nation, there simply isn't enough water to go around. Enter drip irrigation, which ends the wasteful practice of spraying or gushing water into the air. The system simply drips, applying moisture precisely where and when plants need it. There's little evaporation and virtually no runoff.

Radar data may aid firefighters
Helena Independent Record, MT - 5 Aug 2003
Researchers used special radar to track the twists and turns of air billowing around an intense blaze near Glacier National Park last week, hoping to find a way to better predict wildfires.

Fund for Animals Wildlife Expert Suggests Humane Ways To Evict Animal Squatters from Your Home
Yahoo News (press release) - 5 Aug 2003
"The bottom line is that wild animal conflicts can be simply and effectively resolved using a few simple household tools, a little patience, a little knowledge, and some ingenuity," says Simon.

Interstate water deal draws fire from critics
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, FL - 4 Aug 2003
Florida officials call it just a starting point, even though the leaders of Alabama and Georgia say they think a final pact is close. Whatever happens, a long-awaited agreement among the three states could dictate the water flow for nearly the next half-century of one of the Southeast's largest river systems.