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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Sep 2003 contains 40 News Articles.

California moves to end Colorado River water wars
Environmental News Network - 30 Sep 2003
California took a major step Monday toward resolving its so-called water wars and reducing the amount it draws from the giant Colorado River, largely at the expense of the state's desert farmers. As California's dependence on water from the Colorado River is gradually reduced, the other Colorado basin states will be able to claim their legally entitled amounts of Colorado River water over the course of the 75-year deal.

WWF/Adena warns that climate change could make efforts to preserve species useless
CIVITAS2004 - 29 Sep 2003
According to a new report by the organisation, climate changes alter the natural limits of the distribution of species, forcing them to migrate or colonise new areas in response to the new conditions. These rapid changes are resulting in the loss of rare or threatened species all over the world.

Costly invaders: Non-native species worm their way into indigenous species' territory
San Antonio Express, TX - 28 Sep 2003
Thousands of non-native species cause billions of dollars in damage to crops, lawns, wildlife, waterways, businesses and ecosystems in the United States every year. Many of them are obvious pests, but others, like some popular ornamental plants, have useful economic niches from which they jump to devour the surrounding countryside. And invited or not, more keep coming.

Housing projects' impact on area has some worried
Vero Beach Press-Journal, FL - 28 Sep 2003
She [county commissioner] said governments do not see any tax money from new neighborhoods until they're almost two years old, but see large impacts on roads, to the delivery of emergency services and other areas almost immediately.

Business Group Outlines Water Plan
Lakeland Ledger, FL - 26 Sep 2003
A business group that advises Gov. Jeb Bush outlined Thursday a politically volatile plan that could result in shifting water from rural, sparsely populated regions to Florida's ever-growing cities.

Groton officials grapple with growth
Lowell Sun, MA - 25 Sep 2003
Article 15, on the warrant for the Oct. 27 Special Town Meeting, proposes to limit the number of building permits for new residential dwellings each year to the average number of permits issued during the previous five years.

California to buy 2,800 acres to block development, create $150 million nature preserve
Environmental News Network - 24 Sep 2003
The state has agreed to buy 2,800 acres for a tentative $150 million to block construction of a $2 billion golf course and housing community and create a nature preserve in its place.

We must keep cool heads about forest fires
Environmental News Network - 23 Sep 2003
Forest fires are natural occurrences, but massive fires like the ones that burned in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley this year are normally rare. Decades of poor forestry practices combined with lower precipitation and an unusual, summer-long drought (a harbinger of things to come if we don't address global warming) created a situation in which the province's forests became catastrophically flammable.

Forestry waste could help meet Kyoto targets, says study
Environmental News Network - 23 Sep 2003
Stumps, branches, tree tops, and other foliage left in forests by logging firms release carbon dioxide over time as they decompose. Using the material as fuel to produce electricity or processing them into pulp and paper could cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, the scientists said in a report released before a World Forestry Congress meeting in Quebec City.

Asian long horned beetle dines in Toronto
Toronto Town Crier Newspapers, Canada - 22 Sep 2003
The beetle is not native to North America and destroys trees in both an urban and natural setting when its larvae feed on them from the inside. It was recently discovered in Vaughn where a resident found it on the hood of his car. He killed the insect and reported it to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Living clean in Santa Fe while St. Louis has the blues
Environmental News Network - 19 Sep 2003
The survey, released in this month's issue of the magazine [Organic Style], looked at factors such as exposure to agricultural pollutants and general toxins as well as overall air quality. About 5,500 pieces of data were crunched to produce the results.

New Technology Helps Fire Managers Anticipate Smoke Problems
Science Daily - 19 Sep 2003
Smoke from planned fires and wildfires affects air quality and visibility. Firefighters, forest managers, farmers, motorists, and people with respiratory problems all need accurate and timely information regarding smoke and visibility when fires burn. BlueSkyRAINS is a technology that allows fire professionals and ordinary citizens to coordinate outdoor activities around fire operations. It is currently being used daily by incident command teams for about 100 wildfires in the Western States.

Some good, quality water
Rockingham News, NH - 19 Sep 2003
A Massachusetts town wants to suck water out of New Hampshire, but it may need a flexible straw to weave through the state permitting process.

Residents Finding Out Wild Animals Not Just Visiting
NBC5i.com, TX - 19 Sep 2003
People in Fort Worth have been spotting an unexpected and an unwelcome neighbor in their communities: coyotes. The residents are quickly finding out the wild animals are not just visiting.

Study shows massive tree loss in U.S. cities
Environmental News Network - 18 Sep 2003
The vast tree loss contributes to environmental and health problems that have cost an estimated $234 billion, the group American Forests said in a study released at the annual National Urban Forest Conference. . . . a four-year study of 448 urban areas using satellite imaging to compare with a similar study 10 years ago found 21 percent less tree canopy.

Weekends affect Mother Nature too
Environmental News Network - 18 Sep 2003
Life is different on weekends, a distinction that seems to affect Mother Nature as well as people. Climate researchers studying records at thousands of locations have discovered that, in many communities, the temperature range between the daily high and low changes on the weekend. And, as with some people, there seems to be a little hangover of this weekend effect on Mondays.

New green corridor creates Brazilian "super-park"
Environmental News Network - 17 Sep 2003
Brazilian authorities said on Tuesday they were creating a "conservation corridor" linking 10 million hectares (25 million acres) of pristine wilderness. The decision was hailed by environmentalists. The governor of the northern state of Amapa, Waldez Goes, unveiled plans for the corridor linking 12 protected areas at the 5th World Parks Congress being held in Durban, South Africa.

Macomb puts nature on the map
Detroit News, MI - 15 Sep 2003
Environmentalist Nancy Orewyler has heard this excuse countless times from developers eager to destroy wetlands to build new subdivisions in Macomb County: "I didn't know it was a wetland." But that may no longer be sufficient reason to go ahead with development on dwindling wetlands when the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development in December completes a mapping process to identify and rank wetlands, woodlands, wildlife and other natural resources.

Sixty per cent of Canada's forests intact, satellite images show
Canada East, Canada - 15 Sep 2003
About 60 per cent of Canada's forests remain essentially untouched by industrial activity, according to an atlas based on the latest satellite imagery. Until now, information about the state of Canada's forests has been largely been largely based on statistics about timber production.

List of preserved lands grows for nature group
Salt Lake Tribune, UT - 15 Sep 2003
The Nature Conservancy of Utah has added 640 acres to its growing patchwork of preserved lands surrounding the Colorado River in southeastern Utah. The acquisition is considered critical to the nonprofit conservation organization's Colorado River Corridor conservation plan -- a long-range effort to protect a large swath of backcountry lands in scenic Professor Valley from commercial development.

Saving our farms
Kane County Chronicle, IL - 14 Sep 2003
Dave Werdin casts a wary eye to the east and does not particularly like what he sees. Cities in the Fox River valley continue to annex land to the west, shopping centers and housing developments sprout like weeds and traffic chokes Kane County's once quiet rural roads. Today, Werdin wants to take another step to protect farmland. He has applied to Kane County's Farmland Protection Program with the idea of selling to the county the development rights to his land.

Commission proposes plan for preserving county's open spaces
Rock Hill Herald, SC - 14 Sep 2003
Abandoned rail lines in the area are ideal places to begin a greenway/trail system. Utilizing the old tracks is one of the many methods members of the York County Forever Commission have proposed in a plan to preserve open space, build greenways and trails, and protect the water and air quality in the county.

River restoration gets greener
Environmental News Network - 12 Sep 2003
The half-mile project is an effort to demonstrate new eco-friendly techniques for bank stabilization and river restoration instead of using rock and concrete, or "hard armor." Trout Headwaters Inc. (THI), based in Livingston, Mont., has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to demonstrate the effectiveness of these new techniques across highly varied river systems before they are applied nationally and internationally.

Infusion for forests in works
Denver Post, CO - 12 Sep 2003
Top officials in the U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain region in late August allocated up to $9 million for several large-scale forest health projects - and Front Range communities at risk from wildfire stand to benefit, said regional forester Rick Cables.

Reducing Wildfire Threat in Anchorage Through GIS
DirectionsMag.com, IL - 11 Sep 2003
The Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) has recently taken aggressive steps to reduce its risk of wildfire. In 2001, the MOA was declared a community at risk for wildfire by the USDA Forest Service. A community at risk is defined as having a wildland/urban interface that has dangerously high wildfire risks. The MOA contracted IGIS Technologies (IGIST), Inc. (San Diego, Calif.) to classify vegetation and forest fuel structure and develop spatial models that produce relative fire risk maps.

More Tree Thinning in Area Funded
East Mountain Telegraph, NM - 11 Sep 2003
The East Mountain Forest Health Program will receive another $365,000 in grant funding, said Susan Rich of the Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District. The money will allow the program to move forward with its tree thinning project in the East Mountains, in which 240 residents have already participated.

Africa could face water wars if continent's rivers aren't managed better
Enviromental News Network - 10 Sep 2003
African countries could face water wars if the power of their mighty rivers isn't properly harnessed and shared, officials from across the continent said Tuesday. More than two-thirds of Africa's 60 river basins are shared by more than one country, creating potential conflict over how they should be harnessed and used. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) warned in a recent report that water wars are likely in areas where rivers are shared by more than one country.

Burning questions
Baltimore Sun, MD - 9 Sep 2003
Why do we make such efforts to prevent something that has been part of the life cycle of forests for eons? Because today, there are rising numbers of homes and people in the path of these fires. But trying to save those houses by drowning wildfires is like trying to prevent shipwrecks by outlawing storms. Just as boats can be designed to withstand violent turbulence, dwellings can be made to survive even huge infernos.

Protecting forests is vital for providing large cities with affordable drinking water
CIVITAS2004 - 8 Sep 2003
Protecting forests is an effective and very economical means of ensuring the supply of high-quality drinking water for the largest cities in the world, producing important economic and health benefits for the inhabitants of the metropolises, according to a report issued today by the World Bank and the environmental defence organisation, WWF/Adena, which points out the need to protect watersheds if one wants to reduce poverty and halve the number of people without adequate access to water by the year 2015.

25 Category 1 Invasive Exotic Plants found in Southwest Florida
Charlotte Sun-Herald, FL - 8 Sep 2003
For decades, newcomers to Florida planted fast-growing non-native plants and transplanted gardeners tried to mimic plants found in their home state. What happened is that exotic plants began to overrun Florida's ecosystem and change the native Florida landscape. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Invasive Plant Management, there are 25 Category 1 invasive exotic plants in Southwest Florida. The report was released this year and the plants are placed on this list because of the documented ecological damage they cause.

State grant to help build wildlife oasis
Times Picayune, LA - 7 Sep 2003
With a $200,000-plus state grant, the city's first Neighborwoods proposal will turn several undeveloped acres at the end of Garden Drive into a urban wildlife area accessed by limited trails and wooden walkways and provide a natural laboratory for students to study the ecosystems of wetlands.

Local building boom forces more raccoons into the city
Brampton Guardian, Canada - 5 Sep 2003
Brampton's rapid development is forcing raccoons out of forests and into backyards and attics, says a local pest control company. The complaints R and J Wildlife receive are increasing and owner Terasa Johnston is pointing her finger at the number of subdivisions popping up.

Boise Cascade to stop purchase of old-growth wood
Environmental News Network - 4 Sep 2003
In a statement, Boise said it would promote sustainable forest management by tracking the source of wood products and giving preference to suppliers who use wood harvested from certified forests. Boise's move is Corporate America's latest reaction to pressure from environmental groups that want a reduction in the dependence on old-growth and endangered forests.

EPA Works Toward Raising Public Awareness on Water Efficiency
U.S. Newswire, DC - 4 Sep 2003
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Assistant Administrator for Water, G. Tracy Mehan, III, announced today that the Agency is planning a national program to promote water-efficient products to consumers. Water use has gained national attention with more than 36 states expecting to experience water shortages over the next ten years even without drought conditions.

Devices to keep road pollutants from lake
Orlando Sentinel, FL - 4 Sep 2003
Most of the rain that falls on Sanford eventually flows through a network of pipes and ditches into Lake Monroe. Some of that water is never treated -- meaning it carries oil, fertilizer, trash and other nasties directly into the lake. That's about to change, at least for Seminole Boulevard, which runs along the lake.

Growing flowers for a rainy day
The Green Bay News-Chronicle, WI - 2 Sep 2003
Bowden, who started her rain garden about a year and a half ago, is one of a growing number of people who have found a gardener's way of turning lemons into lemonade: She's turned runoff water from her neighbor's garage into a way to raise a colorful garden of bergamot and daisies.

A disappearing way of life Yuroks fear Klamath River water grabs are devastating salmon & tradition
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - 2 Sep 2003
The tribe blames last year's kill on upriver agricultural diversions. But farmers and a federal agency that controls the Klamath's flow maintain that irrigation isn't the only factor in salmon mortality, and that water conservation measures have been implemented to minimize the potential for future kills.

Public needs more sustainable choices, says report
Environmental News Network - 2 Sep 2003
Government should give individuals more choices on issues such as clean air, traffic congestion, and sustainable agricultural systems, rather than being bombarded with more "trivial" consumer choices, says a new report by the Fabian Society.

Plant Threats San Francisco Habitats
Rocky Mount Telegram, NC - 1 Sep 2003
Introduced 25 years ago to combat erosion, Spartina alterniflora is one of the most damaging invasive species to take root in the bay, which is already home to legions of transplanted organisms.

Breckenridge to try to control tree cutting by view-seeking homeowners
KUSA, CO - 1 Sep 2003
The proposed ordinance could result in a lot of debate in upcoming months as residents become educated about how to protect their homes from wildfires, while at the same time, the town tries to keep as many trees in the ground as possible.