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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Jan 2004 contains 65 News Articles.

Finding water's middle ground
Vail Daily, CO - 30 Jan 2004
Caroline Bradford agrees with Mark Twain's assertion: "Whiskey's for drinking and water's for fighting." That's why for the last four years she's carefully waded through the county's contentious water issues as the executive director of the nonprofit Eagle River Watershed Council, a group that's become the steward for the 77 mile-long river.

USDA Announces Release of $1.5 Billion for Voluntary Conservation Programs in FY 2004
Black Hills Pioneer, SD - 30 Jan 2004
Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Mark Rey announced Thursday the release of nearly $1.5 billion in funding for conservation programs on working lands this fiscal year. The distribution of funds to states makes conservation programs administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service operational.

Panel of Experts Finds That Anti-Pollution Laws Are Outdated
New York Times, NY - 30 Jan 2004
Despite three decades of progress, existing air-quality laws are inadequate to prevent pollution from threatening the environment and human health, the nation's top scientific advisory group concluded yesterday. The panel, the National Research Council of the National Academies, said it was particularly concerned about ozone, an ingredient of smog that has proved difficult to curtail, and fine soot, which has been shown to be especially harmful.

Government begins work on CO2 storage project at Teapot Dome
Environmental News Network - 29 Jan 2004
The Teapot Dome project, now in the planning stages, could be one of the world's largest test sites for the method. It would store CO2 from a natural gas processing plant more than 300 miles away beneath the 10,000-acre oil field in central Wyoming.

Deforestation of monarch butterfly habitat continues despite crackdown
Environmental News Network - 28 Jan 2004
In an effort to protect hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies that migrate to Mexico from the eastern United States and Canada each fall, police and environmental prosecutors in November closed down illegal sawmills, arrested 28 people, and confiscated illegally harvested lumber in central Mexico.

Arborist's job in Alpharetta never dull
NorthFulton.com, GA - 28 Jan 2004
Alpharetta has developed a reputation for being tough when it comes to trees. Developers know if they plan to build in Alpharetta, they will have to preserve large specimen trees and plant replacement trees for trees they do remove. They know they cannot clear-cut land for the purpose of marketing it. And property must be under active development before a tree is felled.

Fighting floods with trees
Kentucky Post, KY - 28 Jan 2004
Much like treatment plants, trees cleanse the water supply and absorb pollutants. They also provide flood control during heavy rains by absorbing much of the water.

Election 2004: Candidates address Naples Bay as an issue
Naples Daily News, FL - 26 Jan 2004
Roads, golf courses, homes and shopping centers have encroached on a watershed that once comprised swamps, marshes and sloughs. That means water no longer flows into the bay in the same amounts or at the same times it used to — altering the sensitive balance that once supported fish, oysters and sea grasses in the bay.

Water pollution waiver approved
Daily Democrat, CA - 26 Jan 2004
Regulators have unanimously waived water pollution rules for California's $28 billion agriculture industry, allowing farmers to continue to let pesticide-laced runoff seep into waterways.

Bamboo farms could help soak up urban pollution
Chicago Sun-Times, IL - 26 Jan 2004
A novel plan to grow bamboo on polluted lots in Chicago known as brownfields is a winner in a new sustainable design competition. The plant reduces runoff rates and pollutants in the water table, and is a better carbon sink than most trees. So it helps improve air and water quality.

Urban planner comes to see how Portland does it
The Oregonian, OR - 26 Jan 2004
Jim Durrett, a planning expert from Atlanta, joins 900 others to discuss how to resuscitate urban areas. Smart growth promotes higher-density housing with shops, services and parks within walking distance. Advocates say they can reduce crime, health problems and environmental damage by undoing 20th-century building patterns that stretched suburbs while segregating housing from businesses.

Building on Green Principles
Los Angeles Times, CA - 26 Jan 2004
Los Angeles boasts two of the most ecologically advanced structures in the country. In what the conservation groups call a friendly crosstown competition, not a greener-than-thou spat, Audubon and the council recently squared off to see who would emerge as owner of America's most environmentally advanced edifice.

Skyscraper Owner Becomes N.Y.'s Largest Green-Power Buyer To Date
GreenBiz.com - 26 Jan 2004
The Durst Organization's wind power purchase represents 10% of the total energy consumed in the company's New York properties. "By purchasing renewable, pollution-free wind power," said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Jane Kenny, "The Durst Organization is cutting annual air emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides -- which are precursors to smog -- by more than 32,000 pounds and 12,000 pounds, respectively. More importantly, The Durst Organization will inspire other companies to switch to green energy."

Water tapped to help slow urban flight
Toledo Blade, OH - 26 Jan 2004
Late last year, Mayor Jack Ford announced he would extend a water line to the area to resolve problems there with poor water quality and quantity from its wells. Without the plan for controlling development, however, the area wouldn't have gotten the mayor's offer. Decades after the city agreed to share its water, only to watch the townships and villages mushroom into the suburbs that helped to drain the city's population, Mr. Ford is trying to use the same water to slow growth.

City, suburb or status quo?
Santa Maria Times, CA - 26 Jan 2004
Will the future of Santa Maria and Orcutt become a tale of two cities, or a city and its suburb? Both communities must ultimately come to grips with that question. Should Orcutt remain a large, unincorporated community with no local government, served by Santa Barbara County agencies? Or will it one day simply be another part of Santa Maria, or even a city of its own?

As leaders mull options, river's health suffers
Orlando Sentinel, FL - 25 Jan 2004
Central Florida's rapid urbanization is a double-barreled shotgun, blasting holes in the Wekiva ecosystem from two sides: water quality and quantity of the springs are on the decline.

AJ parents alerted after cougar seen near bus stop
Arizona Republic, AZ - 24 Jan 2004
Both schools narrowed the perimeters of playground areas and added staff to monitor students' outside activities, said Carol Shepherd, spokeswoman for the Apache Junction schools. "This is not a panic situation," Shepherd said. "We live in the desert, and occasionally nature reminds us that we need to be careful." Most days, school officials have a bigger problem eliminating rattlesnakes from campus, she said.

At home with nature
San Antonio Express, TX - 23 Jan 2004
Certified urban wildlife yards either retain or put back native plants, mainly small fruit-bearing trees and shrubs such as persimmons and agaritas. Three criteria ' shelter, food and water ' make the yard a certifiable habitat.

Supreme Court rules EPA can overrule state in clean air case
Environmental News Network - 22 Jan 2004
The Alaska case was the first of eight environmental cases on the court's docket this term, an unusually high number. The fight was over whether the Red Dog Mine must use equipment that would reduce pollution from a new generator by 90 percent. The state wanted to allow the mine operator, a major employer in a particularly rural area of Alaska, to use equipment that would only reduce pollution by 30 percent.

North America, Europe may cool in warmer world, says report
Environmental News Network - 22 Jan 2004
The possible shut-down of the Gulf Stream is one of several catastrophic changes ' ranging from collapses of fish stocks to more frequent forest fires ' that could be triggered by human activities, they said in a book launched in Sweden.

Fuel Reduction
News-Review, OR - 22 Jan 2004
The landowner of the parcel bordering Ross' home lives in Danville, Calif., and hasn't maintained the overgrowth -- a common problem, said Mike Coffel, coordinator for thinning projects in what's called the wildland urban interface, where residential areas meet wilderness.

Firewise Demonstration Home Wins $1000 Award from National Alliance
Flash.org - 22 Jan 2004
The Firewise Fortified Retrofit House is located in The Hammocks, a heavily wooded subdivision near Gainesville. The Florida Division of Forestry partnered with several public and private organizations, including Alachua County Fire Rescue, to renovate the 20-year-old home to make it less vulnerable to wildfire.

Gov. Minner proposes Green Infrastructure Program to preserve Delaware's undeveloped land
Smart Growth Online - 22 Jan 2004
Listing a Livable Delaware among constant priorities of her administration, the governor said ''(s)ince 2001, we have preserved more than 4,300 acres of open space and protected more than 34,000 acres of farmland from development,'' but ''we must seize the chance to save one of our most precious resources -- our undeveloped land.'' Therefore, she announced, ''I will propose $22 million for a new Green Infrastructure program,'' which ''will seek opportunities to join with environmental groups and work towards preserving some of the most important natural habitats in our state.''

Environmentalists Get Citigroup Pledge
New York Times, NY - 22 Jan 2004
In future deals, Citigroup will not finance commercial logging in rain forests or projects that harm indigenous populations and will report the greenhouse gas emissions of the energy projects it does finance, the bank and the environmental group will announce. The changes will not apply to current Citigroup deals.

N.Y. car dealers vouch for new clean-air law
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA - 21 Jan 2004
Before New Jersey lawmakers adopted California's strict auto-emissions standards last week, car dealers painted a dire picture of low-pollution vehicles gathering dust on showroom floors. But just across the Hudson River, car dealers in New York - who have been operating under California's clean-air rules for nearly a decade - report brisk sales and few hassles.

Hard to say how to tame gene-altered life, says report
Environmental News Network - 21 Jan 2004
Genetically engineered crops may be handy for farmers who want to freely use weedkillers, but what is to keep the altered plants from spreading their pollen and creating superweeds?

$3 million sewage system is cleaning up trademark stream at Frank Lloyd Wright house
Environmental News Network - 21 Jan 2004
Four years after the state complained about pollution, Frank Lloyd Wright's landmark house Fallingwater has a $3 million sewage system to protect the creek that flows under the building and gives it its name.

Clean energy and efficiency investments would create 3.3 million jobs, says study
GreenBiz.com - 20 Jan 2004
An alliance of labor, environmental, civil rights, business, and political leaders in the United States have laid out a vision for a "New Apollo Project" to create 3.3 million new jobs and achieve energy independence in 10 years.

U.K. plans ambitious CO2 cuts, industry protests
Environmental News Network - 20 Jan 2004
Britain said Monday it would cut its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in excess of its international treaty obligations, prompting howls of protest from industry bodies but muted approval from generators.

Shell to open 5 megawatt solar power station in Germany
PointCarbon - 20 Jan 2004
In July, Shell Solar and German solar firm GEOSOL will open the world’s biggest solar power station south of Leipzig in Germany. The total output capacity will be 5 megawatts, estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 3,700 tonnes annually.

Great promise in innovations for firefighting
San Diego Union-Tribune, CA - 19 Jan 2004
After decades in which wildland firefighting advanced little beyond the invention of the two-headed chopping tool called the Pulaski, innovations are coming fast.

Forest Service, BLM ease lynx protection
The Missoulian, MT - 17 Jan 2004
Protection of the rare Canada lynx will not stand in the way of logging needed to reduce the risk of wildland fire, the federal government said Friday. In a draft environmental impact statement, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management also stepped away from proposed limits on backcountry ski and snowmobile trails.

Valley air district adds farm enforcers
Fresno Bee, CA - 16 Jan 2004
SB 700 last year ended a decades-old farm exemption for federal air operating permits that are required of other large industries. Because the $14 billion farm industry had not been considered a significant pollution source, air authorities don't know how many farms will be regulated.

EarthTalk: Scandinavia leads world in environmentalism
Environmental News Network - 15 Jan 2004
The United States ranks 45th out of the 142 countries evaluated by the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), which measures overall environmental progress using 20 core indicators, including urban air quality, environmental regulations, and resource use.

U.S. Supreme Court takes up air and water pollution cases
Environmental News Network - 15 Jan 2004
In cases involving the Florida Everglades and California smog, justices were considering whether lower courts were too protective of the environment. The Bush administration wants the high court to overturn both decisions.

Report says fires could return soon
San Diego Union-Tribune, CA - 15 Jan 2004
The most exhaustive report to date on the October firestorms says traditional methods of Southern California firefighters were futile against a blitz of multiple, fast-moving blazes, and warned that it could happen again. Soon.

Why California must burn
Environmental News Network - 14 Jan 2004
The paradox reveals a bedrock fact: California's ecology is not simply subject to fire, but predicated on it. Virtually all of the state's terrestrial ecosystems evolved with wildfire.

U.N. aims to study link between environment, wars
Environmental News Network - 14 Jan 2004
The United Nations wants to study links between the environment and human conflict to see how future wars might be sparked by factors like global warming. Pollution, droughts, floods, storms, desertification, and rising sea levels are among possible triggers of wars in a world with more and more people competing for limited resources.

Court overturns Bush air conditioner standards
Environmental News Network - 14 Jan 2004
A federal appeals court overturned a Bush administration decision to weaken energy-efficiency standards for new air conditioners, a move which could save American consumers $20 billion and avoid the need for up to 200 new electricity plants by 2030.

Nature Conservancy buys 214 Lake County acres from MP
BusinessNorth.com - 13 Jan 2004
Today, The Nature Conservancy is announcing a 214 acre addition to the Upper Manitou Forest Preserve with a purchase from Allete, Inc. (formerly Minnesota Power).

A look at some environmental efforts by major automakers
WBCSD - 13 Jan 2004
A look at environmental efforts being highlighted by some of the major automakers at the North American International Auto Show, which runs through Jan. 19 in Detroit, and other initiatives to improve fuel economy and produce gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles.

Study: FSC-Certified Wood Outsells Non-Certified 2 to 1
GreenBiz.com - 13 Jan 2004
Consumers will respond to labels that they trust. According to the authors, "the good news is that the presence of the ecolabel was associated with a larger proportion of the total sales." Michael Washburn, vice president of forestry and marketing for FSC-US, stated that, "the interest we’ve seen from architects and builders seems to also be true of retail buyers."

Sewer costs spiral in parts of rural Pennsylvania, including Bradford County
Towanda Review, PA - 12 Jan 2004
After discharging raw sewage into the west branch of the Susquehanna River for decades, the tiny borough of Cherry Tree, Pa., was finally ordered by state environmental officials to clean up its act. The state's message was clear: It's time for public sewer. The problem is that Cherry Tree, with a population of only 430, has few households and businesses to pay for the installation of a multimillion-dollar sewer system.

State reviews biomass as power
Kennewick Tri-City Herald, WA - 12 Jan 2004
Wheat straw, manure and other wastes could power four out of 10 homes in Eastern Washington, according to a recent study commissioned by the state Department of Ecology.

Questions about social responsibility inundate Japanese firms
Asahi Shimbun, Japan - 12 Jan 2004
A growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility in the West is spilling over to Japan by way of questionnaires from potential partners and investors, causing headaches for company officials here.

A tree would grow in Brooklyn, statewide under Pataki plan
Newsday, NY - 11 Jan 2004
Gov. George Pataki is calling for a tree-planting blitz in communities statewide, not to simply spruce up streetscapes but to save heating and cooling costs while heading off a quiet deforestation of neighborhoods.

Panel bans feeding of urban wildlife
Denver Post, CO - 10 Jan 2004
The state Wildlife Commission has voted unanimously to ban feeding of foxes and coyotes in urban areas and putting out salt blocks to attract deer and elk in nonagricultural areas of northeastern Colorado.

Report: Consumer Appetite Erodes Quality of Life for Rich and Poor
GreenBiz.com - 9 Jan 2004
Around 1.7 billion people worldwide -- more than a quarter of humanity -- have entered the "consumer class," adopting the diets, transportation systems, and lifestyles that were limited to the rich nations of Europe, North America, and Japan during most of the last century.

Feds offer habitat protection grants
Casper Star Tribune, WY - 9 Jan 2004
Biologists have long known the key to the recovery of many endangered and threatened wildlife species rests on the conservation and habitat work of private landowners. Now those landowners can get a little financial help from the feds for their efforts.

Study warns of global warming extinctions
Environmental News Network - 8 Jan 2004
Hundreds of species of land plants and animals around the globe could vanish or be on the road to extinction over the next 50 years if global warming continues, scientists warn.

Michigan may ban genetically engineered pet fish
Detroit News, MI - 8 Jan 2004
One fish, two fish, red fish — Glofish? The nation’s first genetically engineered pet glows in the dark and has been lighting up cash registers in Michigan pet shops. But Glofish, created by splicing a sea anemone gene into a zebra fish, may not be available for long . . . likened altered fish to an invasive species.

Vote this week may affect projects over aquifer
mysanantonio.com, TX - 7 Jan 2004
As San Antonio's primary source of drinking water, the aquifer has been at the center of some rowdy political debates over development. The debate could flare up again Thursday when the City Council votes on proposals that would deny tax incentives for North Rim and other projects seeking public assistance for construction over sensitive areas of the aquifer.

Forecast for year 2100 in Iowa: Up to 22' hotter
Des Moines Register, IA - 7 Jan 2004
The outlook for the year 2100: Brutally hot, like nothing since the Dust Bowl. Expect 15 to 25 heat waves a summer. That's according to a new study sponsored by the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists.

Fish From Coronet Area To Be Tested For Toxins
Tampa Tribune, FL - 7 Jan 2004
Tentative plans call for testing fish from ponds on or near two old landfills on the east side of Park Road and possibly from English Creek, said Randy Merchant, environmental administrator for assessments with the Department of Health. Many contaminants accumulate and are stored in fatty tissues, which means larger fish at the top of the food chain pose the biggest risk to humans, Merchant said.

Presidential candidates on the issues: Fuel efficiency
Environmental News Network - 7 Jan 2004
The Associated Press chooses an issue three times a week and asks the presidential candidates a question about it. Today's question and responses: Fuel Efficiency: What increases, if any, do you favor in the requirement that automakers produce cars with a fleet average of 27.5 miles per gallon and SUVs, pickups, and passenger vans averaging 20.7 mpg?

County restricts big-box stores
Alameda Times-Star, CA - 7 Jan 2004
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the discount retailer is evaluating all its options -- including possible legal action or a voter referendum -- after Alameda County supervisors approved an ordinance that prohibits some big-box stores in unincorporated areas. Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, who introduced the ordinance, said it would not affect big-box retailers that want to sell taxable items. She said the ordinance protects small businesses and will help minimize traffic concerns.

New Rule Would Push U.S. Government to Buy Biobased
GreenBiz.com - 7 Jan 2004
Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman has proposed a new rule to implement a preferred procurement program for biobased products by federal agencies.

Environmentalists Fear Mountaintop Mining
Rocky Mount Telegram, NC - 7 Jan 2004
The Interior Department's proposal would eliminate an existing policy that says land within 100 feet of a stream cannot be disturbed by mining activity unless a company can prove that the work won't affect the stream's water quality and quantity.

Green Buildings
Gotham Gazette, NY - 5 Jan 2004
To the uninitiated, this might sound like a Don Quixote-like delusion; putting windmills in a skyscraper certainly has never been done before. But Freedom Tower's innovations are actually part of a trend. Whether the windmills prove feasible or not, a number of such environmentally conscious skyscrapers are going up across New York City. These so-called "green buildings," a term that is being used with increasing frequency, are designed to be healthier and more comfortable for the people living or working inside them. They aim to save energy, produce less pollution and conserve natural resources.

Green-e Audit Report Reveals Significant Annual Growth in Green Power
GreenBiz.com - 5 Jan 2004
Sales of certified renewable energy grew substantially during 2002, according to a new report from the Center for Resource Solutions. Its Annual Verification Report shows positive growth in certified renewable energy retail sales, supply, and pollution benefits in 2002. The report shows over 1.9 million megawatt-hours of certified renewable resources procured in 2002 -- a doubling over 2001. “Green-e” certified products sold in 2002 resulted in a pollution benefit of over 1.2 million tons of avoided carbon dioxide (CO2), a major contributor to global warming.

Environmental hazards of cattle vex the industry
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - 3 Jan 2004
Long-standing questions about the environmental hazards associated with cattle husbandry are far more likely to linger, industry experts say. And while the prospects for mad cow disease seem frightening enough, the real flashpoints for years to come are apt to revolve around more mundane matters, such as the effects of beef cattle on rangeland and dairy cattle on waterways. At the same time, cattlemen -- beef cattlemen, especially -- are increasingly viewed by some conservationists as allies in the battle to preserve California's dwindling open space and wildlife habitat.

Gadgets to garbage
Christian Science Monitor - 2 Jan 2004
The problem could spike early next year as holiday shoppers snap up new cellphones and digital TVs, computer monitors, and cameras - sending the conventional models on a slow trek to the closet, and then to the dump. Alternatives such as recycling or reuse are in their infancy, at least here in the United States.

Philippines minister cites global warming as reason for disasters
Terra Daily - 1 Jan 2004
Environment Secretary Elisea Gozun said that while the massive loss of forest cover and geologic factors were partly responsible, these areas had so far avoided landslides even though farmers started clearing upland areas in 1928 for coconut and other cash crops. She said the new elements were the record heavy rains that fell on Panaon and the Surigao region in Mindanao.

City goes green for power on New Year's
New Haven Register, CT - 1 Jan 2004
Today, even city government is sticking to its New Year’s Resolution: a promise to shell out a little extra green to promote greener energy.

A look back on 2003: Not everything came up roses
Boston Globe, MA - 1 Jan 2004
Though nongardeners complained that 2003 was the year without a summer, New England gardeners were ecstatic when plentiful rains ended several years of drought. Other parts of the country still suffered, however. One of the hottest, driest summers on record in the Rocky Mountains and southern California led to major forest fires. In California, these were fed by pines killed by native pine bark beetles after being weakened by six years of low rainfall. With some western rivers running at record low levels, Colorado Governor Bill Owens proclaimed that state in the grip of a "300-year drought."