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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Nov 2004 contains 54 News Articles.

Moss Hunters Roll Away Nature's Carpet, and Some Ecologists Worry
New York Times, NY - 30 Nov 2004
With gatherers roaming public and private property for fresh pickings, the loosely regulated industry faces scientific scrutiny as biologists and businesses clash over research findings and land managers struggle to enforce collection policies across huge tracts with scarce personnel.

The impact of test-tube trees on the woods
Christian Science Monitor - 29 Nov 2004
By altering genes, scientists create quick-growing fruit and pulp trees; but critics see 'Frankenforests.'

Texas oil fields may store carbon
CNN.com - 29 Nov 2004
A short distance from Spindletop oil field, the site of the gusher that triggered the Texas oil rush more than a century ago, scientists have found a purpose for the long-disused underground reservoirs -- as storage for the pollution emitted by burning fossil fuels.

Saving the Woods
Winston-Salem Journal, NC - 29 Nov 2004
Hunters, always scrambling to find land to hunt on, will relish the large tract of land on Little Mountain that's already open. But most important is the fact that this 1,716-acre tract is now preserved and protected. That's good for both flora and fauna, including all the migratory birds that stop on the mountain. And it's good for the several miles of creeks and the creatures therein.

Georgia Tech's new campus earns national land-use award
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA - 29 Nov 2004
In trying to add more classroom space, build a center for technology-based economic development and enhance its prestige, Georgia Tech moved east across the Downtown Connector and created a new campus designed to appeal to more than students. Centered at Spring and Fifth streets, Technology Square has been declared a success by the Urban Land Institute. The national land-use research institute named Tech Square one of 10 winners of Awards for Excellence this month.

Adaptive coyotes moving into Washington, D.C.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, PA - 28 Nov 2004
The coyote population has been expanding eastward since the middle of the last century. Native to California and most points in the West, the creatures made a two-pronged advance over the years -- into New England through Canada and the Great Lakes region, and up through the South from Texas.

Taxes Provide Polk's 12,000 Acres of Preserved Lands
The Ledger, FL - 28 Nov 2004
The preserves exist because 10 years ago Polk's voters agreed to tax themselves to purchase this land with tax dollars. The program is funded at a rate of 20 cents per $1,000 of taxable value. A decade later even some of the program's skeptics are now fans and the people who planned and led the grassroots effort to win approval for the measure say even they are amazed at the results.

Property Rights Law May Alter Oregon Landscape
New York Times, NY - 26 Nov 2004
Over the past three decades, Oregon has earned a reputation for having the most restrictive land-use rules in the nation. But in a matter of days, the landowners will get a chance to turn the tables. Under a ballot measure approved on Nov. 2, property owners who can prove that environmental or zoning rules have hurt their investments can force the government to compensate them for the losses - or get an exemption from the rules.

Cicadas leave bounty of nutrients for forests
CNN.com - 25 Nov 2004
Every 17 years, billions of cicadas cause a loud stir in almost one third of the United States. Scientists now say the insects also leave a lasting and positive impact after they die.

USDA Searches Web For Clues About Illegal Plants And Animals
Information Week - 24 Nov 2004
APHIS needed a way to crawl the Web; find sites advertising dangerous animals, animal products, and plants; and then organize the results. After two years of development, the project is up and running.

Feds set aside $3M to buy, preserve Heritage tract
Charleston Post Courier, SC - 24 Nov 2004
Federal money will be used to secure one of the largest tracts of undeveloped land on the 225-mile length of the Catawba River for conservation. Officials said Monday that $3 million has been set aside toward the $6 million purchase of the 1,700-acre Heritage Trust Tract, which includes more than 16 miles of water frontage near Great Falls on the Catawba and its tributaries.

Comeback Beavers Butt Heads With Humans
National Geographic News - 23 Nov 2004
Harvested and driven from its habitat until it disappeared from much of the northeastern U.S., the beaver is now making such a strong comeback that it is becoming a nuisance in some areas.

Happy trails ahead
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA - 23 Nov 2004
The skyscrapers and traffic-clogged highways of Fulton County seem an unlikely venue for such a pastoral sport as riding horseback on winding, wooded trails. But especially in the county's northern and southern sectors, horse trails are in such demand that a developer plans to build an equestrian trail as part of the newly approved Birmingham Crossroads project near Alpharetta.

Land preserved near Georgia's Appalachian Trail
Rockdale Citizen, GA - 23 Nov 2004
A large tract of land near the Southern end of the Appalachian Trail has been saved from development, thanks to an Atlanta family that agreed to sell 356 acres to conservationists instead of developers. The U.S. Forest Service has acquired the land just west of Springer Mountain, the starting point for the famous trail that runs 2,174 miles north to Maine. About 3,000 people begin from that spot each spring, attempting to hike the entire trail. Thousands more make the 8-mile climb up Springer as a day hike.

Green chemistry takes root
USA Today - 22 Nov 2004
A new kind of chemical revolution is brewing called green chemistry. It is a reaction to the environmental and economic costs that often are the dark underbelly of the chemical revolution. The fundamental idea of green chemistry is that the designer of a chemical is responsible for considering what will happen to the world after the agent is put in place.

Officials expect harsh fire season
News-Press, FL - 22 Nov 2004
Fires aren't usually a big problem this time of year. But this year is different. This year, hurricane debris has been drying up in piles some 20 feet high, like so many matchsticks lining driveways and roads. Wooded areas are blanketed in dead limbs, leaves and other debris. Plus, drought index numbers are already soaring.

Tree replacement plan takes root
Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL - 22 Nov 2004
Everyone has heard plenty about the toll this year's hurricanes took on buildings and beaches. But there was another victim: trees.

Scientists flood Grand Canyon
CNN.com - 21 Nov 2004
Scientists flooded the Grand Canyon on Sunday to restore beaches and save fish and plants that have been disappearing since sediment-free water began flowing from a man-made dam 40 years ago.

Where's the water, mate?
Christian Science Monitor - 19 Nov 2004
Sydney and other Australian cities could run dry by 2006. A change in habits is being forced by a dry spell stretching back to the 1970s that is squeezing Australia. Australia is not only the driest inhabited continent on earth, but also the greatest consumer of water per capita.

NASA Satellite Data To Aid Global Conservation
Science Daily - 19 Nov 2004
NASA and IUCN - The World Conservation Union, the world's largest environmental knowledge network, signed a joint declaration today in Bangkok, Thailand, to use NASA satellite data to help in worldwide conservation efforts.

Asian rust found on soybeans, kudzu in Florida
Delta Farm Press, NE - 19 Nov 2004
USDA today confirmed Asian soybean rust was present in soybean samples from a field near Quincy, Fla. The confirmation means the disease has now been found in three states, including Louisiana and Mississippi.

North Meck winners
Charlotte Observer, NC - 19 Nov 2004
Northern Mecklenburg County is winning even more national recognition for its talent in Smart Growth development.

Your yard: Where wild things are coming out of the woods
Acton-The Beacon, MA - 18 Nov 2004
Have humans encroached on wildlife territory to the point that wild animals are forced to live in subdivisions, or are animals the ones moving in? In Henry David Thoreau's time, animals ranging from moose to coyotes to beavers were about to disappear from the state. Deer, beaver, moose and more were threatened because the state was virtually denuded of forests. But a concerted effort to re-forest Massachusetts and protect animals from commercial hunters has brought back some animals in such strong numbers that they are posing a bit of a problem.

U.S. and 13 Other States Agree on Push to Gather Methane Gas
New York Times, NY - 17 Nov 2004
The United States and 13 other countries signed an agreement on Tuesday to work together to capture emissions of methane, a gas that contributes to global warming and, as the main component of natural gas, is a relatively clean-burning fuel.

Environmentalists propose ag development curbs
Palm Beach Post, FL - 16 Nov 2004
Environmentalists say they're tired of sitting on the sidelines while growers plot to develop western Palm Beach County's sugar fields. Now they're presenting a counter-proposal: a sweeping, 10- to 20-year plan to keep most of the land in agriculture, put about a fifth of it under water, and steer development to existing western cities such as Pahokee and Belle Glade.

Charlotte sprawl among worst in country
Daily Tar Heel, NC - 16 Nov 2004
Charlotte is facing one of the worst cases of urban sprawl in the country, but city officials say they are working hard to fix the problem. A recent study by Northwest Environment Watch, a nonprofit research and communication center based in Seattle, shows Charlotte as having the worst urban sprawl out of 15 cities across the nation.

Is Fernley out of water? Nevada towns grown while resources shrink
Lahontan Valley News, NV - 15 Nov 2004
Trying to jostle booming growth with limited water, Fernley city officials are looking to make drastic changes in how they manage development and water - changes that could at once alienate towns where growth is outpacing resources and serve as a model for them.

Modesto runs out of water in 2018?
Modesto Bee, CA - 15 Nov 2004
Those planning to build their dream in or near Modesto, be it humble home or shopping mall, might want to draw a red circle on the calendar around the year 2018. Why? Because a recent study indicates that's the last year any new development could be accommodated in the city, assuming Modesto leaders don't find a way to expand the city's water supply.

Coyote concerns spur talk of culling
Daily Herald, IL - 15 Nov 2004
The concern is so great that it's prompted the village board to consider various options of dealing with the unwanted animals, including trapping and or even culling them.

'No-perch zone' for pesky birds
San Jose Mercury News, CA - 15 Nov 2004
Fed up with birds bombarding their property with disgusting droppings and clogging their gutters with nests, building owners are fighting back. To ward the pests off, they're installing roof spikes, electric-shock devices, menacing rotating rods, propane cannons, ultrasonic blasters, irritating sticky gels, barrier nets, startling strobe lights and motion-activated contraptions that squirt birds with water.

Votes on open space highlight dispute over its benefits, costs
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA - 15 Nov 2004
It cost Fred Lockenmeyer and about a dozen friends about $1,600, much of it donated, to help persuade voters in Point Pleasant to endorse adding a penny to their tax rate and create a $2.7 million fund for acquiring and preserving open space. Similar local and county proposals throughout the state were approved on Election Day, though not as readily as in years past.

Landscaped Roofs Have Chicago Mayor Seeing Green
National Geographic News - 15 Nov 2004
When cities run out of valuable real estate, planners look up. The search for green space is no exception. Europe's green roofs have long provided environmental, aesthetic, and economic benefits. Is the idea growing in the United States?

Study finds everyday chemicals linger in the environment
Pioneer Press, MN - 14 Nov 2004
Researchers have found that a complex brew of everyday compounds - from products as ubiquitous as shampoo, bug spray and even that morning cup of coffee - lingers in Minnesota waters even after they're showered off or dumped down the sink.

Trees: Experts give do's, don'ts
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA - 14 Nov 2004
What slows down cars, cools off pedestrians and increases retail sales? Trees. But even under the best conditions, city sidewalk trees might last 40 years, and that's with TLC, great soil and room to grow. Many city trees are lucky to make it to 10.

BR area's 'spread' rated among the worst
Advocate, LA - 14 Nov 2004
The Baton Rouge area, including specifically Ascension and Livingston parishes, is ranked eighth in the nation in the most widely recognized indicator of sprawl, "residential density" -- spread-out suburban subdivisions. And, in spread-out suburbia, the Baton Rouge area is the eighth-worst of 83 metropolitan areas representing half of the nation's population.

Wish list: Short rides, long walks
Charlotte Observer, NC - 13 Nov 2004
More and more Americans are seeking walkable neighborhoods, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors and Smart Growth America.

BuildingGreen Announces 2004 Top-10 Green Building Products
GreenBiz.com - 12 Nov 2004
BuildingGreen, Inc., publisher of the GreenSpec Directory and Environmental Building News, has announced its selections of the top ten green building products of 2004. This third annual award, announced at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild conference in Portland, Ore., recognizes the most exciting products added to the GreenSpec Directory during the past year.

Voters show they want more say in growth issues
USA Today - 11 Nov 2004
Voters are sending mixed signals about how they want their communities to grow, embracing strict controls in some places and rejecting them in others. In deciding a flurry of growth measures on state and local ballots last week, voters did send one clear message: They want more control on issues that hit close to home — from parks and zoning to property rights and environmental protection. They're no longer satisfied leaving planning decisions to elected and appointed officials.

Study: Smog, asthma not tied
Denver Post, CO - 9 Nov 2004
Initially, the data showed worse health on high-pollution days. But when researchers factored in things such as upper- respiratory infections, the connection between pollution and severe asthma episodes "disappeared." The findings, which turn years of conventional wisdom on its head, were not what researchers expected.

Farm pollution loosely regulated, report says
Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, VA - 9 Nov 2004
Fertilizers, dirt and pesticides that wash off farm fields are a major source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. But Virginia regulators rarely inspect farms for environmental performance and, when violations are found, enforcement is lax, according to a report released Monday by a state watchdog agency.

Arctic ice loss could hurt wetlands efforts
Times-Picayune, LA - 9 Nov 2004
A dramatic loss of sea ice in the Arctic Circle and its continued melting threatens indigenous people in that region, according to an international scientific study released Monday. And the addition of all that fresh water into the world's oceans could hamper efforts to restore Louisiana's eroding coastline, said a key scientist involved in the federal-state restoration effort.

China to develop recycling economy
Beijing Today, China - 9 Nov 2004
China will spare no effort to develop recycling economy to use the least resources to meet the needs of social and economic development, said Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan.

Prospects greener for lawn alternatives in Castle Rock
Denver Post, CO - 9 Nov 2004
As part of this town's ongoing campaign to reduce water consumption, homeowner associations that mandate lush lawns will find themselves before a judge. Further, associations no longer can ban less-thirsty landscapes, according to a new ordinance recently adopted by the Town Council.

University of South Carolina Opens World's Largest 'Green' Dorm
GreenBiz.com - 9 Nov 2004
University of South Carolina officials and students are celebrating the official opening of Carolina's "green dorm," the largest residence-hall complex of its kind in the world.

'Green' certification in demand for forests
CNN.com - 9 Nov 2004
Washington forest owners band together to sell eco-friendly wood. Green certification of forest products is an emerging market that's gaining ground in places like Washington state that encourage environmentally sound building techniques for big public projects.

Drivers shift into gas-conservation mode
USA Today - 8 Nov 2004
U.S. drivers are responding to higher gasoline prices faster than expected and are cutting gas consumption, according to government data.

Report Shows U.S. Companies Moving Forward with Carbon Reductions
GreenBiz.com - 8 Nov 2004
According to an independent study, many U.S. corporations are moving ahead with greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction programs in the absence of federal requirements to do so and despite the U.S. staying out of the Kyoto Protocol.

Voters say yes to saving land
Orlando Sentinel, FL - 6 Nov 2004
Voters in Lake and Osceola counties, where workers earn the lowest wages in Central Florida, decided this week to dig deeper to acquire land for preservation and to improve water quality -- even as gas prices soar and many are still struggling to foot the tab for repairs or cover hefty insurance deductibles from recent hurricanes.

Group: Link growth, water availability
Gainesville Sun, FL - 5 Nov 2004
According to recommendations outlined during the 29th Annual Conference on Water Management in Orlando Thursday, local governments should link growth with the availability of water, a move that could give water-rich areas a green light to build.

Battle of park versus parking
Houston Chronicle, TX - 5 Nov 2004
When the city of Houston turns 13 acres of downtown land into an urban green space, two parking lots in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center will disappear. Those who use the convention center say the loss of parking means a crowded situation will become a nightmare.

When ecotourism kills
Christian Science Monitor - 4 Nov 2004
From watching whales in New England to tracking polar bears on the tundra to swimming with dolphins in the Pacific, well-meaning tourists are putting increasing pressure on animals worldwide, new studies show. The problem isn't limited to hordes of people degrading the environment. In some cases, ecotourism unwittingly appears to be killing the wildlife it seeks to protect.

Grizzlies' Rebound Endangers Bears as Towns Boom
Washington Post, DC - 3 Nov 2004
Just 10 years ago people living in northwestern Montana rarely encountered grizzlies roaming outside their isolated redoubts high above the little towns in the valley floors. But things have changed, leading to tensions between those who want the bears, which grow to 600 pounds and 8 feet tall, to remain protected and those who consider them dangerous predators hampering development.

Volunteers collect fruit to protect hungry bears
Montana Kaimin, MT - 1 Nov 2004
Because bears are now in a state of what experts call hyperphagia, or a feeding frenzy, they are more likely to enter residential areas this time of year. With a poor crop of natural foods, bears have been more attracted to pear and apple orchards, especially in places like the fruitful Rattlesnake valley.

Recycling electronics catching on in counties
Arkansas Democrat Gazette, AR - 1 Nov 2004
With the computer age racing ahead, tons of obsolete keyboards, monitors and other onetime cutting-edge gadgets are being left behind. The swelling piles of electronics in landfills have conservationists worried and waste managers plotting new ways to get rid of the hazardous equipment that can leak lead, mercury and other toxins.