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 2004 contains 48 News Articles.

Critics Say Clean-Air Plan May Be a Setback for Parks
New York Times, NY - 31 May 2004
Polluted air in parks has been a persistent problem for the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service for a decade. It has improved somewhat at parks like Acadia in Maine and Yosemite in California, park service records show. But in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, whose half-million acres straddle the Tennessee-North Carolina border, ozone and haze have improved little, if at all.

Fight against fat a matter of design
Register-Guard, OR - 31 May 2004
As concern deepens over the nation's rising obesity rate, the battle of the bulge is becoming more than just a duel between diets and workout regimens. Now it's an environmental issue.

More species threatened by climate change
United Press International - 31 May 2004
The Bufo periglenes, the golden toad of Costa Rica, vanished from its habitat in 1987 in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica. It is the first animal species credited with being driven to extinction by climate change.

Lord of the weed eaters
St. Petersburg Times, FL - 31 May 2004
A professor fervently hopes his flies and caterpillars will want to devour the noxious Brazilian pepper tree and nothing else. If they eat what they're supposed to, they could help reclaim the 1.5-million acres of land the pepper tree has invaded from Citrus County to the Keys. If it turns out they also have a taste for sago palms or orange trees or longleaf pines, Cuda will have dumped one more destructive exotic into a state already full of them.

Forest-Edge Communities Take Precautions, But Many Still at Risk
Firehouse.com - 30 May 2004
The Agriculture and Interior departments identified 11,376 communities across the United States in 2001 that were highly susceptible to damage from a wildfire on federal land. Since that time, many communities have gotten more aggressive about reducing underbrush and other fire hazards near homes, said fire and forest officials. But they also agree the job isn't done.

New Partnership Brings Sustainable Forest and Farm Products to Market
GreenBiz.com - 28 May 2004
The Rainforest Alliance has partnered with the United States Agency for International Development to establish the Certified Sustainable Products Alliance, a three-year effort to significantly promote and increase the sale of sustainably produced certified timber, banana, and coffee from Central America and Mexico. By strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of agriculture and timber operations, this partnership will bring new investment and trade to the region while supporting practices that benefit the environment as well as protect the rights and resources of workers and local communities.

Raise logging fees, trim red tape, Resources agency says
Sun-Herald, MS - 28 May 2004
The state should raise $10 million from new fees to cover its reviews of logging plans, while exempting smaller landowners from its timber harvest plan requirements and creating a new class of large permanently approved logging tracts, California Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman said Friday.

'Dead zones' threaten fisheries
Christian Science Monitor - 27 May 2004
In midsummer, the northern Gulf of Mexico, where the Mississippi River empties into it, may shimmer like any other swath of sea. But a few score feet below, bottom-dwelling fish and other creatures struggle just to breathe.

Smog city to clean capital How Delhi did it
Indian Express, India - 26 May 2004
Like a deadly shroud, a black haze covered India’s capital. Children were being born asthamatic, respiratory illnesses spread like wildfire, and cancers menaced the city. Delhi was one of the world’s 10 most polluted cities, with vehicles accounting for 70 per cent of polluting emissions. Today, Delhi is a showpiece example of making air quality safe.

Up to 500 Die in Caribbean Storms
Los Angeles Times, CA - 26 May 2004
Tropical storms lashing the Caribbean flooded rivers and unleashed mudslides that might have killed as many as 500 people in two days, most of them swept away near denuded hillsides on the Haitian-Dominican Republic border, relief workers said Tuesday.

Being green-friendly helps save some green
Bangor Daily News, ME - 26 May 2004
Efforts to make state government more environmentally friendly have paid big dividends since Gov. John Baldacci proposed several energy-savings measures shortly after taking office in January 2003. "We were seeking to be more green, and now we are saving green as a result," the governor said about the state having saved more than $1 million by implementing certain conservation measures.

I won't sign Kyoto agreement: PM
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia - 26 May 2004
Prime Minister John Howard today said Australia would not sign the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, even though implementation of the world agreement was edging closer. "Australia won't ratify the Kyoto Protocol until the ratification of that protocol will protect the long-term national interests of this country," Mr Howard told parliament.

Farmers gather to discuss ways to comply with law, keep down dust
San Luis Obispo Tribune, CA - 26 May 2004
Farmers have been given one month and 100 ways to beat down the dust that comes from their farms, but even as dozens of them gathered in the first of a series of workshops to discuss their options, environmental advocates say the proposed methods will do little to clean the air. The farmers have a lot of work to do - and fast. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's new rule, approved May 20, gave 8,000 farmers until July 1 to take steps to reduce the microscopic particles of dust, chemicals or other substances that come from their land and hover in the air, contributing to the particulate pollution that helps make the San Joaquin Valley's air the second worst in the nation.

Plans aim to control pollution in state waters
Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, VA - 26 May 2004
Virginia environmental officials announced plans Tuesday for controlling the flow of nutrient pollution into state waters from 117 sewage plants and industrial sites, including many in Hampton Roads and on the Eastern Shore. Excessive nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, stemming from everyday sources including lawns, animal waste , car exhausts and fertilizers, are considered the biggest pollutants hampering the Chesapeake Bay today. They essentially choke waterways by stealing life-sustaining oxygen from them, and led in part to a massive “dead zone” in the middle of the Bay last summer.

Buford planners give nod to 'green' landfill power plant
Gwinnett Daily Post, GA - 26 May 2004
The proposed station’s four turbines would be fueled by landfill gas, and the electricity they create would be sold to a group of 16 electric membership corporations. The EMCs in turn would sell the 'green power' to customers across Georgia. The city would get about $1.1 million over 15 years from BFI Waste Systems, which owns the landfill, and Energy Developments Inc., which would install the power station and sell the electric power.

These soil researchers aren't crying in their beer
New Orleans Times-Picayune, LA - 26 May 2004
Beer, the foamy, hearty beverage that has livened up many a college party, may have a socially responsible role as an environmental cleanser for Superfund sites. Just three days after a group of Oklahoma scientists poured nearly a canful of stale suds onto a 200-pound clump of soil from a former mine tract, they found that the carbon and nitrogen in the beer had stimulated nutritive bacteria in the soil. Those bacteria worked to lower what had been a high acid content and raise the soil's nutrient level, the scientists reported Tuesday in New Orleans.

Fire and water drive western growth, prompt warming conference
North County Times, CA - 25 May 2004
Scientists aren't sure yet if the weather will be wetter or dryer, or whether the current drought will last another year or another century. But rising temperatures do mean less water will be stored in the winter snowpack, which functions as a vast reservoir that trickles water to thirsty cities, cattle, crops and hydroelectric plants during the hot summer months when they need it most.

Government worries Illinois plant will pollute Missouri wilderness
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO - 25 May 2004
Illinoisans like to complain about dirty air from Missouri wafting eastward, but the federal government is worried about the reverse - a proposed power plant in Southern Illinois polluting a sensitive Missouri wilderness.

Report: Rapid arctic thaw portends warming
CNN.com - 25 May 2004
The Arctic reacts most to global warming, blamed largely on emissions of gases like carbon dioxide from fossil fuels in cars and factories, partly because dark-colored water or earth, once exposed, soaks up heat far faster than white ice or snow. "If you want to know what the rest of the planet is going to see in next generation, watch out for the Arctic in the next 5 to 10 years," said Corell. The ACIA report combines input from scientists, indigenous peoples and eight Arctic rim nations.

EarthTalk: What happens to drugs when they leave our systems?
Environmental News Network - 25 May 2004
While the effects on human health of drug residues in water are not yet a serious concern, new studies show that fish and other aquatic species may be affected, said Daughton. Antibiotics make some species more resistant to pathogens, steroids can cause endocrine disruption that interferes with reproductive processes, and antidepressants make fish tranquil and more likely to succumb to predation. Considering the large variety of pharmaceuticals on the market today, our water may have a witch's brew of very small amounts of many different kinds of drugs.

New Service Makes It Profitable to Keep Used Cell Phones from the Trash
GreenBiz.com - 24 May 2004
So, what happens to all those old cell phones? Many clutter up desk drawers and closets, but far too many are ending up in landfills, and that is a real threat to the environment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. RMS has launched CellForCash.com to help consumers, carriers, and retailers deal with this avalanche of used phones, and has begun a campaign educating Americans that their retired cell phones may still be of value. The site makes it easy to turn in old phones and receive cash, including shipping costs.

Land trusts a thorny issue
St. George Daily Spectrum, UT - 24 May 2004
As a city that would be woefully shy of open space if the mountains weren't so near, the donations will be greatly appreciated. Management of the properties, however, could become complicated, which is why city officials recently met to decide if the lands should be turned over outright to the city or placed in a private trust.

Daily gardening can improve health
Ireland Online, Ireland - 24 May 2004
Horticultural experts in the UK want to see the positive effects of plants recognised in the same way as eating a healthy diet. They are recommending that everyone spends at least 20 minutes a day, or nearly two and half hours a week, gardening, tending to plants or simply enjoying green spaces.

Michigan Landowner Who Filled Wetlands Faces Prison
New York Times, NY - 18 May 2004
In some ways, the Rapanos case is a reminder of the resistance to environmental enforcement as a legitimate government function, particularly when it comes to wetlands issues. The definition of what qualifies as wetlands and what wetlands fall under federal jurisdiction has been an issue in numerous court cases.

State calls dams pollution threat to rivers
The Oregonian, OR - 18 May 2004
Hydropower dams pose a substantial pollution threat to the Columbia and Snake rivers, Washington's Department of Ecology said Monday in a notice of violation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Bank of America Sets New Industry Best Practices for Climate Change and Forest Policies
GreenBiz.com - 18 May 2004
Bank of America has pledged to take significant new steps in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, protection of intact forest ecosystems, and transparent public reporting to all stakeholders.

Bald eagle will be off threatened list this year, says Bush official
Environmental News Network - 18 May 2004
The American bald eagle ' the national symbol whose decline helped spur the Endangered Species Act and a ban on the pesticide DDT ' will be off the threatened species list this year, said a top Bush administration official.

Russia holds veto on Kyoto treaty
Christian Science Monitor - 18 May 2004
As the world waits, Russians are battling over how Moscow should use its power to make or break the Kyoto Protocol, the international pact to head off global warming. State agencies face a May 20 deadline to give advice to Putin, who remains undecided.

Many U.S. residents carry toxic pesticides above safe levels
Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, IA - 18 May 2004
Many U.S. residents carry toxic pesticides in their bodies above government assessed "acceptable" levels, according to a report recently released by Pesticide Action Network North America. Chemical Trespass: Pesticides in Our Bodies and Corporate Accountability, makes public for the first time an analysis of pesticide-related data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a study of levels of chemicals in 9,282 people nationwide.

'Appleseedz' teaches students about trees
Paris News, TX - 18 May 2004
Trees are everywhere. That’s the lesson Tim Womick passed on to Stone Middle School sixth-grade students Monday afternoon. Womick, founder of Tree Family, a non-profit education group, has spent more than a decade traveling across the United States and around the world, planting trees and knowledge wherever he goes. He has been called a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, a name given John Chapman, who traveled far and wide in the U.S. during the 18th century. Womick has been given a more modern-day moniker — Appleseedz.

Campaign Launches Today to Eliminate 12 Hazardous Chemicals
GreenBiz.com - 17 May 2004
The 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) enters into force on May 17, marking the start of an ambitious international effort to rid the world of PCBs, dioxins and furans, and nine highly dangerous pesticides.

FEMA's New On-Line Course Helps Urban Firefighters Battle Wildfires More Safely
Firehouse.com - 17 May 2004
The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is unveiling today an on-line, independent study course that will enable urban firefighters with expertise in responding to structure fires to safely participate in a wildland/urban interface event.

Sooty air pollution is linked to inherited genetic mutations, Canadian research finds
Environmental News Network - 14 May 2004
Sooty air pollution can cause genetic damage that can be passed along to offspring, Canadian researchers reported Thursday in a study on mice. Follow-up work is needed to learn if people can inherit pollution-damaged DNA that harms their health. In the meantime, the discovery is sure to increase scientists' worry about particulates, the microscopic soot particles emitted by factories, power plants, and diesel-burning vehicles. The good news: Air filters protected the mice.

Globe Grows Darker as Sunshine Diminishes 10% to 37%
New York Times, NY - 13 May 2004
No one is predicting that it may soon be night all day, and some scientists theorize that the skies have brightened in the last decade as the suspected cause of global dimming, air pollution, clears up in many parts of the world. Yet the dimming trend is attracting wide attention. Research on dimming and its implications for weather, water supplies and agriculture will be presented next week in Montreal at a joint meeting of American and Canadian geological groups.

Eco-friendly school will ease overcrowding
Chicago Daily Southtown, IL - 13 May 2004
Students in Marquette Park will get a desperately needed new school to relieve overcrowding. Color: certified green. The environmentally conscious Tarkington Elementary School will feature solar panels, a rainwater runoff system that feeds into a lagoon instead of the sewer system, and low-maintenance rooftop vegetation that will lower the roof temperature to conserve energy.

Hog farm neighbors plan on suing
Casper Star Tribune, WY - 13 May 2004
It still stinks downwind from Wyoming Premium Farms, the largest hog breeding facility in Wyoming, but Bonnie and Richard Johnson aren't complaining about the air quality. It's a waste water problem they say is fouling the air.

Environmental law alliance blossoms
Register-Guard, OR - 12 May 2004
She e-mailed the query to the Eugene-based Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, and before the day was over, she'd heard from peers in Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain, Peru and Argentina. And that, in a nutshell, is how the alliance works. The nonprofit network electronically connects about 400 public interest environmental lawyers in 60 countries to protect fragile ecosystems.

Scientists divided over the wisdom of fire suppression in brushland areas
San Diego Union-Tribune, CA - 12 May 2004
In the aftermath of the wildfires, a long-smoldering argument among fire scientists about living with chaparral has flared anew: Should we try to reduce its ever-present fire threat through controlled burns? Or are such efforts essentially a waste of time, money and resources? Have decades of active fire suppression actually increased the chances of more ruinous wildfires? Or are such conflagrations unavoidable, as much a part of living here as earthquakes?

U.S., U.K. Enter into Joint Energy Partnerships
GreenBiz.com - 11 May 2004
The United States has signed up to the U.K.'s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP). In return, the U.K. has joined the U.S. Clean Energy Initiative and announced joint partnerships with Germany to promote sustainable, affordable energy services in the developed and developing world.

U.S. lands need fire efforts, too
Arizona Central, AZ - 11 May 2004
State policymakers are focusing on private property in their effort to manage forest fires and protect homes and structures. But some say the governor and lawmakers are missing the bigger picture: the estimated 11.4 million acres of national forest in Arizona. But Forest Service officials say they are chipping away at the overgrown "wildland-urban interface," where the edges of forest land meet private property.

Just One Word for the Ocean: Plastics
New York Times, NY - 11 May 2004
Plastics permeate civilization, from shopping bags to shirts, computers to car bumpers. And as all of that plastic is discarded, it is permeating the environment, too - to a microscopic scale. The latest evidence comes from a study conducted around the British Isles that shows accumulations of microscopic fibers and bits of synthetic polymers in beach and seabed sediments.

Golden State turns orange way too early
Christian Science Monitor - 7 May 2004
Record heat, drought, dryness, and devastation by bark beetles and oak diseases have brought fire danger to highly flammable levels not usually seen until September. The brittle combination already had forecasters predicting above-average fire seasons across the western states, including southern California, eastern parts of Washington and Oregon, northern Idaho, and western Montana.

Wildfire risks call for a plan, congressional panel is told
Seattle Post Intelligencer, WA - 6 May 2004
National forests will need at least a decade of targeted logging and underbrush removal to stop the threat of catastrophic fires that continually plague the West, a Department of Agriculture official told members of Congress at a hearing on wildfires yesterday.

Watershed logging potential creates a stir
Smoky Mountain News, NC - 5 May 2004
Town leaders of Waynesville, North Carolina, are considering a monumental conservation easement for the town’s 7,000-acre watershed that, if passed, could serve as a national model for balancing sustainable forest management with high conservation standards, according to town leaders and conservation groups.

Development May Threaten National Park
New York Times, NY - 4 May 2004
A valley treasured by biologists as one of the wildest places in North America could become the site of large coal-related development projects, if two plans are realized.

Drought Settles In, Lake Shrinks and West's Worries Grow
New York Times, NY - 2 May 2004
Continuing research into drought cycles over the last 800 years strongly suggesting that the relatively wet weather across much of the West during the 20th century was a fluke. In other words, scientists who study tree rings and ocean temperatures say, the development of the modern urbanized West ' one of the biggest growth spurts in the nation's history ' may have been based on a colossal miscalculation.

Father, son, restore nation's forests
Detroit News, MI - 2 May 2004
Eight years ago, David and Jared Milarch began a quest to clone the nation’s champion trees 'the biggest of their species, and often the oldest' and use their hardy genetic material to restore declining urban forests. Journeying to every corner of the nation, the father-and-son arborists from Copemish have snipped buds and stems from about 90 of the 867 registered champions and sent them to nurseries and laboratories for cloning.

Climate Change: Shareholders Act To Cut Emissions
LexisNexis - 1 May 2004
Notwithstanding the uncertain fate of the Kyoto Protocol, climate change regulations continue to take shape around the globe, even in countries that have not ratified it. There is recognition within business and insurance communities that business value may be affected by the costs and effects of climate change.