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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Jun 2004 contains 68 News Articles.

As fast as polluted streams are cleaned, others take their place
Tennessean, TN - 28 Jun 2004
About four dozen Tennessee rivers and streams are too polluted to support aquatic life or allow recreation, and that number has stayed the same for the past 15 years, according to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

A record year for shareholder activism
Christian Science Monitor - 28 Jun 2004
Motivated to be heard in the post-Enron age, shareholders are flexing their muscles, demanding responsible policies and practices in unprecedented ways. And though some still feel like second-class citizens behind executive elites, shareholder activists are reporting new receptivity to their causes - thanks, they say, to a scandal-charged atmosphere that has management humbled and listening.

New hybrid buses making the rounds are making less pollution
Stamford Advocate, CT - 28 Jun 2004
After a year of traveling the Hartford area, two hybrid diesel-electric buses are up and running in Stamford. Stamford was chosen as the permanent home of the state's first two hybrid buses because it long has been designated as Connecticut's most polluted metropolitan area.

Early Snowmelt Ignites Global Warming Worries
Los Angeles Times, CA - 28 Jun 2004
Research elsewhere in the West points to the same phenomenon: As temperatures have grown warmer over the last 50 years, less snow is falling in some places and it is often disappearing one to three weeks earlier.

New system assesses area wildfire risks
Golden Gate Gazette, FL - 28 Jun 2004
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is now utilizing a new system using satellite imagery and computer modeling to help assess wildfire risks more accurately and allocate firefighting resources more effectively.

Land use battles being fought where zoned and unzoned land meet
Lancaster Newspapers, PA - 28 Jun 2004
From landfills along Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania to adult bookstores along Interstate 70 in Kansas, experts say the latest battle lines in land use planning are being fought where zoned and unzoned land meet.

Proposed program could take irrigated land out of production
Grand Island Independent, NE - 26 Jun 2004
The program would target 100,000 acres of irrigated land and convert it to native grass, filter strips or riparian buffers and wetland restoration. As in the Conservation Reserve Program, farmers would be paid in return for retiring the land for either 10 or 15 years. The goal is to improve preservation of existing ground and surface water supplies in areas of the state impacted by drought.

Smokies top list of most polluted parks
CNN.com - 24 Jun 2004
This year the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina has the dubious distinction of being the most polluted, with unhealthy ozone that exceeds the levels found in urban cities such as Washington and New York.

SC Johnson Exceeds Goal to Use More Environmentally Preferable Raw Materials
GreenBiz.com - 24 Jun 2004
SC Johnson has announced that the company has exceeded its goal to use more environmentally preferable raw materials across all SC Johnson brands, crediting its Greenlist raw material classification system for the improvements. Greenlist is a system of classifying raw materials to improve the development of SC Johnson products. It rates materials according to their environmental impacts and allows the materials to be compared with one another for environmental and human health characteristics.

Rapid Urbanization In China Warming Regional Climate Faster Than Other Urban Areas
Science Daily - 23 Jun 2004
Rapid urbanization in southeastern China in the past 25 years is responsible for an estimated warming rate much larger than previous estimates for other periods and locations, according to a new study funded by NASA.

Toxic pollution rose in 2002, reversing trend
CNN.com - 23 Jun 2004
Toxic chemical releases into the environment rose 5 percent in 2002, marking only the second such increase reported by the Environmental Protection Agency in nearly two decades, and the first since 1997.

Western states kick off summer under threat of crippling drought
USA Today - 21 Jun 2004
Drought conditions in parts of the West are the worst in more than 400 years. Western governors will meet today with federal climate officials to assess conditions and discuss how to prepare for the threat of wildfires and what could be a dire summer for crops and drinking-water supplies.

Thirsty Las Vegas Eyes a Refuge's Water
Los Angeles Times, CA - 21 Jun 2004
The city of water-themed casinos and ever-expanding subdivisions is looking at the largest federal wildlife sanctuary in the lower 48 states. Las Vegas wants to begin a massive pumping project that would reach deep into rural Nevada to tap an ancient aquifer running from western Utah to Death Valley National Park in eastern California.

Calif. Wine Country Clashes With Ecosystem
Washington Post, DC - 21 Jun 2004
In Sonoma County, the grape is king. But as California winemakers seek to capitalize on their popularity, they have steadily encroached on the rivers, streams and creeks that crisscross the scenic valley. The rapid narrowing of the wooded corridors along these waterways worries wildlife specialists and environmental researchers.

A Sweet Way to Fuel Cars
New York Times, NY - 21 Jun 2004
You may not be able to refuel your car with corn syrup or charge your computer by plugging it into a bottle of Coca-Cola anytime soon. But to Stanley H. Kravitz and a group of researchers at Sandia National Laboratories, sugar looks like the new oil.

More cars may face emissions tests
Nashville Tennessean, TN - 21 Jun 2004
More Midstate motorists may have to pay their $10 and get their vehicle emissions tested as part of a state plan to help meet tougher federal air-quality standards.

DEP working to form panel to shape plan on pollution
Bonita Banner, FL - 21 Jun 2004
The state is working on a pollution-swapping formula that could be compared to the popular kid's trading card game Go Fish, but some critics say the game more resembles Monopoly with a get-out-of-jail-free card for big industries and growing cities.

Tennessee trash piling up higher overall since '02
Knoxville News, TN - 21 Jun 2004
Tennessee communities are reducing the amount of garbage in certain landfills, but are diverting some of the waste to other dumps with less state oversight, according to a new report. Overall, the state still hasn't met a goal originally set in 1991 to reduce the amount of solid waste going into Class I landfills by one-fourth, according to the report by the comptroller's office.

Farmers may balk at hog waste system
News-Observer, NC - 21 Jun 2004
Four years into an environmental agreement that aims to reform hog farms across the state, there still is no sure-fire improvement to the much-maligned hog-waste lagoon system. But now, there's something close.

First-ever standards set for land use projects target climate change
GreenBiz.com - 21 Jun 2004
The first-ever set of standards certifying land use projects that reduce global warming while conserving the environment and alleviating poverty will be opened up for global peer review and comment next week by the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Alliance.

Price of pollution
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, FL - 21 Jun 2004
A recent report titled "Dirty Air, Dirty Power" isn't likely to make its way into Florida's tourism mailings. But it should be required reading for officials in Tallahassee and throughout our region. The report provides a disturbing glimpse of the health and economic damage caused by older power plants that have long been allowed to operate with out-of-date equipment.

N.Y. top court to hear land dispute
Democrat and Chronicle, NY - 21 Jun 2004
A nearly 2-year-old dispute over conditions the town set for a couple to build a home is heading for New York state’s highest court. The property is in an environmental protection overlay district involving woodlands.

Two water systems eyeing plans to pump water from Coosa River as demand increases
Daily Home Online, AL - 20 Jun 2004
Alabama and Georgia have been at odds over water rights to the Coosa River for more than a decade, but there could be a local water war brewing over who will serve up that water in north Talladega County and at what cost.

Parkway visitors want views maintained
Asheville Citizen Times, NC - 20 Jun 2004
While most Blue Ridge Parkway travelers are happy with what they see, some say they are concerned about encroaching development in Virginia and air quality in the North Carolina section, according to a report released by the National Park Service.

Downtown Brown
Savannah Morning News, GA - 20 Jun 2004
The city's majestic live oaks, whose moss-draped visage is one of the very symbols of Savannah, are under attack from tiny insects that are turning green leaves brown throughout the Historic District. The leading theory: Heavy aerial mosquito spraying last year, prompted by the West Nile virus threat, killed off small parasitic wasps that normally feed on Kermes scales, keeping them in check.

Retirement home helps give Earth bright future
Chicago Tribune, IL - 20 Jun 2004
A DuPage County Earth Flag flies proudly at Wyndemere Retirement Community, which recently laid claim to a little environmental history. "It's the first time a retirement community has earned an Earth Flag."

Breaking up habitat endangers wildlife
Valley News Dispatch, PA - 20 Jun 2004
Giving the landscape an annual check-up is one way to know the health of, say, a 3,000-acre swath along the banks of the Allegheny River. As developments slice up wooded areas, habitats change and so does the wildlife.

New approaches to housing enhance quality of life
Kansas City Star, MO - 19 Jun 2004
These two new developments capture the latest emerging ideology of integrating the three basic components of the quality of life for any community – live, work and play – into a synchronized and environmentally sensitive setting. This helps promote pedestrian accessibility and connectivity amongst the residents, employees and consumers.

House rejects Yellowstone snowmobile ban
CNN.com - 18 Jun 2004
The House voted Thursday to let snowmobiles continue using Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, as the recreation industry dealt a defeat to environmentalists. By 224-198, the chamber beat back an effort to ban the vehicles by lawmakers who said the machines cause pollution and noise, and pose a danger to the parks' wildlife.

UN Observes 10th Anniversary of International Campaign to Fight Desertification
Voice of America, DC - 17 Jun 2004
This week in Bonn, Germany, the United Nations is observing the 10th anniversary of its international campaign to fight desertification. Desertification is the degradation of once useful land that the U.N. says is threatening food security and triggering humanitarian and economic crises.

Tahoe Basin Fire Safe Council Uses Satellite Imagery and Geotechnologies for Wildfire Risk Assessment and Emergency Response Planning
PRNewswire - 16 Jun 2004
DigitalGlobe and NCDC's combined geotechnologies will be used to identify and map wildfire threats, including hazardous fuel accumulations, flammable roofing materials, and all major roads and structures situated within each area's wildland-urban interface.

Dead Zones Increasing in World's Coastal Waters
Environmental News Network - 16 Jun 2004
As summer comes to the Gulf of Mexico, it brings with it each year a giant "dead zone" devoid of fish and other aquatic life, which is now larger than the state of New Jersey. A similar situation is found on a smaller scale in the Chesapeake Bay. A complex chain of events is to blame, but it often starts with farmers trying to grow more food for the world's growing population.

U.S.A.'s Built-up Surfaces Equal Ohio in Area
SpatialNews.com - 16 Jun 2004
If all the highways, streets, buildings, parking lots and other solid structures in the 48 contiguous United States were pieced together like a giant jigsaw puzzle, they would almost cover the state of Ohio. That is the result of a study by Christopher Elvidge of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Geophysical Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, who along with colleagues from several universities and agencies produced the first national map and inventory of impervious surface areas (ISA) in the United States.

Alternative-Energy Quest Is Blocked by a 1953 Law
New York Times, NY - 16 Jun 2004
The town decided to use wind energy for its 328 street lamps, two public baseball parks and all the rest of its municipal needs, even though it was slightly more expensive than conventional sources. In doing so, however, it ran up against a 51-year-old state law that requires cities to use the least expensive source for a commodity.

Climate change inevitable say scientists
CNN.com - 16 Jun 2004
Climate change is already occurring and immediate steps are needed to both slow it down and adapt to the changes that will occur anyway, scientists said Tuesday.

Dwindling quail populations create crisis situation
Houston Chronicle, TX - 16 Jun 2004
Bobwhites, once so amazingly abundant and widespread in the Southeast that the birds were a part of the social fabric, have all but faded from huge swaths of their native range. Culprits in the quail tumble are clear. Loss of quail habitat and the fragmentation of remaining habitat are the largest factors.

Flood-menaced population to double by 2050
Planet Ark, United Kingdom - 15 Jun 2004
The number of people vulnerable to floods is expected to double to 2 billion worldwide by 2050 due to global warming, deforestation, rising sea levels and population growth in flood-prone areas, U.N. researchers have warned.

Officials: Don't keep those carp
Free Lance-Star, VA - 15 Jun 2004
If you catch a carp in Lake Anna, don't cook it up for dinner. The advisory warns that carp taken from Lake Anna may contain PCBs. Polychlorinated biphenyls, used in electrical transformer oils, were banned in the 1970s and have been linked to cancer and nervous-system disorders. PCBs remain in the soil and sediment for decades after being released into the environment.

Expected higher gas prices hit Baton Rouge in a week
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, FL - 15 Jun 2004
The federal Environmental Protection Agency ordered the Baton Rouge area to use reformulated gas after it failed to comply with ozone standards under the Clean Air Act. However, opponents say the order is flawed and would be too expensive for motorists and businesses. They have filed three lawsuits in an attempt to block it from taking effect.

Louisiana seeks help for its coastline
Washington Times, DC - 15 Jun 2004
Louisiana officials are making a scaled-back appeal to Congress for money to begin restoration of the state's eroding coastline. Sidney Coffee, an assistant to Gov. Kathleen Blanco, said Tuesday the $1.2 billion proposal will be submitted to a Senate committee this week.

Scripps project would threaten rural ecosystem in NW Palm Beach County
Sun-Sentinel, FL - 14 Jun 2004
Environmentalists argue that Scripps -- expected to bring more laboratories, medical businesses and other growth to that grove, plus a spillover of residential development to a neighboring 1,700-acre swath of pasture and wetlands owned by Charles Vavrus -- is blatantly out of place in this preservation-themed corner of the county.

Construction industry faces new EPA diesel emission regulations
Wichita Business Journal, KS - 13 Jun 2004
At issue is the Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule, which was rolled out last month by the EPA. It requires that diesel fuel and diesel engines -- used on backhoes, bulldozers and earthmovers -- change for lower emissions. The payoff is to be measured in better health. But those who have to abide by the new regulations -- those who sell and buy diesel equipment -- aren't pleased.

Lights-out policy in cities saves birds
CNN.com - 11 Jun 2004
Turning out the lights of city skyscrapers is helping to save the lives of thousands of birds migrating across North American cities to their spring breeding grounds.

Natsource Reports Significant Increases in GHG Trading in 2004
GreenBiz.com - 10 Jun 2004
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading continued to increase during the first four months of 2004 when compared to activity in 2003, according to an annual analysis Natsource LLC.

Deer-resistant plants? Drought-detecting flowers?
Tallahassee Democrat, FL - 10 Jun 2004
The potted rhododendron Mark Brand picks up in his University of Connecticut laboratory pretty much looks like a regular plant. But in its genes are proteins that came from frogs - and it may well represent the future of gardening.

Major Concessioner Expands Sustainable-Cuisine Program
GreenBiz.com - 9 Jun 2004
It has been three years since national park and resort concessioner Xanterra Parks & Resorts first announced an aggressive company-wide seafood policy that promoted the use of sustainable seafood in all of its 64 restaurants as well as its catering and employee dining operations. Since then, the company's sustainable cuisine menu offerings have grown substantially, including the additions of Oregon Country Natural Beef; Kurobuta Pork; Kobe-style Beef; wines produced using sustainable practices; organic soy milk; farm-raised trout and abalone; locally grown produce and hormone- and antibiotic-free elk, bison, chicken and venison.

U.S. Builders Recognized for Tree-Conserving Projects
GreenBiz.com - 8 Jun 2004
Conservation-minded builders and developers throughout the U.S. have been named to receive 2004 Awards of Excellence in the Building With Trees recognition program. The program recognizes builders and developers who save trees during construction and land development.

North American Pollution
Chemical & Engineering News - 7 Jun 2004
Chemical manufacturing ranked third highest among all industries for releasing pollutants in North America during 2001, says a report released last week. Electric utilities were the largest polluter, followed by metal-mining companies and chemical makers, the report says. All industries together reported 1.3 million metric tons of releases in 2001.

Veggie car owners fill up (the tank) at local diners
Toronto Star, Canada - 7 Jun 2004
As automobile owners grapple with pumped-up gasoline prices, some are turning to their favourite restaurants for a solution: recycled vegetable oil. Environmentalists with diesel cars have used vegetable oil for years as an alternative fuel to cut back on emissions, but as gas prices soar above $2 (U.S.) a gallon, they say their "veggie cars'' are a great way to save cash.

Water trucked to condo complex
White Plains Journal News, NY - 7 Jun 2004
Traces of a gasoline additive discovered in the wells at a Patterson condominium complex have residents depending on trucked-in or bottled water for cooking and drinking.

Trading 'hot air' to buy time on climate
CNN.com - 7 Jun 2004
Buyers, sellers, brokers and lawyers, even "specialists in carbon asset creation management," convene Wednesday on the banks of the Rhine to launch a new business for a worried world.

Nation's plant database falling behind, survey shows
Michigan State University (press release), MI - 7 Jun 2004
Stopping to smell the roses may be laudable, but more people need to be picking, preserving and cataloging them. The problem: Collecting local or in-state plant life is in steep decline, at a time when habitat is changing dramatically.

Ahead of the curve
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA - 6 Jun 2004
The stars seem to be aligned for growth around the Kensington MARTA station. The Kensington area already has been the focus of a Livable Centers Initiative study funded by the Atlanta Regional Commission to encourage "smart growth." The idea behind transit-oriented development is to create communities that allow people to live and work near a station so they hop onto a train instead of driving.

Pollution in N. America falls 10 percent
CNN.com - 3 Jun 2004
Pollution in North America fell 10 percent over three years, but coal-burning power plants are lagging in improvements among industrial sources fouling the air, it was reported Wednesday.

First-Ever Standards Set for Land Use Projects Targeting Climate Change
GreenBiz.com - 3 Jun 2004
This “multiple-benefit” approach which incorporates climate, environmental and social issues addresses shortfalls in existing land-based climate strategies. With input from environmental organizations, academic institutions and the private sector, the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards will help companies, conservation organizations, governments and international funding groups to efficiently identify cost-effective carbon emission reduction projects that also have a positive impact on biodiversity and local communities.

World Bank Pledges Hikes in Renewable-Energy Investments
GreenBiz.com - 3 Jun 2004
The World Bank Group has committed to an average growth rate of 20% per year over the next five years in its annual financial commitments for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Deadly floods force tough talk about Haiti's deforestation
Environmental News Network - 3 Jun 2004
Named after a sacred tree in the Voodoo religion, this Haitian village has few remaining mapou trees and a scant number of others on its surrounding mountains. When floods tore through town last week, many survived by clinging to roots, branches, and trunks — but it was the overall absence of trees that made the onslaught so deadly.

Drought taking its toll even on sagebrush
ESPN Outdoors - 3 Jun 2004
Sagebrush provides food for some species, like mule deer in the winter; shelter for others, like the sage grouse; and helps stabilize the water table. Besides reversing those benefits, any die-off could also clear the way for invasive species and massive wildfires.

Huge, Freed Pet Pythons Invade Florida Everglades
National Geographic News - 3 Jun 2004
In February, a group of tourists at the Pa-hay-okee Overlook in Florida's Everglades National Park stumbled upon a battle between an alligator and a python. The stunned onlookers watched as the snake wrapped itself around the alligator, only to see its opponent counter by rolling over and grabbing the snake in its mouth and swimming off with the snake in its jaw.

Metro planners get new tool for New Urbanism projects
Nashville City Paper, TN - 3 Jun 2004
Metro planners have a new tool that they hope will make it easier to create traditional neighborhoods following the New Urbanism style. The Planning Commission adopted the new tool called the Transect - a guidance and analysis tool for creating a vibrant neighborhood — with an update of the Land Use Policy Application last week.

Fighting crime in the wild
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA - 3 Jun 2004
When federal authorities found that eggs from the endangered sea turtle were being sold on the sly behind a Florida restaurant, they turned to science's latest investigative tools to ferret out the culprits.

Drought may 'reset' forest ecosystems
Seattle Times, WA - 1 Jun 2004
As the nation devotes billions of dollars to artificially thinning forests, Mother Nature is taking matters into her own hands on a scale humans can't hope to match, scientists say.

Mexico City Faces Water Crisis as Demand Spirals
Planet Ark, United Kingdom - 1 Jun 2004
Once a thriving Aztec citadel set on a broad highland lake, Latin America's largest city is threatened with outages, rationing and an angry population as the water needs of its growing population outstrip hard-squeezed supplies. The city is sinking into the soft, drained lake bed as its aquifers collapse. It has a hemorrhaging distribution network and is forced to buy around a third of its raw water from neighboring river basins to supplement the ever-expanding metropolitan area's needs.

More drivers get charge out of hybrid cars
Star-Ledger, NJ - 1 Jun 2004
Hybrid vehicles made headlines in March after movie stars such as Will Ferrell, Robin Williams and Tim Robbins used the Toyota Prius to get to the Academy Awards show. Their environmentally conscious fashion statement seems to have foreshadowed a trend. This spring, more and more Americans are looking to buy one of a growing array of fuel-saving vehicles designed to run on gasoline and electricity.

Energy Gets Jolt of Venture Cash
Wired News - 1 Jun 2004
With gas prices at record highs, venture capitalists who invest in the energy industry believe their prospects are looking up, particularly with investments in startups specializing in areas like conservation technology and alternative energy.

Fighting smog at pump
Rocky Mountain News, CO - 1 Jun 2004
Motorists in the metro area will officially be filling up with a new smog- fighting gasoline beginning today, the first day of the summer high-pollution season.

Pollution likely killed hatchery salmon in Edmonds
Seattle Post Intelligencer, WA - 1 Jun 2004
Stormwater runoff is believed to have been the cause of pollution that killed about 9,500 young salmon at a hatchery on Willow Creek last week. Urban-stream experts say it's common for fish kills to occur when a heavy downpour follows a long, dry period, which is what happened in the Willow Creek watershed recently.

Water storage plan creates controversy
Ft. Myers News-Press, FL - 1 Jun 2004
Storing billions of gallons of water underground for Everglades restoration inarguably ranks among the most controversial parts of the $8 billion, 30-year-plus project.