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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Jul 2004 contains 22 News Articles.

Spring Through Fall, Cities Are Greener Longer Than Neighboring Rural Regions
Science Daily - 29 Jul 2004
Summer can sometimes be a miserably hot time for city dwellers, but new research shows that an urban setting allows plants to bask in a hot-house environment that keeps them greener longer. Recent NASA-sponsored research from a team of geographers in Boston University's Center for Remote Sensing shows that the growing season for vegetation in about 70 urban areas in North America is, on average, 15 days longer than that in rural regions surrounding the cities studied.

New market for developers: homebuyers want view of woods, not large lawns
University of Michigan News Service - 28 Jul 2004
People prefer a view of the woods over a manicured lawn, a new University of Michigan study found, suggesting a potentially huge untapped real estate market for conservation developments.

Involvement of local communities vital to save world's forests from fires; UN
UN News Service - 28 Jul 2004
Main causes of fire outbreaks in rural areas include uncontrolled use of fire for agriculture, setting fire to forests and grassland to convert them into agricultural fields, the use of fire to gain access to hunting, and arson. “If humans are the main cause of forest fires, prevention and control have to involve people at local level,” FAO forest fire expert Mike Jurvelius said. “The traditional approach of focusing on legislation and expensive equipment alone is not sufficient," he added, noting that human activity causes 95 per cent of all fires worldwide

A Far-Reaching Fire Makes a Point About Pollution
New York Times, NY - 27 Jul 2004
Measurements have increasingly been showing how pollution that was once perceived as local is, at least in part, global. By 2010, for example, scientists project that a third of the smog-forming ozone in California air will originate in the booming economies of Asia.

Growing city forest presents new challenges
Bozeman Daily Chronicle, MT - 25 Jul 2004
Bozeman has a forest -- an urban forest -- and unlike many cities across the nation, it's growing. But that doesn't mean there are not challenges ahead in keeping it healthy. There are more than 2,500 trees in the city's parks and cemetery, perhaps another 10,000 trees lining public streets, and no one is really sure how many can be found on private property.

'Red Zone' residents get proactive
Summit Daily News, CO - 24 Jul 2004
While recent rains have dampened short-term fire concerns in Summit County, several neighborhoods in the area fall squarely into the so-called Red Zone, where a dense buildup of forest fuels close to clusters of homes could combine for dangerous, destructive blazes when dry conditions return.But some of these at-risk areas could become just a little bit safer during the next few months, as the U.S. Forest Service moves ahead with the Summit Wildland-Urban Interface project, a cooperative venture between the U.S. Forest Service, the local homeowners' associations, Colorado State Forest Service and Summit County.

Drought kindles big fire season in West
Christian Science Monitor - 21 Jul 2004
So far this year, the summer fire season has taken off like sparks through dry tinder. Up to this point in the June to October wildfire season, the number of acres burned is double the average for the past decade - already more than what burned in all of 2003.

Sprawl poses a threat to public health, too, experts say
Press Herald, ME - 19 Jul 2004
The migration of Mainers from cities to the countryside has not only resulted in a loss of farm land and wildlife habitat but threatens a way of life and public health. Anti-sprawl activists say the spreading out of development along country roads, with no sidewalks and no bike paths, means Mainers are walking less and driving more and the results are rising rates of obesity, lung disease and stress.

Local Forest Service officials use new computer software to fight wildfires
Montrose Daily Press, CO - 18 Jul 2004
U.S. Forest Service officials headquartered in Delta are among the first in the nation to utilize a new computer program to help prevent wildfires. Developed at the Forest Service's Fire Sciences Lab in Missoula, Mont., the computer wildfire-modeling program will help forest planners design fuel-reduction treatments on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests, said John Moore, the GMUG's team leader for the National Fire Plan.

Paving our way out of greenery
Christian Science Monitor - 15 Jul 2004
An environmentalist's protest song laments that we're "using up the world." Two new maps of human environmental impact now make that point graphically. One shows that the paved parts of the continental United States have grown to cover a total area nearly as large as Ohio and slightly larger than the nation's herbaceous wetlands. The smothering effect of these impermeable surfaces alters watersheds by increasing runoff, reduces the number and diversity of species among fish and aquatic insects, and degrades wetlands, according to Christopher Eldridge and fellow mapmakers at the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center in Boulder, Colo.

Land Trust weds innovative ideas and hard work
The Sun Herald, MS - 15 Jul 2004
Government ownership of significant lands for preservation is not always practical or even desirable, because it adds to the public tax burden and removes property from the tax rolls. Enter the Land Trust, which promotes voluntary conservation of land through private ownership, and opens doors for landowners who once had no financially feasible options to preserve their land. Through many avenues that are tax savvy and environmentally smart, the Land Trust is enabling landowners and communities to benefit from the open spaces and green places that add beauty, relaxation, education and recreation to our lives.

Private Partnership Creates Model to Balance Wildlife Habitat and Working Ranchland Conservation
U.S. Newswire - 14 Jul 2004
The Grand Canyon Trust (GCT) and The Conservation Fund announced today that they have purchased an exclusive option from the Kane Ranch Land Stewardship & Cattle Company, LLC to buy the Kane and Two Mile Ranches, which own or control grazing permits on nearly 900,000 acres north of the Grand Canyon. The grazing allotments of the ranches share a boundary of approximately 80 miles with Grand Canyon National Park including some of the most varied wildlife habitat in the West. The ranches include 1,000 acres of private land in House Rock Valley, along the Vermilion Cliffs and on the Paria Plateau. Tied to this base property are federal and state grazing permits for nearly 900,000 acres.

Beetles Take a Devastating Toll on Western Forests
New York Times, NY - 13 Jul 2004
It is a growing problem around the West. Unusually warm temperatures have extended the life and range of this and other bark beetles over the last several years. Trees have been weakened by several years of severe drought. Decades of zero tolerance for forest fires (a policy that is changing) left many forests far too dense with trees, a fertile environment for hungry beetles. All of it has led to an explosion of insect-killed trees in conifer forests.

Green with energy
The Columbian, WA - 11 Jul 2004
With insulated concrete basement walls, radiant heat in the basement floor, low-flow and dual-flush toilets, kitchen cabinets made of wheatboard, and insulating panels in place of wood along some exterior walls, the 12-room house will incorporate many features of Clark County builders' new Built Green program.

Bug doctors take aim in invasive species fight
Palm Beach Post, FL - 10 Jul 2004
In a state that spends millions of dollars each year to kill non-native plants that have consumed about 1.5 million acres, it might seem unlikely that scientists would import these invasive species, and even less likely that they would cultivate them. But within weeks, researchers with the University of Florida will be doing just that on the Treasure Coast. Aiming to make non-native insects attack only exotic plants, eight scientists will study the invasive species in a $3.8 million high-security laboratory, which was dedicated Friday at the university's research center west of Fort Pierce.

Garbage trail in ocean blamed on storm-water runoff
Allentown Morning Call, PA - 9 Jul 2004
A seven-mile trail of garbage bobbing offshore was most likely caused by storm-water runoff from Sunday and Monday's heavy rains, and poses no environmental or navigational hazard, officials said Thursday. However, Kari Jermansen, outreach director for Clean Ocean Action, said she found condoms, tampon applicators and other potentially hazardous materials, as well as large pieces of wood, on Sea Bright's public and private beaches late Wednesday afternoon.

Klamath National Forest Announces Fire-Use Plan
Siskiyou Daily News, CA - 7 Jul 2004
A lightning-caused fire that started June 28 has become the Klamath National Forest's (KNF) first Wildland Fire-Use fire under the new Forest-Use Plan, signaling the first major change in the U.S. Forest Service's fire suppression policy in decades.

Forest Service and University of Wisconsin develop new tools identifying wildland urban interface: where forests, homes, and wildfires meet
USDA Forest Service News Release, Washington, D.C. - 7 Jul 2004
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the University of Wisconsin (Madison) today released new scientific maps depicting the communities and lands within the wildland urban interface (WUI) across the lower 48 states. This is the first consistent nationwide representation of the WUI as defined in the Federal Register (Volume 66:751, 2001) and makes possible mapping and analysis at national, state and local levels.

Trees are the lungs of our city
The Florida Times-Union, FL - 6 Jul 2004
By the end of the summer, there will be an accurate picture available of how many trees have been lost in Duval County to development and how healthy and widespread those remaining are. A $120,000 study called an Urban Ecosystem Analysis, which uses high-tech satellite images from NASA, was started in May by American Forests. It is expected to be completed by the end of August, said Gary Moll, senior vice president of American Forests' Urban Forest Center.

Two Corporations Join Pilots to Supply Sustainable Products to Consumers
GreenBiz.com - 6 Jul 2004
Two of the world's largest consumer products companies have been selected to green their goods in a trial of the European Commission's Integrated Product Policy, which encourages sustainability from all players in the life cycle of a product. For one year, the two companies will look at the environmental impacts of their products, utilizing stakeholder meetings, to identify best practices and routes for improvement.

As Humans Alter Land, Infectious Diseases Follow
University Communications News Releases, WI - 4 Jul 2004
As people remake the world's landscapes, cutting forests, draining wetlands, building roads and dams, and pushing the margins of cities ever outward, infectious diseases are gaining new toeholds, cropping up in new places and new hosts, and posing an ever-increasing risk to human and animal health.

Large-Scale Air Quality Study Launched
Washington Post, Washington, D.C. - 2 Jul 2004
A multinational team of climatologists embarked yesterday on what it says will be the most extensive study of air quality ever conducted, providing valuable data about the origins and content of pollution as it moves across North America and the Atlantic Ocean.