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 2008 contains 30 News Articles.

A Dance of Environment and Economics in the Everglades
The New York Times - 31 Jul 2008
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. ' When Florida officials announced a plan last month to save the Everglades by buying United States Sugar and its 187,000 acres, they knew that the success of their plan could be defined by Alfonso Fanjul and his brother J. Pepe Fanjul. The Fanjuls' family-run sugar company, Florida Crystals, owns what the state wants: about 35,000 acres needed to recreate the River of Grass's historic water flow from Lake Okeechobee south to the Everglades. State officials have said they hope to trade some of United States Sugar's assets for the Fanjuls' property, and in their first interview since the deal was announced, the Fanjuls said they were 'on board' ' but with a few caveats. Their mill and biomass power plant in Okeelanta, which is in the path of the flow way in some draft plans, cannot be moved, they said. And wouldn't it be best, they hinted, to let Florida Crystals use much of the state's new land for sugar, to preserve jobs and produce fuel for their clean-energy projects?

The costs of not building green
Environmental News Network - 30 Jul 2008
Despite the narrowing gap in cost between green building and traditional

Gas prices drive push to reinvent America's suburbs
USA Today - 29 Jul 2008
Mayor Tony Smith proudly waves a thank-you letter from a major builder telling him that no city has ever reached out to him in his 30-year career the way Maricopa did. What Maricopa has been doing is unusual, especially for a distant suburb. This city about 35 miles south of Phoenix is asking builders not to develop just isolated subdivisions behind walls, but whole communities that encourage walking by including stores, schools and services nearby.

How to: Landscape for wildlife
Bay Mills News - 28 Jul 2008
By landscaping with native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses, you can enhance the beauty of your yard, improve the energy efficiency of your home, reduce your yard work, improve the environment and attract a variety of wildlife.

Urban Forestry: Council pondering new tree preservation policies
Columbia Business Times - 28 Jul 2008
In the coming months, the city council will discuss modifications of current land-use ordinances. The council will get a report from the Columbia Public Works Department, which is looking into conservation easements, interlocking green space and other land-use policies. The ephemeral argument of woodland preservation tends to pit environmentalists against business people whenever the council considers plans for developing green spaces.

Gassing up with garbage
The New York Times - 28 Jul 2008
After years of false starts, a new industry selling motor fuel made from waste is getting a big push in the United States, with the first commercial sales possible within months. Many companies have announced plans to build plants that would take in material like wood chips, garbage or crop waste and turn out motor fuels. About 28 small plants are in advanced planning, under construction or, in a handful of cases, already up and running in test mode. For decades scientists have known it was possible to convert waste to fuel, but in an era of cheap oil, it made little sense. With oil now trading around $125 a barrel and gasoline above $4 a gallon, the potential economics of a waste-to-fuel industry have shifted radically, setting off a frenzy to be first to market.

Wildfires may briefly slow Arctic warming, study says
National Geographic News - 28 Jul 2008
The rapidly warming Arctic may be given a brief annual reprieve by smoke from North American wildfires, which cools the surface for weeks or months at a time, a new study found. The smoke creates a veil of aerosols' tiny liquid and solid particles suspended in air that reduces the amount of sunlight, temporarily lowering surface air temperatures.

U.S. Endownment for Forestry and Communities releases forest investment zone calls for pre-proposals
Environmental News Network - 25 Jul 2008
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) today announced an open call for Requests for Pre-proposals (RFPs) under its initiative,

Mexican resorts destroying mangroves, dooming fisheries
Nationalgeographic.com - 24 Jul 2008
The loss of Mexico's coastal mangrove forests to development is threatening the country's multimillion-dollar fishing industry, according to a new study. Around Mexico's Gulf of California' between Baja California peninsula and the west coast of the mainland' mangroves are being destroyed to make way for high-end tourism resorts, marinas, and controversial industrial shrimp farms.

'Smart Growth' support at issue
commercialappeal.com - 23 Jul 2008
What public support will it take to make Germantown's first

Air pollution causing widespread and serious impacts to ecosystems in Eastern United States
Science Daily - 23 Jul 2008
If you are living in the eastern United States, the environment around you is being harmed by air pollution. From Adirondack forests and Shenandoah streams to Appalachian wetlands and the Chesapeake Bay, a new report by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and The Nature Conservancy has found that air pollution is degrading every major ecosystem type in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States.

Climate change likely to add fuel to wildfires, causing greater risk of respiratory harm from smoke inhalation, U.S. government study finds
Environmental News Network - 22 Jul 2008
Wildfires, which have ravaged the Western United States to a record degree in recent years, are likely to become even more severe, frequent and widespread due to climate change, leading to an expected increase in respiratory illness from smoke inhalation, increased property damage, and significant disruption to communities throughout the West and South, warns a new government report issued today. ADVERTISEMENT The report, prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in conjunction with the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), details the impacts of climate change on public health and welfare. It concludes that nearly every region of the U.S. is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which will likely include degraded air quality, more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, and greater transmission of diseases. It further states that climate change will likely cause harm to ecosystems across the country, posing threats to humans and animals alike.

California first state to adopt green building code
Environmental News Network - 21 Jul 2008
The California Building Standards Commission announced on Friday the unanimous adoption of a statewide “green” building code, the first in the nation. The new standards will call for a 20% improvement in water use efficiency for both residential and commercial plumbing fixtures as well as target a 50% increase in conservation for water used in landscaping. The new code will also require all new construction to reduce energy consumption by 15%.

New urbanism manipulation?
Tulsa Beacon - 18 Jul 2008
It would be difficult to understand the New Urbanism movement without understanding their concept of what 'sprawl' means. To say that sprawl is viewed negatively by New Urbanists would be a gross understatement, for it is the antithesis of what their ideal of the right type of planning and living is. In New Urbanism, sprawl is exemplified primarily by the construction of housing subdivisions which are 'unwalkable,' that is, it is necessary to drive a car to buy even the most basic of goods and services.

Call of the wild: back to the city
Examiner.com - 18 Jul 2008
The intersection of man and beast has become impossible to ignore. Just last week, a deer darted across Massachusetts Avenue from the grounds of the vice president's mansion at the U.S. Naval Observatory and hit a white Lexus heading north, smashing the car's headlight.

Population boom will pressure forests: reports
Environmental News Network - 17 Jul 2008
Booming demand for food, fuel and wood as the world's population surges from six to nine billion will put unprecedented and unsustainable demand on the world's remaining forests, two new reports said on Monday.

The new crystal ball for firefighters
NewWest.net - 17 Jul 2008
Innovative computer modeling is helping fire managers answer the 'fight or let it burn' question. It's maximizing resources, too. The map is the product of the Forest Service's innovative computer-modeling program called Fire Spread Probability (or FSPro), a program Finney began developing in 2005

Country, the city version: farms in the sky gain new interest
The New York Times - 16 Jul 2008
What if 'eating local' in Shanghai or New York meant getting your fresh produce from five blocks away? And what if skyscrapers grew off the grid, as verdant, self-sustaining towers where city slickers cultivated their own food?

Looking at extreme effects
The Arizona Republic - 14 Jul 2008
Heat is deadlier than tornadoes, hurricanes and floods. Extreme heat kills more Americans each year than all other weather-related events combined.

Conservation areas 'attracting human settlement'
Environmental News Network - 11 Jul 2008
Protected conservation areas, previously thought to negatively impact marginalised rural communities, actually attract human settlement - a situation that could risk the very biodiversity that protected areas (PAs) seek to protect.

National Fire Plan Emphasizes Fuels Reduction in Wildland-Urban Interface
redorbit.com - 10 Jul 2008
As wildfire season returns to the forests and shrublands of Northeast Oregon, it's worth considering some of the preventative measures taken year-round by resource managers and residents. The Oregon Department of Forestry, for example, participates in a kind of landowner outreach as part of the National Fire Plan, a federal program instituted in 2000 after several years of widespread, mammoth wildfires.

Cutting out the middlemen, shoppers buy slices of farms
The New York Times - 10 Jul 2008
In an environmentally conscious tweak on the typical way of getting food to the table, growing numbers of people are skipping out on grocery stores and even farmers markets and instead going right to the source by buying shares of farms. On one of the farms, here about 35 miles west of Chicago, Steve Trisko was weeding beets the other day and cutting back a shade tree so baby tomatoes could get sunlight. Mr. Trisko is a retired computer consultant who owns shares in the four-acre Erehwon Farm. “We decided that it’s in our interest to have a small farm succeed, and have them be able to have a sustainable farm producing good food,” Mr. Trisko said. Part of a loose but growing network mostly mobilized on the Internet, Erehwon is participating in what is known as community-supported agriculture. About 150 people have bought shares in Erehwon — in essence, hiring personal farmers and turning the old notion of sharecropping on its head.

Conservation design principles aren't mandatory, but developers are still using them
gazettextra.com - 9 Jul 2008
Although they're not required to in most Walworth County municipalities, more and more developers are implementing the principles of conservation development design.

New crews called in to fight California wildfire
signonsandiego.com - 8 Jul 2008
LOS ANGELES - Fresh firefighting crews were called in Monday to battle a wildfire chewing westward through coastal mountains of southern Santa Barbara County, one of more than 300 blazes burning in California. With a heat wave forecast for this week, firefighters on the Gap Fire were trying to take advantage of morning marine fog and a last day of moderate weather, said Stanton Florea, spokesman for the National Forest Service.

With gas over $4, cities explore whether it's smart to be dense
The Wall Street Journal - 7 Jul 2008
Seven years later, with gasoline hurtling past $4 a gallon, Sacramento has become one of the nation's most-watched experiments in whether urban planning can help solve everything from high fuel prices to the housing bust to global warming.

SC forestry commission urges safer burns
LakefrontHartwell.com - 3 Jul 2008
South Carolina Forestry Commission personnel have observed a number of wildfires originating during seasonal wheat field burn-offs. SCFC recognizes the importance of this practice and the benefits it provides as a land management tool. Current drought conditions however can turn a normally benign agricultural burn into a powerful wildfire with just a slight shift in the wind and/or inadequate burn site preparations.

From wood waste to renewable energy
timberbuysell.com - 3 Jul 2008
Western states and territories are improving the health of their forests while at the same time producing renewable energy, according to a recent summary report developed by the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition.

World bank approves climate funds before G8 summit
Reuters - 2 Jul 2008
The World Bank on Tuesday agreed to establish two investment funds to help developing economies switch to clean-energy technologies to curb carbon emissions and help poor countries adapt to climate change. The approval of the Clean Technology Fund and Strategic Climate Fund comes days before a summit of Group of Eight leaders from industrial countries in Hokkaido, Japan, on July 8 where climate change issues are on the agenda.

G8 climate change failure could hurt U.N.-led talks
Reuters - 1 Jul 2008
G8 leaders have a 50-50 chance of agreeing next week on a global goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, a Japanese foreign ministry official said, adding that failure could hurt U.N.-led climate talks.

Deal is struck in Montana to preserve forest areas
The New York Times - 1 Jul 2008
A huge patchwork of privately owned forest in northwest Montana — much of it abutting wilderness, and together almost a third the size of Rhode Island — will be permanently protected from development under an agreement announced Monday by two private conservation groups, the Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land.