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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Aug 2008 contains 14 News Articles.

Urban biologist takes proactive approach
The Colony Courier Leader - 20 Aug 2008
"Coyotes are here to stay, but we can coexist." That was the theme of a presentation by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Urban Biologist Brett Johnson, who spoke to a gathering of residents at The Colony Community Center on Aug. 13. Seeking first to dispel any myths, Johnson pointed out that coyotes are not the large predators some make them out to be. "This is where I like to start. Let's look at some realistic numbers," he said. "I've got all kinds of reports of 60-plus pound coyotes ... (but) there just aren't that many running around." The ones that do reach that size live in Canada.

Finding energy in forest waste
Rapid City Journal - 19 Aug 2008
Tree thinning and other forest-management operations in the Black Hills National Forest produce more than 200,000 tons of waste wood products each year, most of which could be used to fuel the emerging cellulosic ethanol industry, forest Supervisor Craig Bobzien said Monday. But most of that 'woody biomass' is piled up throughout the forest and eventually burned, he said.

Florida Wildlife Crowded by Swelling Human Population
Environment News Service - 18 Aug 2008
Florida's wildlife, already displaced from much of its habitat by human activities, will face even greater pressure over the next 50 years as the human population doubles its current size of 18 million people, finds a new report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC. Issued Thursday, the report,

Will Grasslands Overtake U.S. Forests Due to Warming?
National Geographic News - 18 Aug 2008
Climate change may cause grasslands to spread to parts of the United States that are currently covered in forest, a new study says. If local climates become more extreme due to global warming, then entire ecotones'boundaries between ecosystems'could shift, the study says, highlighting the central United States, where prairie gives way to forests of the east.

FWC Releases Revealing Report on the Future of Florida's Wildlife
Wakulla.com - 15 Aug 2008
When people compare a map of Florida as it is currently to a map reflecting predicted development by the year 2060, there is usually a gasp. The amount of anticipated development is stunning, and the byproduct is the loss of wildlife as the lands they inhabit become urbanized. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) tackled the challenge of predicting what may be in store for wildlife 50 years from now if growth trends continue. The results are available in the FWC publication “Wildlife 2060: What’s at stake for Florida?” This document looks at the future of Florida’s fish and wildlife resources in a practical and objective way. The FWC report is based on a study, “Florida 2060” conducted by 1000 Friends of Florida (www.1000friendsofflorida.org ), a not-for-profit organization that monitors growth in the state.

Advocating an Unusual Role for Trees
The New York Times - 12 Aug 2008
Diana Beresford-Kroeger pointed to a towering wafer ash tree near her home. The tree is a chemical factory, she explained, and its products are part of a sophisticated survival strategy. The flowers contain terpene oils, which repel mammals that might feed on them. But the ash needs to attract pollinators, and so it has a powerful lactone fragrance that appeals to large butterflies and honeybees. The chemicals in the wafer ash, in turn, she said, provide chemical protection for the butterflies from birds, making them taste bitter. Many similar unseen chemical relationships are going on in the world around us. “These are at the heart of connectivity in nature,” she said.

To make our cities healthier, think regional
Free Press - 11 Aug 2008
Most of America lives in large metropolitan areas with economies the size of nations. Yet governments -- local, state and national -- behave as if it's the wild, wild West, a land of isolation, unconnected settlements and battles over resources. Those days are gone. The United States is no longer a nation of farms or singular cities and suburbs, but one of interconnected metropolitan regions that cross city, county and even state lines. Local governments must become more regional in how they deliver services, tax residents, and plan investments and developments.

A Santa Barbara area canyon's residents are among many Californians living in harm's way in fire-prone areas
The Los Angeles Times - 8 Aug 2008
Sometimes when Ralph Daniel looks out the huge plate-glass windows of his 1959 ranch house, a bobcat stares back at him from the patio. He delights in the quiet, the bird songs, the expansive view of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Like millions of other Californians, Daniel, 63, likes to live on nature's edge. He is a 10-minute drive from both downtown Santa Barbara and Los Padres National Forest. But he has no illusions. One day he expects to see a wildfire bolt through the chaparral and down the slopes toward his house on the fringes of Mission Canyon.

New Development in West El Paso Is Following "Smart Growth Principles"
KVIA.com - 7 Aug 2008
A new development in West El Paso is following

Landscape changes for area forests
Indystar.com - 4 Aug 2008
Greg Koontz never used to have trouble scouting for landowners willing to see some of their hardwoods cut, stripped, sawed and sold. But the latest generation of Hoosiers who own forestlands are either selling them to residential subdivision developers or are far less interested in letting loggers slice into what's left of their little pieces of heaven in the woods.

Smart--growth principles don't just create pretty neighborhoods
Wyoming Tribune Eagle - 4 Aug 2008
City planning that reduces sprawl also reduces the environmental impacts of development. Smart--growth principles not only create attractive, walkable neighborhoods, but also minimize pollution and preserve natural lands. Dispersed planning encourages residents to drive instead of walk. Fewer roads decrease infrastructure costs.

Boosting Cellulosic Biofuels
MIT Technology Review - 4 Aug 2008
The Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) is to begin work testing a catalyst developed by Dow Chemical, the industrial giant based in Midland, MI, to see if it can be used to massively boost the production of ethanol made from biomass. The partnership will attempt ways to make ethanol biofuel from cellulosic biomass, such as waste from corn or wood, using thermochemical processes. Specifically, NREL is looking to use a Dow catalyst to convert syngas--a mix of hydrogen and carbon dioxide made from the gasification of the biomass--into a mixture of alcohols, including ethanol.

Defensible space is key to protecting homes from wildfires
wmicentral.com - 1 Aug 2008
Defensible space around your home may save your home, your life or the life of a firefighter. Maintaining defensible space around your home is the most important step you can take to protect your home from wildfire. Defensible space is the prepared area around a structure which has been cleared of combustible materials and where precautions have been taken to reduce fire ignitions. It's also called the Home Ignition Zone.

Forest in Sandias To Be Thinned ; Project Gets Public Involved in Process
redorbit.com - 1 Aug 2008
Protecting both children and the forest from fire are just two of the goals of a thinning project begun in the East Mountains on July 1. The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is a 128-acre environmental education center covered with pion and juniper, and located in the Sandia Mountains off N.M. 14. The thinning project, administered by New Mexico State Forestry and using funds from the U.S. Forest Service, will treat approximately 90 to 100 acres of the center's forest, said Ciudad Soil & Water Conservation District Project Manager Sue Hansen. The district has the largest stretch of wildland urban interface in the state