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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Mar 2009 contains 15 News Articles.

Collaboration on conservation
Miami Herald - 31 Mar 2009
President Barack Obama recently signed into law Monday one of the most significant conservation milestones in a decade. Chock-full of new protections for pristine and historic places, the measure sets the gold standard for land preservation by designating more than 2 million acres in nine states as wilderness . The Omnibus Public Land Management Act also offers a new roadmap for conserving our natural resources, placing a premium on bipartisan collaboration and local engagement. Perhaps most important, though, this early action by the new Congress signals a welcome change in the way our federal lands will be managed - through some unlikely partnerships - that will benefit Americans for generations.

State of the Florida black bear
Daily Commercial - 28 Mar 2009
Bill Milton was startled early in the morning while shaving six months ago. His wife was in the kitchen, when she frantically called for him to come into the kitchen.

Can thirsty Central Florida count on Kissimmee River for drinking water?
Orlando Sentinel - 24 Mar 2009
The battered Kissimmee River was dredged into a grotesque mess years ago and has been undergoing costly environmental restoration. Now, another potential assault looms over the river as Central Florida cities hunt for new water supplies. In their cross hairs is the Kissimmee, which takes shape near downtown Orlando to become the lifeblood of the South Florida Everglades ecosystem. About to be decided is whether the river has rebounded enough to spare millions of gallons of water a day for future apartment complexes and suburbs. South Florida Water Management District experts concluded last month that aquatic ecosystems along restored parts of the river in Highlands and Okeechobee counties can't tolerate the injury of reduced flows. Most restoration is 75miles or more south of Orlando.

A Great Wave Rising: The Coming Crisis in Water Policy in America
ESPN - 18 Mar 2009
After 39 years in the fish and wildlife management business, I have concluded that only two things really affect fish and wildlife populations: habitat and climate. Most of the contributions made by detailed harvest management practices and manipulations of fisheries by hatcheries have generally had relatively minor impact on the sustainability of fisheries when compared to the quantity and quality of habitat available. Furthermore, most fish habitat projects tend to be expensive, difficult to accomplish and of negligible significance to the bigger picture of achieving healthy and sustainable fisheries. Many fish habitat projects are narrow in focus and represent minor efforts to try to counteract a much broader and more complex threat arising from society's development of land and water resources — habitat and ecosystem destruction. Protection of habitat and ecosystem function is far more critical in assuring sustainable fisheries, and the most effective protections are embodied in policy and environmental law. One of the greatest crises ever experienced in fish and wildlife management is currently building — the great wave of water policy conflict. The combination of rapid development and climate change will change everything we know about water availability and water quality in America. The clock is ticking. The time of crisis is nearly upon us.

Iconic American landmarks to darken for WWF's Earth Hour
Business Wire - 17 Mar 2009
From the United Nations building in New York City to the Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel in Los Angeles County, support for Earth Hour continues to grow as new U.S. cities, high-profile landmarks, organizations and individuals commit to cast their vote in the world's first global vote for action for climate change by turning off lights on March 28, 2009 at 8:30 p.m. local time. Organized by World Wildlife Fund, participation in Earth Hour has expanded dramatically in the U.S. over the past few days with more than 100 cities and towns now agreeing to darken some of the nation's most famous skylines including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The U.S. will join more than 1,500 cities, towns and villages in 80 countries including Beijing, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Moscow, Nairobi, Paris, Rome, Sydney, and Toronto as Earth Hour cascades through the world's time zones on this historic night.

Cellulosic Energy Research
Farm Press - 16 Mar 2009
Because Arkansas is 'prime real estate' for bioenergy crops, the recent announcement of a joint U.S. Department of Energy/University of Arkansas research effort is most welcome, says Chuck West. 'I see biomass crops directed to land areas that don't reliably produce profitable food crops,' says the professor with the University of Arkansas Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences. 'There's a lot of land like that all over the state' for example, the foothills along the Arkansas River Valley. And some of the underutilized pastureland throughout the state is suitable for biomass crops.' Arkansas researchers (including those at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro working on making cellulosic feedstocks more accessible to fermentation enzymes and sequestration of soil carbon) are collaborating with counterparts in other states on bioenergy research and Extension programs supported in part by a nearly $2 million grant from the DOE. Mark Cochran, director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, is coordinating the Mid-South/Southeast BioEnergy Consortium, which includes projects in Arkansas and Georgia. “Arkansas is well-positioned for bioenergy production with large areas of cropland and forests and an innovative processing industry for agricultural and forest products,” Cochran said. “We are working to support the state’s fledgling biodiesel industry and develop the information infrastructure that will allow our farmers and entrepreneurs to move rapidly into the use of cellulosic technology when it comes online.”

Wildlife advisory issued: Game & Fish says putting out feed for critters invites trouble
Kingman Daily Miner - 16 Mar 2009
Feeding wildlife is not a game. According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, it can be a dangerous practice that can lead to encounters, property damage and injuries to pets. Recent calls to the Kingman Game and Fish office have included areas in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Cottonwood, Kingman, and the Hualapai Mountains. These calls have included problems with skunks, javelina, raccoons, coyotes, foxes and mountain lions.

Leaders of UN, US declare 2009 the year of climate change
United Nations - 13 Mar 2009
With nations set to conclude negotiations on an ambitious new greenhouse gas emissions agreement this December, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United States President Barack Obama have stressed the need for 2009 to be the year of climate change. Mr. Ban, who met with the 'visionary' American leader last week at the White House in Washington, told journalists in his monthly press conference at UN Headquarters that they both agree that climate change poses an “existential threat.” The two men share a commitment that “2009 must be the year of climate change,” he said, stressing the importance a comprehensive successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol – the legally binding emissions reduction regime whose first commitment period ends in 2012 – at December’s UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. “With US leadership, in partnership of the United Nations, we can and will reach a climate change deal that all nations can embrace,” the Secretary-General noted.

Forests and the global economy: 10 million new jobs
FAONewsroom - 10 Mar 2009
Ten million new 'green jobs' can be created by investing in sustainable forest management, according to FAO. 'As more jobs are lost due to the current economic downturn, sustainable forest management could become a means of creating millions of green jobs, thus helping to reduce poverty and improve the environment,' said Jan Heino, Assistant Director-General of FAO's Forestry Department. Since forests and trees are vital storehouses of carbon, such an investment could also make a major contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, said Heino. According to a recent study by the International Labour Organization, unemployment worldwide could increase from 179 million in 2007 to 198 million in 2009 under the best case scenario; under the worst case scenario, it could go as high as 230 million.

Extensive lands protection bill could thwart new energy development
Greenwire - 5 Mar 2009
The 111th Congress is poised to usher in the largest expansion of the nation's wilderness in a generation, with 2.1 million acres of public land in line for the strictest environmental protections allowed under federal law.An omnibus lands bill that could receive final congressional approval this month would create new wilderness areas in nine states -- from the San Gabriel Mountains of California to Michigan's Lake Superior shoreline to a portion of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia -- covering almost as much land as the 2.4 million acres designated during the entire eight years of the Bush presidency.

Saving the creatures of the deep: A federal government plan aims to protect Florida's reefs before a precious ecosystem
Sun Sentinel - 5 Mar 2009
Although the deep ocean reefs of the southeastern United States rose before the pyramids, their existence had only been hinted at by geological evidence until ruggedly built submersibles reached them in the late 1990s. Now, before commercial fishing damages a still-pristine ecosystem, the federal government is considering protecting a stretch of ocean floor from the Florida Keys to North Carolina, an area six times the size of Yellowstone National Park. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council plans to vote in June on banning bottom trawls, bottom longlines and other destructive fishing gear across 23,000 square miles, an area thought to encompass the largest deepwater reef system in the world. Although elsewhere such reefs have been mown down by commercial fishing gear, the reefs being considered for protection have sustained little impact from human activities, and the council wants to act before any damage takes place.

Good Gov From Abroad: A green city in the desert
OhMyGov! - 4 Mar 2009
Isn't it ironic: A city whose wealth was built on oil is now constructing a zero-emissions green metropolis next door. Abu Dhabi, the capital of petroleum-rich United Arab Emirates, embarked on a $15 billion project in 2006 to develop a sustainable utopia unlike any other in the world in a desert on the outskirts of the populous capital city. The initiative began taking shape when construction started last October. Scheduled for completion in 2016, Masdar city, meaning ‘the source' in English, will completely outlaw cars and any other automobiles within city limits. Giving new meaning to ‘a city above all the rest,' Masdar city will be erected seven meters off the ground by columns to make way for mass transit systems underneath it.

Locals say Obama's energy plan has potential for future
The Daily Record - 4 Mar 2009
A little more than a week after President Barack Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress and to the nation about advancing the country's alternative energy, the community is still talking about the benefits his plan and alternative energy can bring.

Americans Can Learn from Australia's Fires
Kansas City InfoZine - 3 Mar 2009
A hell of ash, charred stone and melted metal blanketed southeast Australia in early February, due to some 400 wildfires that rapidly incinerated 1,500 square miles (960,000 acres) in Victoria, killing more than 200 residents. Manhattan, KS - infoZine - Fire prevention specialist Jason Hartman believes most Americans watched the news about that “down under” disaster with horror and sympathy. But, they may not have seen any important, underlying lessons – much less perceived a need to learn those lessons quickly. Hartman works through the Kansas Forest Service to help state residents in the urban-rural interface, where “the primary and best fire protection for property rests on each homeowner’s shoulders.”

Viewpoint: Conservation not enough to spark economic development
Charleston Regional Business Journal - 2 Mar 2009
The coal-fired electric generating plant planned for the banks of the Great Pee Dee River must be built and the sooner the better. The appeal of the air-quality permit has been rejected. Environmental groups, Santee Cooper, the governor, DHEC and DNR have all had their say, and now it's time to put the battle behind us and focus on the state's commitment to affordable electricity as an economic driver. Are there better, cleaner ways to generate electricity? Not now, not in South Carolina. We cannot depend on expensive, unreliable alternative energy sources to power businesses and industries across the state. Alternative sources of producing electricity and conservation efforts simply won't be enough to meet the future demand.