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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Sep 2009 contains 8 News Articles.

Biochar: A better, greener way to fight forest fires
Greenbang - 30 Sep 2009
If you're among the nearly half of all Americans who live in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), your home could be among the thousands lost each year to wildfires. Decades of suppressing naturally occurring forest fires, combined with continuous years of drought and millions of beetle-killed trees have caused forests to become overloaded with dried slash and standing deadwood, which has created tons of forest biomass (forest-fire fuel). The two most common methods for reducing hazardous fuels are mechanical removal and controlled burns. Mechanical is expensive and labor intensive and controlled burns are prevented by air quality standards in most WUI areas. But there are several other technologies that can not only reduce hazardous fuels, but provide environmental and economic benefits as well. One such technology is pyrolosis.

Scientists Announce Trove of Fragile New Species in Mekong
Time - 28 Sep 2009
Last year researchers discovered bird-eating frogs, technicolor geckos, and ruby-red fish. These are three of the 163 species discovered in the Greater Mekong region of Southeast Asia. Conservationists warn that these and other rare species around the world may not persist if global climate change is not stopped. Rising seawaters will damage coastal areas; more powerful storms will pummel the region, and warming temperatures will transform ecosystems, the WWF says. It was not an accident that the WWF released its report three days before the world's top climate change negotiators met in Bangkok to iron out drafts of a global climate agreement. If scientists are to keep discovering strange new species in the region — and they say there are many more left to find — negotiators need to come together. Protecting both the rare species and at-risk populations in the Greater Mekong and elsewhere depends on the U.N. talks in Bangkok to smooth the way for a December agreement in Copenhagen.

Collaborative Conservation Partnership
Vail Resorts - 28 Sep 2009
The Treasured Landscapes: The Hayman Restoration Partnership' Working Together for Healthy Forests and Clean Water' is a collaborative conservation partnership between Vail Resorts, the National Forest Foundation, and the USDA Forest Service. This partnership will focus on rebuilding 45,000 acres of the most severely affected areas from the 2002 Hayman fire, involving four watersheds that feed into the main water supply of Denver, CO.

Garden Help: Trees play vital role in health of a city
The Florida Times-Union - 25 Sep 2009
Urban trees aid in saving energy, increasing property value and aesthetics, and even stormwater storage. In 2007, the Davey Resource Group (commissioned by the city of Jacksonville, using the U.S. Forest Service I-Tree software) determined that for every dollar invested in tree planting by the city, there was a $4.51 return in benefits from storm water retention, energy conservation, cleaner air and increased property values.

WARF, GLBRC join forces on homegrown clean technologies
University of Wisconsin-Madison News - 25 Sep 2009
The Department of Energy (DOE) established three Bioenergy Research Centers designed to work together to develop a new generation of biofuels. The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, led by UW-Madison in close partnership with Michigan State University, is working to meet that goal by removing the technological bottlenecks that prevent conversion of plant biomass into biofuels. The center brings together scientists from multiple disciplines to make the production of biofuels cost-effective and commercially viable.

Climate change proposal would revolutionize value of forests
CNN - 22 Sep 2009
Increased awareness of the threat from global warming has prompted unprecedented international focus on how to combat it, as well as new appreciation for the vital role of tropical forests in the climate change equation. On Tuesday, world leaders gathered at the United Nations for a special climate change summit, intended to build momentum for a new global climate change treaty being negotiated by almost 200 countries. The new treaty is scheduled to be completed in December in Copenhagen, Denmark. If eventually enacted, the treaty will include a revolutionary but little-known provision intended to protect remaining tropical forests. Known as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries, or REDD, the provision is based on the knowledge that destroying tropical forests contributes to global warming. The idea of the proposed provision is to make the stored carbon dioxide in the forests a commodity that can be bought and sold on the global market.

Beekeepers wary of pesticides to fight beetle infestation
The Boston Globe - 16 Sep 2009
Federal officials will begin injecting hundreds of beetle-threatened trees and nearby soil with imidacloprid, a widely used agricultural pesticide that is known to be toxic to bees and has been linked to a worldwide die-off of honeybees. Federal and state scientists are trying to eradicate the invasive Asian longhorned beetle from the Worcester area before it can spread to the hardwood forests of northern New England. Beekeepers say large amounts of the chemical, combined with the soil injection method, could expose bees to contaminated nectar and pollen of other plants. US Department of Agriculture officials, who are proposing the spring pesticide application, say they have few other options to halt the pest. Already, more than 20,000 infested trees have been cut down. Asian longhorned beetles have no known predators in the United States and attack many kinds of hardwood trees, from maple to birch. The Department of Agriculture estimates the beetle has the potential to cause $41 billion worth of damage to the nation’s lumber, maple syrup, nursery, and tourism industry. Beekeepers in the Worcester area and the USDA bee lab have placed 25 hives in the quarantined area and 25 outside of it in Framingham, to see how much of the chemical appears in hives and the bees themselves over the next three years.

Wildfires Burned Over 700,000 acres in Texas
Dallas Morning News - 9 Sep 2009
Although wildfires have raged throughout the summer in California, Texas has not sent firefighters to help. That's because they have their own wildfire concerns. Texas fires have charred more than 700,000 acres this year, and the risk for more fires remains extremely high as portions of the state suffer their most severe drought in decades, along with possible lightning storms contributing to their worries. In fact, Texas is relying on outside help itself to manage their wildfire dilemma (fire experts from 19 states and crews from Alabama and Louisiana).