InterfaceSouth Posts

The InterfaceSouth Post is an electronic message with current interface information, such as upcoming conferences or related news articles, sent out on a weekly basis through the SWUINET listserve ( click here to sign up ). Here you can sort through past InterfaceSouth Posts. You can also contact us if you want to suggest a future Post topic.



Aug 03, 2010Visit My Forest.org and Good Fires.org websites (PDF)

The Tall Timbers Research Station and the thirteen southern state forestry agencies have come together to promote the wise use of natural resources and an increased understanding of the role of prescribed fire by creating Visit My Forest.org and Good Fires.org. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jul 27, 2010"GPS Research in Natural Resources” (PDF)

In September, the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources will be hosting a forestry continuing education course on “GPS Research in Natural Resources.” Other continuing education courses will be offered throughout the year. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jul 14, 2010The Grove (PDF)

The Grove is an online community that encourages communities and individuals to plant trees to commemorate special events. There is a Grove site for each of the 13 Southern states and residents can create a profile, upload photos of trees they have planted, and join tree groups in their community. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jul 08, 2010Conservation Buffers Publication and Website (PDF)

The USDA National Agroforestry Center's Conservation Buffers: Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors, and Greenways publication is a comprehensive guide to designing and planning vegetative buffers. The publication is available online in PDF format and also has a companion website. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jun 29, 2010Project BudBurst’s Urban Tree Phenology Program (PDF)

The Urban Tree Phenology Program engages researchers, professionals, and the public in an effort to raise awareness in urban forestry issues, encourage scientific literacy, and generate useful data. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jun 24, 2010“Tree Campus USA” (PDF)

The Arbor Day Foundation’s “Tree Campus USA” program recognizes colleges and universities across America for their efforts to promote and maintain a healthy urban forest on campus. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jun 17, 2010Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone (PDF)

Later this year the National Fire Protection Association will host four seminars on "Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone." Each seminar will last two days and is eligible for continuing education credits. Locations include Denver, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; Anaheim, California; and Orlando, Florida. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

May 27, 2010Hemlock Removal Experiment Literature and Podcast (PDF)

Researchers at the Harvard Forest Hemlock Removal Project have published the first of a series of papers describing their findings on the hemlock woolly adelgid's threat to the eastern hemlock. The paper is featured in the journal Methods of Ecology and Evolution and is accompanied by a podcast interview of one of the researchers. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

May 24, 2010i-Tree Eco Summer Training Workshop (PDF)

Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences has partnered with the USDA Forest Service's Urban Forestry South to host a three-day workshop to familiarize professionals with i-Tree Eco applications. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

May 21, 2010TreeFolks Live in Texas (PDF)

For over twenty years TreeFolks, Inc. has been partnering with Central Texas communities to grow their urban forest. Through educational programs and the work of volunteers, TreeFolks is responsible for the planting of thousands of trees each year. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

May 19, 2010National Association of Counties Webinar (PDF)

The National Association of Counties will be hosting a webinar tomorrow, May 20, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. The webinar will highlight "Ready, Set, Go," a new program developed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the U.S. Forest Service to involve property owners in wildfire prevention and preparation. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

May 14, 2010Neighborwoods Growing in Popularity (PDF)

This article highlights one community's effort to reestablish and maintain their urban forest. Residents of this community have the opportunity to participate in Neighborwoods, a community program that seeks to plant new trees with consideration to species, location, and caretaker. As the city removes unhealthy trees from the rights of way along sidewalks, Neighborwoods offers to provide and plant trees free of cost for residents who agree to nurture the young trees until they can survive on their own. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Apr 15, 2010Managing the Urban-Rural Interface: Strategies and Tools for Urban Development and Sustainable Peri-Urban Land Use Relationships (PDF)

This international conference, organized by the Peri-Urban Land Use Relationships project and led by the University of Copenhagen, will provide a forum for knowledge exchange and discussion regarding the latest information about the nature of urban environments, assessment of urban environmental pollutants and their effects, and measures that can be taken to overcome obstacles to sustainability, ecological integrity, and quality of life. This conference will take place from October 19-22, 2010 at the University of Copenhagen. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Apr 07, 2010Where Does Our Thirsty World Get Its Water From? (PDF)

The Nature Conservancy and National Geographic are involved in informing the public on issues concerning freshwater systems, climate change, and land use. These websites provide information on how to preserve resources and ecosystems, encourage members of the community to take action in preserving their natural resources, and provide related links that discuss current topics regarding this natural resource. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Mar 30, 2010Invitation to Host a Webcast: Be Out There National Summit on Children and the Outdoors (PDF)

The National Wildlife Federation will host ‘Be Out There: A National Summit on Children and the Outdoors’. They invite those interested in state and federal policy solutions to connect children with nature by hosting viewing parties of this webcast for friends and colleagues. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Mar 16, 2010Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively (PDF)

This website is designed to help natural resource professionals engage more family forest owners in effective conversation about their land by offering data and techniques to help target outreach activities to specific types of landowners. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Mar 04, 2010Green Economy Webinar: The Role of Chambers of Commerce (PDF)

Chambers of Commerce across the South have initiated new programs and initiatives to promote and support green business and sustainability initiatives. This free webinar will explore what chamber leaders are seeing across the region and allow visitors to learn about the specific initiatives.This webinar will take place March 11, 2010 1:30 - 2:30pm ET. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Feb 19, 2010Upcoming Texas Woodland and Wildlife Expo (PDF)

The Texas Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service, Texas AgriLife Extension, and Texas Parks and Wildlife have partnered to organize this year's Texas Woodland and Wildlife Expo.The goal of this free event is to educate homeowners and landowners about properly managing their property by offering classes, live demonstrations, and informational booths. This event will take place May 1-2, 2010 in Conroe, Texas. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Feb 09, 2010Fire in the Interface Fact Sheets En Espanol

Three fact sheets in the "Fire in the Interface" fact sheet series have been translated to Spanish and are now available on the InterfaceSouth website: Incendios en la interfaz area silvestre-urbana: Reduccion del riesgo de incendios naturales mientras se logran otros objetivos para el paisaje - http://www.interfacesouth.org/products/fact_sheets/Reducing_Wildfire_Risk_es.pdf Incendios en la interfaz area silvestre-urbana: Seleccion y mantenimiento de plantas resistentes al fuego para el paisaje - http://www.interfacesouth.org/products/fact_sheets/Selecting_Maintaining_Firewise_Plants_Landscaping_es.pdf Incendios en la interfaz area silvestre-urbana: Preparacion de una lista de plantas resistentes al fuego para los residentes del interfaz - http://www.interfacesouth.org/products/fact_sheets/Preparing_Firewise_Plant_List_es.pdf

Back to top

Jan 26, 2010National Science Foundation Solicitation for Proposals on "Water Sustainability and Climate" (PDF)

The National Science Foundation is soliciting for proposals on 'Water Sustainability and Climate'. The goal of the Water Sustainability and Climate solicitation is to understand and predict the interactions between the water system and climate change, land use, the built environment, and ecosystem function and services. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jan 20, 2010'Trees and Construction: Getting to the Root of the Problem' Seminar (PDF)

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has partnered with the Montgomery Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and will be hosting a day long workshop on "Trees and Construction; Getting to the Root of the Problem" in Montgomery, Alabama. This workshop was developed for professionals interested in improving their understanding of how to successfully build and work around trees in the urban landscape. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jan 11, 2010New Climate Change Course Available (PDF)

The USDA Forest Service Research and Development has released an interactive short course that presents current scientific knowledge on adapting to climate variability in wildland management. This course can help resource managers and decision makers to plan for future climate-influenced uncertainties. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Dec 16, 2009New Forests on the Edge Reports Released (PDF)

The U.S. Forest Service has recently released two new reports related to development of forestland: A Sensitivity Analysis of "Forests on the Edge: Housing Development on America's Private Forests", and Forestland Conversion, Ecosystem Services, and Economic Issues for Policy: A Review. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Dec 11, 2009Free Webinar on 'Wildfire Planning, Inspecting, and Insurance Costs' (PDF)

The National Association of Counties is offering a free webinar, 'Wildfire Planning, Inspecting and Insurance Costs' on Tuesday December 15, 2009 from 2 - 3:15 p.m. EST. Attendees will learn about wildfire risks, mitigation, reducing insurance costs, and more. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Nov 24, 20097th Southern Forestry and Natural Resource Management GIS Conference (PDF)

The 7th Southern Forestry and Natural Resource Management GIS Conference will encompass topics related to the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and other geospatial technologies in forestry and natural resource management. This conference will be held from December 7th through December 9th at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel in Athens, Georgia. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Nov 13, 2009IRIS Research Report Part IV: National Kids Survey: Favorite Activities for Spending Time Outdoors (PDF)

The Internet Research Information Series is an internet accessible science report series covering outdoor recreation statistics, wilderness research, and other human-dimension and demographics research related to natural resources. In the September 2009 report, researchers cover what kids view as their favorite outdoor activities. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Oct 30, 2009U.S. Forest Service 2010 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant Program (PDF)

The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) has announced the U.S. Forest Service 2010 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant Program. The Council is offering Innovation Grants for program development, research, and collaboration to address issues widely seen as confronting the urban and community forestry community. Funds are to support urban and community forestry projects that have national or widespread impact and application. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Oct 09, 2009Changing Roles Webinar Series: Land-Use Planning and Policy (PDF)

This upcoming module will address various processes, policies and ordinances that governing bodies employ to plan land use. Opportunities for natural resource professionals to assist in this process will be covered, as well as strategies for becoming a community resource. This 4-part webinar series allows participants to learn a subset of concepts and skills covered in the Changing Roles materials. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Sep 30, 2009Emerging Issues Along Urban-Rural Interfaces 3 Conference (PDF)

This conference, sponsored by Auburn University's Center for Forest Sustainability and the US Forest Service - InterfaceSouth, seeks to bring together researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to share current research results and to identify knowledge gaps regarding the interaction between urbanization, land-use change, and natural resources. In particular, approaches that focus on integrating socioeconomic and ecological research will be highlighted. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Sep 25, 2009Partners in Community Forestry National Conference (PDF)

The Arbor Day Foundation and The Home Depot Foundation will host its 3rd annual Partners in Community Forestry National Conference, which provides the most current information and best practices in urban forest management and tree-planting programs, as well as partnerships and collaboration with others that support community trees. This conference will focus on community tree management, trees and development, and the benefits of trees to community health, with special consideration given to engaging new and diverse constituencies in the management of community trees. The conference will be held from November 9th through Nov 11that the Doubletree Hotel in Portland, Oregon. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jun 30, 2009The 2009 Kodak American Greenways Awards (PDF)

Do you know an organization that is working to create or improve a greenway, trail or waterway? Apply for a Kodak American Greenways Award grant and your organization could receive up to $2,500 in grant funds. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jun 12, 2009USDA Forest Service Sponsors National Get Outdoors Day (PDF)

In an effort to reconnect kids with nature and attract new diverse communities to outdoor activities, the USDA Forest Service has partnered with state, local and federal land management agencies to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day ('GO Day') on June 13.  More than 80 locations nationwide are providing a variety of free recreational events designed to introduce children and new segments of the American public to the great outdoors while fostering a deeper appreciation for natural resources. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jun 05, 2009BioPower Generation USA (PDF)

GreenPower's 5th BioPower Generation conference will bring together leading experts from across the value chain to examine the latest developments in the biomass power generation industry. This is your opportunity to network with representatives from the entire bio power generation chain, with participants in 31 different countries. There will be guest speakers from a number of different companies. Several topics will be covered, including potentials for large scale BioPower generation, policy and legislation, finance and investment, wood based biomass production, and conversion technologies. This event will be held July 8-July 9, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, IL. For more details, please visit their website at: http://www2.greenpowerconferences.co.uk/v8-12/Prospectus/Index.php?sEventCode=BG0906US ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

May 28, 2009Fourth International Fire Ecology and Management Conference (PDF)

The 4th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress, hosted by the Association for Fire Ecology, will provide a forum on global wildland fire research and management. This event will be held at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront in Savannah, GA from November 30 through December 4th, 2009 ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

May 22, 2009Southern Research Station News Releases (PDF)

The Southern Research Station (SRS) has a new vehicle for keeping employees and external customers informed of the latest news at the Station. People can now sign-up to receive SRS news releases and news alerts by e-mail using the news subscription Web page at: http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/news/press_esubscribe.htm All SRS employees are invited to subscribe to this new service. Also, please encourage all partners to sign-up to receive SRS news releases and alerts. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

May 14, 2009Secretary Chu Announces Nearly $800 Million from Recovery Act to Accelerate Biofuels Research and Commercialization (PDF)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As part of the ongoing effort to increase the use of domestic renewable fuels, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today announced plans to provide $786.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate advanced biofuels research and development and to provide additional funding for commercial-scale biorefinery demonstration projects. 'Developing the next generation of biofuels is key to our effort to end our dependence on foreign oil and address the climate crisis -- while creating millions of new jobs that can't be outsourced,' Secretary Chu said. - With American investment and ingenuity -- and resources grown right here at home -- we can lead the way toward a new green energy economy.' The DOE biomass program will leverage DOE's national laboratories, universities, and the private sector to help improve biofuels reliability and overcome key technical challenges, with the goal of creating third-generation biofuels like green gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels. The $786.5 million in Recovery Act funding is a mix of new funding opportunities and additional funding for existing projects. It will be allocated across four main areas. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

May 14, 2009Forestry & Natural Resource Webinar Series (PDF)

May 15, 2009 12-2pm Eastern Time Hosted by: Dennis Hazel, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Extension Forestry, NC State University and Steve Smutko, Extension Specialist, Natural Resources Leadership Institute, NC State University Currently Congress is considering The American Clean Energy and Security Act (Waxman-Markey Bill) that include proposed biomass definitions. In this 2-hour webinar, we will review House and Senate biomass definitions and hear comments from a stakeholder panel from various sectors of the forestry community. Participants will have an opportunity to address speakers and panelists through questions or comments. Invited panel organizations include: American Forest Foundation, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of State Foresters, Society of American Foresters, and Union of Concerned Scientist. To participate, visit: forestrywebinar.net (Join us by simply logging in, No registration required) ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

May 07, 2009Biomass plant safeguards (PDF)

A million tons of wood will be needed to fuel Gainesville's proposed 100-megawatt biomass power plant. Every day, an estimated 130 trucks will deliver 25 tons of wood apiece. That demand could have huge impacts on the area's forests and ecology. A year ago, the Gainesville City Commission selected a company to build a biomass power plant to meet the area's future energy needs. Commissioner Jack Donovan raised his concerns about the forests then. "The fear was, what happens if we get into over-foresting or over-harvesting," Donovan said. "We wanted to make sure the harvesting would take place in a way that would be sustainable over time. That we wouldn't build ourselves a wood-burning plant and then run out of wood." ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Apr 15, 2009Texas Forest Expo (PDF)

Lone Star Convention Center in Conroe, TX April 24 - 26 Discover the latest news in land management, generating alternate income from your land, wildfire prevention and preparedness, landscape design, pest and invasive species management, timber and estate taxation, wildlife habitat management, tree maintenance and more! Children can discover some of the wonders of the forest through an exploration room that provides learning stations and fun activities. It's all FREE so bring the whole family for a day of fun and educational activities. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Mar 23, 2009Forestry & Natural Resources Webinar Series (PDF)

This special one-hour program will discuss forest ownership patterns of the United States with an emphasis on family forest owners. Dr. Butler will use results from the most recent National Woodland Owner Survey to look at who family forest owners are, why they own their land, how they have used it, and how they intend to use it. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Mar 17, 2009Smart Growth Achievement Award (PDF)

EPA is now accepting applications for the eighth annual National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. This competition is open to public- or private-sector applicants that have used the principles of smart growth to create better places. Private-sector applicants are encouraged to submit applications for projects that demonstrate a significant public-private partnership. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Mar 06, 2009Barstop Fire Almost Contained (PDF)

Crews of firefighters continued digging trenches around a 1,200-acre wildfire that was mostly contained late Sunday night but might not be extinguished until later this week. The fire has consumed 23 homes and 12 businesses, including the Wild Fire Cafe on Texas 71. No deaths have been reported. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Mar 03, 2009Building With Trees (PDF)

Using existing trees during development increases property values, reduces energy bills, deters traffic noise, provides privacy, increases the project's street appeal by providing a more finish ambience and blocks unpleasant views. Leaving mature trees in your development will achieve faster and better sales. Conserving trees can also reduce development costs by eliminating clearing, grading, and landscaping expenses. Therefore, when trees exist on land that is to be developed, it is economically and environmentally beneficial to preserve them as assets. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Feb 25, 2009A 'Torrefic' Energy Solution (PDF)

Torrefaction, a process commonly used to dry and roast coffee beans, has evolved into a promising bioenergy innovation. Traditional biomass and coal may soon be playing second string to torrefied feedstocks, if companies striving to commercialize torrefaction technologies are successful. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Feb 12, 2009Upcoming Changing Roles Train-the Trainer Workshop (PDF)

A Changing Roles Train-the-Trainer workshop will be held April 23-24 (with optional field trip and Texas Expo on the 25th) in Lake Conroe, TX. The main target audience for this Train-the Trainer workshop is natural resource trainers or conservation educators who will be able to use these materials to either enhance existing training programs or create a new training.  We also encourage attendance by people in leadership positions who can ensure that WUI themes are incorporated into annual trainings. The main sponsors of this workshop are the Texas Forest Service and the U. S. Forest Service. For more information about the Changing Roles Professional Development Program, visit: www.interfacesouth.org/changingroles ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Dec 23, 2008Fire in the South 2 (PDF)

Fire in the South 2 is a Southern Group of State Foresters publication, developed by InterfaceSouth and partners, that explains the objectives of the Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment, presents the key findings, and demonstrates through case studies some of its practical applications. This publication was recently released in December 2008. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Dec 15, 2008Center for Urban Forest Research Tree Carbon Calculator (PDF)

The U.S. Forest Services Center for Urban Forest Research recently developed a Tree Carbon Calculator." This calculator helps quantify the benefits of the urban forest, aiding homeowners, schools, citizen's groups and governments to choose the best species for their climate zones. This tool is part of the Climate Change Resource Center, which is a reference Web site for resource managers and decisionmakers who need information and tools to address climate change in planning and project implementation on lands in the Western United States. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Dec 11, 2008Tales from an Urban Forest (PDF)

Tales from Urban Forests is a series of downloadable documentaries which explore the critical role trees play in the vitality of cities and their residents. These documentaries are relevant to local issues in every community from environmental and economic, to health and quality of life issues. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Dec 04, 2008Forest-Based Bioenergy Webinar (PDF)

On Monday, December 15, 2008 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST, Dr. P. Daniel Cassidy, national program leader for Forest- Based Bioenergy with USDA CSREES, will lead a webinar covering forest-based bioenergy, woody biomass utilization, and sources of federal and state assistances. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Nov 19, 2008Greener Neighborhoods Better for Kid's Waistlines (PDF)

Children living in city neighborhoods with higher "greenness" ratings seem to gain less weight over time than their counterparts living in areas with less green space, a new study suggests. Having greener surroundings was associated with lower body weight changes in the children, regardless of other residential density characteristics of the neighborhood. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Nov 13, 2008Global ReLeaf Grant (PDF)

American Forests is looking for quality tree-planting projects to fund through the Global ReLeaf Forests Ecosystem Restoration program. They are particularly interested in partnering with private and public sector organizations and agencies to plant trees and improve the environment in projects that would otherwise not be feasible. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Nov 12, 2008Webinar About the State of Enviornmental Markets (PDF)

On Friday November 14, 2008 at 9:00 am EST, Ricardo Bayon, co-founder and partner of merchant bank EKO Asset Management Partners, will lead a webinar discussion about The State of Environmental Markets and the Significance for Forestry. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Oct 31, 2008Pineywoods: One Big (And Potentially Lucrative) Filtering Forest (PDF)

The Conservation Fund has spearheaded an effort to preserve a 19,000-acre section of a rare and endangered river-swamp forest ecosystem, called the Piney Woods region, by cashing in on the ecosystem's natural ability to filter water. This effort has created the largest wetland mitigation bank in the world, the Pineywoods Mitigation Bank, where developers that destroy wetlands in the same watershed can purchase shares to compensate for the loss they create. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Oct 17, 20082008 Tax Tips for Forest Landowners (PDF)

This bulletin summarizes key federal income tax provisions for forestland owners, foresters, loggers, forest product businesses and tax practitioners. It is current as of October 1, 2008. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Sep 11, 2008Building Solutions through Science

Building Solutions through Science will bring together broad perspectives on a variety of perils and will address some of the latest efforts to reduce property losses throughout the United States. By popular demand - there will be morning workshops on both conference days - conducted by sponsors on Thursday and by IBHS staff on Friday. Topics include building codes, wildfire mitigation, and reducing flood losses through smart land use, among many others. Because tornadoes and hail storms generated billions of dollars in damage this year, IBHS has invited Dr. Greg Forbes, Severe Weather Expert for The Weather Channel, and Derek Arndt, Climatologist with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, to share their insight into these disastrous events. Conference attendees also will hear from: Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink California State Fire Marshal Kate Dargan Insurance Information Institute President Dr. Robert P. Hartwig Early-Bird Rate (Before or on 9/29/08) Members $400 Non-Members $450 Gov't/Academic $420 Regular Rate (9/30/08 and after) Members $450 Non-Members $500 Gov't/Academic $470 Hotel Reservations Embassy Suites Tampa - Downtown Convention Center 513 South Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33602 (813) 769-8300 Group Rate: $174 Reservations can be made at www.DisasterSafety.org/conference or by calling the hotel directly. Be sure to mention IBHS when booking your room and reserve by Oct. 12 to take advantage of the group rate. Sponsors and Exhibitors Please visit the Website below or contact Joy Whaley for information, (813) 675-1050 or jwhaley@ibhs.org. Register now at www.DisasterSafety.org/conference!

Back to top

Aug 19, 2008In a Generation, Minorities May Be the U.S. Majority (PDF)

Ethnic and racial minorities will comprise a majority of the nations population in a little more than a generation, according to new Census Bureau projections, a transformation that is occurring faster than anticipated just a few years ago. The census calculates that by 2042, Americans who identify themselves as Hispanic, black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander will together outnumber non-Hispanic whites. Four years ago, officials had projected the shift would come in 2050. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Aug 12, 20082008 SESAF Annual Meeting (PDF)

This meeting's theme is Forest Risk - The New Dimension (Earth, Wind, and Fire) and will include sessions on defining risk in forestry; fire; water and wind; and risks and opportunity. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Aug 06, 2008Stinging Tentacles Offer Hint of Ocean's Decline (PDF)

Blue patrol boats crisscross the swimming areas of beaches here with their huge nets skimming the water's surface. The yellow flags that urge caution and the red flags that prohibit swimming because of risky currents are sometimes topped now with blue ones warning of a new danger: swarms of jellyfish. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jul 30, 2008Your Forest. Managed. (PDF)

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry, created this website to inform private forestland owners with small to large acreages, as well as citizens about the importance of forests and forest management. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jul 25, 2008Living on the Land 2008: Stewardship for Small Acreages (PDF)

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education will hold the Living on the Land 2008: Stewardship for Small Acreages Professional Development Workshop on September 30 to October 1 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The said event will introduce newly revised and updated curriculum content, and will focus on how to develop, market, and evaluate a small-acreage education program. It will also include new modules on small acreage enterprises, wildfire threat reduction and sustainable agriculture. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jul 21, 2008Texas Forest Expo 2008 (PDF)

The Texas Forest Expo 2008 will be held on September 27-28 in the Lone Star Convention Center, Conroe, Texas. The event will cover topics such as land management, wildfire prevention and preparedness, generating alternate income from land, landscape design, pest and invasive species management, timber and estate taxation, wildlife habitat management, and tree maintenance. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jul 08, 2008Deal Is Struck in Montana to Preserve Forest Areas (PDF)

The New York Times reports that 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. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jul 02, 2008Fuel Prices Shift Math in the Suburbs (PDF)

The New York Times reports that the economics of American suburban life are under assault as skyrocketing energy prices inflate the costs of reaching, heating and cooling homes on the distant edges of metropolitan areas, with Denver as prime example. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jun 25, 2008Weathering Future Storms Conference (PDF)

This conference will be held September 8-10, 2008 in Mobile, Alabama. This conference is sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University, and the U.S. Forest Service. It will provide information about how to prepare and respond to storm events in urban forest settings. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Jun 19, 2008Biomass South 2008 (PDF)

The Biomass South will provide an opportunity to discuss current technology research, policy intiatives, and incentives for biopower, biofuels,and bioproducts in the South. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Apr 30, 2008Firewise Workshop To Be Held In Little Rock (PDF)

Each year in the U.S., hundreds of homes are lost to wildfire. But this need not happen -- homes and landscapes can be modified to become more resistant to the threat of wildfire. Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone was developed by the national Firewise Communities program to teach fire and forestry professionals as well as community planners, builders, developers, and others, how to identify the risks and more importantly to help residents and communities become safer. ...
Click here to read more

Back to top

Dec 21, 2007Wood to Energy Biomass Utilization Short Course

Woody Biomass Utilization and Renewable Energy Advocates. The US Forest Service under its "Wood-to-Energy Jump-Start Program" along with the Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State University, and Colorado's Governors Energy Office announce the 2nd Annual Woody Biomass Utilization short course January 7th-18th on the Campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. The course is structured in (2) one-week long sessions. The initial session explores the impact of forest management priorities on biomass to energy applications including biomass supply, harvesting, processing, and transportation costs. The second week presents technical and financial aspects of wood and non-wood biomass energy applications and conversion technologies. Participants may register for either week or receive a discount by registering for the full two weeks. Space is limited. To receive additional details and registration information call or email Tim Reader with the Colorado State Forest Service at (970)247.5250 or via email at; treader@lamar.colostate.edu This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it. Refer to the course pre-registration announcement for more information $150/week or $250 for both sessions http://welcome.warnercnr.colostate.edu/biomass-short-course.html

Back to top

Dec 11, 2007TAX AND ESTATE PLANNING CONFERENCE

Tax and Estate Planning Conference Thursday, February 28, 2008 Conroe, Texas Estate Planning Fundamentals | Property Gifting Options Will and Trust Basics | Estate Tax Payment Relief Provision Family Limited Partnership | Limited Liability Company Special Use Valuation for Forest Land | Conservation Easements Updates on Federal Income Tax on Timber Registration Information: Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Presentations from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. $50 per person Lunch, refreshments and workbook included Additional family or business member(s) $20 each - workbook not included Registration Form (PDF, 524 KB) ** Registration is required Location: City of Conroe - Service Center 401 Sgt. Ed Holcomb Boulevard South Conroe, Texas 77304 Instructors: Dr. Linda Wang, Taxation Specialist, US Forest Service, Atlanta, Georgia Dr. John Greene, Forest Research Economist, US Forest Service, New Orleans, Louisiana Jennifer Lorenz, Legacy Land Trust, Houston, Texas Program Facilitators: John R. Warner, CF, Urban District Forester, Texas Forest Service Dr. Yanshu Li, Forest Economist, Texas Forest Service Continuing Education Credits: CFE (Foresters) 5.5 hours; CLE (Loggers) 5.5 hours; CPE (CPAs) 5.5 hours Estate Planning Options for Family Forests: Planning today will leave a legacy for family and the next generation to enjoy tomorrow. An important component of managing your family forests is planning for the future, today! Experience has shown that by not planning your estate, more complex and detrimental issues will be facing your surviving spouse or heirs. Keeping up with current tax laws can help protect your investment. Families and individuals own two-thirds of Texas' woodlands. More than 60 percent of current forestland owners are age 55 or older and about half of them have already retired. Without proper estate planning, forced liquidation of family forest or severe disruption on planned forest management activities is a distinct possibility. Land is changing hands and becoming further fragmented into smaller and smaller tracts at a phenomenal rate. A critical turning point is facing the family forest owner. It is never too soon to plan. Planning today will leave a legacy for your family and the next generation to enjoy tomorrow. Whether you own 1 acre or 100 acres, provide accounting services to timberland owners, manage natural resources, or just want to gain a better understanding of estate planning - this conference is for you! Experience has shown that by not planning your estate, more complex detrimental issues will be facing your surviving spouse or heirs. And, keeping up with current tax laws can help protect your investment. Contact Information: If you have any questions or comments about this Texas Forest Service conference, please contact John R. Warner, (936) 273-2261 or jwarner@tfs.tamu.edu.

Back to top

Dec 10, 2007Business Opportunities with Small Acreage and Suburban Woodlands

This workshop seeks to identify potential natural resource service providers and initiate educational training to meet management demands on small woodlots and suburban woodlands where traditional services are inefficient or nonexistent. This event will feature presentations by experts from Virginia Tech and the Southern Regional Extension Forestry Program, and will be held on February 8, 2008 in Charlottesville, VA. Registration is $30. Please contact Becky Woodson (434-220-9024 / becky.woodson@dof.virginia.gov ) for more information.

Back to top

Dec 04, 2007Global Fire Prevention Grants Offered

Fire is the leading cause of commercial and industrial property damage. FM Global, one of the world's largest business property insurers, has recently created a new Fire Prevention Grant Program, an effort aimed at helping fire departments - as well as national, state, regional, local, and community organizations - to more effectively prevent fire. Funding from the new program is now available to support a wide variety of fire prevention efforts, including arson prevention and investigation, pre-fire planning for commercial and industrial facilities, and fire prevention education and training initiatives. For more information or to apply for a Fire Prevention Grant, visit: http://www.fmglobal.com/page.aspx?id=01060200

Back to top

Nov 29, 2007In Miles of Alleys, Chicago Finds Its Next Environmental Frontier

November 26, 2007 By Susan Saulny, New York Times Chicago has decided to retrofit its alleys with environmentally sustainable road-building materials under its new Green Alley initiative, something experts say is among the most ambitious public street makeover plans in the country. In a larger sense, the city is rethinking the way it paves things. In a green alley, water is allowed to penetrate the soil through the pavement itself, which consists of the relatively new but little-used technology of permeable concrete or porous asphalt. Then the water, filtered through stone beds under the permeable surface layer, recharges the underground water table instead of ending up as polluted runoff in rivers and streams. The new pavements are also designed to reflect heat from the sun instead of absorbing it, helping the city stay cool on hot days. The city will have completed 46 green alleys by the end of the year, and it has deemed the models so attractive that now every alley it refurbishes will be a green alley. To view the entire article, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/26/us/26chicago.html?ex=1353733200&en=e40b5a1441ced1f0&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss.

Back to top

Nov 15, 2007Smoke alarm: Wildfires releasing surprising amounts of mercury

November 9, 2007 High Country News, CO By Kat Leitzell According to a recent study conducted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO, forest fires in the U.S. may release around 44 tons of mercury into the air each year. Although the return of mercury and other elements back to the environment through forest death and regeneration is a natural process, researchers fear that climate change and years of fire suppression will lead to more frequent and intense forest fires, which would ultimately increase mercury emissions. Though not immediately harmful to humans, mercury present in wildfire smoke could become concentrated in waterways, where it could be converted into toxic methyl mercury and accumulate at high levels in fish and other aquatic animals. In light of this new research, the Environmental Protection Agency is now revisiting the protocol of the 2005 Clean Air Mercury Rule to include mercury from wildfires. To view the entire article, visit: http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17361

Back to top

Nov 05, 2007Urban Forest Hurricane Recovery Program

In response to the devastating 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has created the Urban Forest Hurricane Recovery Program. Funded by the Florida Division of Forestry and the USDA Forest Service, this program offers resources for community members and landowners who are seeking to establish and manage a wind resistant urban forest. A comprehensive toolkit is available online and provides information on topics such as how to clean up after a hurricane, what species to consider in an urban environment, and how to effectively trim and prune trees so that they resist damage from storms. The toolkit also contains 30 PowerPoint presentations that offer information on related topics, such as developing an urban forest management plan for hurricane prone communities. All of the educational materials are available in both English and Spanish. To access this information, visit: http://treesandhurricanes.ifas.ufl.edu/

Back to top

Nov 01, 2007Business of Green: 'Pay as you throw' trash disposal catches on

International Herald Tribune Elisabeth Rosenthal "For too long, many people have discarded their rubbish without worrying about the consequences," said Paul Bettison, chairman of the British Local Government Association's Environment Board. "Those days are over." The chairman joins a growing amount of supporters for what are known as "pay as you throw" trash disposal systems being implemented in urban and suburban areas. Though there are many different forms of the approach, the basic concept is that the more you throw away, the more you have to pay. Some cities in Germany have imposed a "trash tax" in which families are billed per kilogram of trash for pick up, making it more expensive to get rid of larger amounts of trash. In many towns in the United States, families rent garbage cans or bulk containers from the city - and the larger the bin, the more you pay. Other cities such as East Hampton, New York, have stopped trash collection altogether, so that citizens have to haul their trash to the dump themselves, as well as pay a $5 entrance fee. This encourages community members to generate less trash because it saves both money and time by cutting down on the number of trips to the dump. Studies have shown that these "pay as you throw" programs have worked extremely well, with one study citing a 16% decrease in trash among 100 communities that implemented the program. To view the entire article, visit: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/28/business/greencol30.php

Back to top

Oct 29, 2007Rethinking Fire Policy in the Tinderbox Zone

By KIRK JOHNSON and JESSE McKINLEY SAN DIEGO, Oct. 27 - As Californians sift through the cinders of this week's deadly wildfires, there is a growing consensus that the state's war against such disasters - as it is currently being fought - cannot be won. "California has lost 1.5 million acres in the last four years," said Richard A. Minnich, a professor of earth sciences who teaches fire ecology at the University of California, Riverside. "When do we declare the policy a failure?" Fire-management experts like Professor Minnich, who has compared fire histories in San Diego County and Baja California in Mexico, say the message is clear: Mexico has smaller fires that burn out naturally, regularly clearing out combustible underbrush and causing relatively little destruction because the cycle is still natural. California has giant ones because its longtime policies of fire suppression - in which the government has kept fires from their normal cycle - has created huge pockets of fuel that erupt into conflagrations that must be fought. "We're on all year round," said Brett Chapman, a firefighter with the United States Forest Service who worked 15-hour shifts this week in the Lake Arrowhead area east of Los Angeles. The main problem is that many in California are ruggedly obstinate about the choice they have made to live with the constant threat of fire. Even state officials who are interested in change concede it could take a decade - and more catastrophic wildfires - before it happens. "If you're going to live in paradise," said Randall Holloman, a bar and restaurant owner in Cedar Glen, which is in an area that has burned twice in four years, "you're going to have to deal." In San Diego County, which has borne the brunt of the recent fires, three out of four homes built since 1990 are in the dangerous zone where open spaces and housing meet. These are the most vulnerable and exposed places in fire season because wildfires by and large start in national forests, recreation areas and other publicly owned lands. About half of the land in San Diego County is publicly owned, much of it in the Cleveland National Forest. Had this week's fires burned in the same locations in 1980, about 61,000 homes would have been within a mile of a fire. By 2000, the number would have grown to 106,000 homes, and this year it was 125,000, according to an analysis by the University of Wisconsin. Nine fires continued to burn in a four-county area of Southern California, and officials said 20,575 homes were still in danger. Lighter winds and higher humidity have enabled firefighters to go on the attack more, but many of the fires remain unpredictable and worrisome. Fire crews at the Santiago Canyon fire in Orange County are trying to make a stand on a ridge-top old truck trail to prevent the fire from burning several homes and heading into Riverside County. Capt. Phil Rawlings of the Orange County Fire Authority said Saturday the fire there, which has consumed 27,600 acres, is in an area that has not burned in decades, making its path difficult to predict and its intensity particularly acute. "We don't know how the fire will burn," Captain Rawlings said. At least 200 homes could be threatened depending on how the fire proceeds. There was also concern about a fire near the century-old Palomar Mountain Observatory in San Diego County. It will take more than a week to put the fires out, officials said, and probably longer to stamp out flare-ups. The long-term battle is one that fire experts suggest cannot be won, even with the better building codes and evacuation plans that have become a staple of government here and across much of the West. As the events of this week illustrate - at least 480,000 acres burned, 1,575 residences destroyed and 7 people killed - the cycle roars on with higher stakes, greater risk, and the grim certainty that it will happen again. The California state fire marshal, Kate Dargan, said discussions had begun at the highest levels of government on some of the toughest proposals: curtailing population growth on the wildland margins or a sweeping overhaul of how the public lands are managed for fire danger. But decisions are perhaps 5 to 10 years away because of the enormity and complexity of the task. "In the meantime," Ms. Dargan said, "we'll have more people living out there, and if averages hold, we'll have two more catastrophic incidents like this before the decisions get made." Many Californians say they want the best of both worlds - life in the danger zone and more fire protection - and are frustrated that they do not have it. "I'm angry that we are in the same boat," said Camie Pretzinger, who lost her Cedar Glen home to fire in 2003 and defied an evacuation order there this week. "Every time there's a disaster," Ms. Pretzinger said, "they have to reinvent the wheel." State and local governments are locked in an increasingly difficult battle with Mother Nature. In the aftermath of the last big fires, in 2003, a range of state and local ordinances were passed in hopes of disrupting the cycle. San Diego County went through a painstaking self-evaluation after the Cedar and Paradise fires destroyed 2,400 homes and killed 18 people in 2003. Fire officials examined properties all through the fire zone, trying to determine exactly how each house had caught fire - by what vector an ember had gotten into an attic or under a deck, whether windows had imploded, whether the roof had been the weak point. Since then, building codes have been reworked. The new codes, which took effect in 2004 apply to new homes built in risky areas, most of them adjacent to the Cleveland National Forest. The new rules dictate requirements right down to which side of the house can have an attic vent (not be on the forest side). Decks with overhangs are natural nests for miniature swirling firestorms that can whip embers into flame, so deck design rules were changed, too. San Diego County was among the first in the nation to adopt voluntary standards of home protection stringent enough that homes could be deemed safe enough to "shelter in place," if evacuation is impossible. The standards require special fire resistant building materials, sprinkling systems and water supply fixtures for fire fighting, and fire-resistant vegetation controls. There are early indications from the current fires that some of the new rules may have made a difference. Five housing projects have been built in the county under the shelter-in-place standards; all five have survived the fires. The state, using information gleaned from San Diego, has also moved ahead with new building codes, and an updated map of the state shows the risk zone for every piece of property in California. But few officials are talking seriously about stopping construction. Officials in San Diego, where growth has been as enshrined into the civic DNA as firmly as anywhere in America, make it clear that they will not restrain new construction in fire zones, even if it were possible to do so. "The idea is not that we create goals and policies to slow growth, that's not the intent," said Jeff Murphy, the interim deputy director of at the San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use, where the county's new fire protection building codes were developed. "It's to make sure that people are safe during a wildland fire." The San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society and three other environmental groups successfully sued in 2005 to block a proposed 57-home development near Lake Arrowhead, but that was the exception. Smaller communities like Cedar Glen, near San Bernardino National Forest, are also operating under new rules, including stipulations that homeowners provide 100 feet of defensible space around their homes. Four years ago, most of the houses on Hook Creek Road in Cedar Glen burned to the ground when a blaze called the Old Fire came roaring out of the forest, devouring almost everything in its path and leaving behind chimneys and charred stumps that looked like headstones. This week, history nearly repeated itself as the Slide Fire took almost the same path, burning south to north, up hills into towns, and off public lands onto private property. Cedar Glen itself was largely spared. But just across Lake Arrowhead, the popular getaway where Ronald Reagan is said to have found the inspiration to run for public office, fire destroyed about 100 homes. All along nearby Hook Creek Road are abandoned foundations from the last fire. The same is true to the south, where several tumbleweed-infested ruins sit along Route 18 outside the town of Skyforest, looking down onto the forest below, which is filled with burned trees from 2003 and - this week - with pillows of smoke from the recent fires. But near the same spot, a new house is rising, built around an old staircase, apparently all that was left from a former house. More often than not, the human response after fire is to restore, not relocate, said Thomas J. Campanella, an assistant professor of city and regional planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-editor of the 2004 book "The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster." "After disaster, people are not in any mood to change further," said Professor Campanella. "They already had their lives turned upside down, they want to get back to they way it was yesterday - turns out to be a very bad time to have vision." Yet in the town of Running Springs, also in the San Bernardino Mountains, the reality of living next to a national forest is tragically apparent. Two hundred homes were lost in the Slide Fire. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed, including a cluster of homes at the corner of Wagon Wheel Drive and Wilderness Road, where a small yellow sign across the street read: "Property boundary: National Forest land behind this sign." On nearby roads, evacuated homes illustrated the dangers of forest-side living. The homes were close together with exposed wooden eaves and plenty of dry pine needles between them, even as smoke curled up from a smoldering fire in a canyon below. A drought-stressed pine tree grew through the deck of home, offering an enticing wick for an opportunistic flame. Roger Straley, 47, one of the few local residents around the other day, said he had been evacuated seven or eight times in the last 20 years, and so had decided to try his hand at a fire-related profession: helping operate a water tender, which supplies water to fire trucks in the field. "I've been evacuated so many times," he said. "I might as well try to make money on it." Not far away, along Spyglass Drive in Lake Arrowhead, a group of five firefighters, including Mr. Chapman, the Forest Service firefighter, rested in a green Forest Service truck. The crew had worked a 15-hour shift, and Jaime Cervantes, the driver, admitted to being tired. What would he do when the fires finally went out? "Relax," Mr. Cervantes said, until the next one. Carolyn Marshall and Randal C. Archibold contributed reporting from San Francisco, and Will Carless from San Diego.

Back to top

Oct 26, 2007Ecologists Discover City Is "Uber Forest" For Big Owls

According to an ongoing study being conducted in Charlotte, NC, city suburbs may be acting as a substitute for old growth forest habitat, at least in the eyes of the local barred owl population. Giant old willow trees provide perfect nesting cavities, while the manicured lawns and trimmed landscaping creates the open understory necessary for owls to spot their prey. Add a neighborhood birdfeeder to attract prey and what results is an "uber" old growth forest from the standpoint of the barred owls. Now researchers are attempting to determine if the large barred owl population in Charlotte is really as successful as it appears to be. Since 2001, biologists from the University of North Carolina have been monitoring through attached radio transmitters approximately 40 nesting sites each year and tracking sets of young as they mature. Using population and survival estimates, researchers are attempting to quantify the reproductive success of the urban dwelling barred owls. In addition, researchers are also conducting a comparison between the diet of the urban owls and that of their wild counterparts. To view the entire article, visit: http://sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071016131337.htm

Back to top

Oct 15, 2007Increasing forest populations boost cost of wildfire defense, CSU study finds

By Kevin Darst Colorado State University, CO The public stands to pay more to defend houses from wildland fire as people build millions of homes in fire-prone areas, according to a study by two Colorado State University researchers. Wildland-urban interface, or WUI, is the zone where homes mix with the forest. Nationally, 89 percent of WUI areas are privately owned and nearly nine out of 10 wildland fires are fought with private property protection as a "major strategy," according to a 2006 government report. The interface area included 12.5 million homes in 2000, a 52 percent jump from 1970, and the CSU researchers expect it to jump at least another 10 percent - maybe closer to 30 percent - by 2030 in states such as Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Utah and Idaho. A surge in the number of property owners building homes in the zone means more people putting their homes and themselves in fire danger. The spike has also heavily influenced the management of fires and national forests, the researchers said. According to a 2006 federal audit, the U.S. Forest Service spent between $547 million and $1 billion in 2003 and 2004 to protect private property from fire. About 87 percent of those fires were fought with protecting private property in mind. To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071011/CSUZONE01/710110385/1002

Back to top

Oct 12, 2007Texas Invasive Plant Conference

On November 14-16, 2007, the Pulling Together Initiative will host the second statewide conference on invasive plants at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. Building off the first statewide invasive plant conference in 2005, the 2007 conference will be a professional level meeting including keynotes, concurrent sessions, posters, field trips and symposia. This conference is designed to serve scientists, land managers, state and federal agencies, local governments, the green industry and other professionals interested in invasive species issues in the state of Texas. Regular registration is currently $120 and student registration is $80. To view more information about this conference, visit: http://www.texasinvasives.org/index.html

Back to top

Oct 09, 2007Prescribed Fire Workshop

Researchers at the College of Charleston in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service Sumter and Francis Marion National Forests and Center for Forested Wetlands Research will be hosting a Prescribed Fire Workshop on Friday, October 26th, 2007. The workshop will be held from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm on the Edgefield, SC campus of the Piedmont Technical College. The goals of this workshop are to provide updated results from research conducted on both the Long Cane and Enoree Ranger Districts and related studies on how prescribed fire can affect the landscape. This workshop will feature guest speakers as well as a field tour on the nearby Long Cane Ranger District. Please contact Toni Reale at RealeA@cofc.edu or (843) 364-1796 if you are interested in attending.

Back to top

Oct 26, 2007Ecologists Discover City Is "Uber Forest" For Big Owls

According to an ongoing study being conducted in Charlotte, NC, city suburbs may be acting as a substitute for old growth forest habitat, at least in the eyes of the local barred owl population. Giant old willow trees provide perfect nesting cavities, while the manicured lawns and trimmed landscaping creates the open understory necessary for owls to spot their prey. Add a neighborhood birdfeeder to attract prey and what results is an "uber" old growth forest from the standpoint of the barred owls. Now researchers are attempting to determine if the large barred owl population in Charlotte is really as successful as it appears to be. Since 2001, biologists from the University of North Carolina have been monitoring through attached radio transmitters approximately 40 nesting sites each year and tracking sets of young as they mature. Using population and survival estimates, researchers are attempting to quantify the reproductive success of the urban dwelling barred owls. In addition, researchers are also conducting a comparison between the diet of the urban owls and that of their wild counterparts. To view the entire article, visit: http://sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071016131337.htm

Back to top

Oct 15, 2007Increasing forest populations boost cost of wildfire defense, CSU study finds

By Kevin Darst Colorado State University, CO The public stands to pay more to defend houses from wildland fire as people build millions of homes in fire-prone areas, according to a study by two Colorado State University researchers. Wildland-urban interface, or WUI, is the zone where homes mix with the forest. Nationally, 89 percent of WUI areas are privately owned and nearly nine out of 10 wildland fires are fought with private property protection as a "major strategy," according to a 2006 government report. The interface area included 12.5 million homes in 2000, a 52 percent jump from 1970, and the CSU researchers expect it to jump at least another 10 percent - maybe closer to 30 percent - by 2030 in states such as Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Utah and Idaho. A surge in the number of property owners building homes in the zone means more people putting their homes and themselves in fire danger. The spike has also heavily influenced the management of fires and national forests, the researchers said. According to a 2006 federal audit, the U.S. Forest Service spent between $547 million and $1 billion in 2003 and 2004 to protect private property from fire. About 87 percent of those fires were fought with protecting private property in mind. To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071011/CSUZONE01/710110385/1002

Back to top

Oct 12, 2007Texas Invasive Plant Conference

On November 14-16, 2007, the Pulling Together Initiative will host the second statewide conference on invasive plants at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. Building off the first statewide invasive plant conference in 2005, the 2007 conference will be a professional level meeting including keynotes, concurrent sessions, posters, field trips and symposia. This conference is designed to serve scientists, land managers, state and federal agencies, local governments, the green industry and other professionals interested in invasive species issues in the state of Texas. Regular registration is currently $120 and student registration is $80. To view more information about this conference, visit: http://www.texasinvasives.org/index.html

Back to top

Oct 09, 2007Prescribed Fire Workshop

Researchers at the College of Charleston in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service Sumter and Francis Marion National Forests and Center for Forested Wetlands Research will be hosting a Prescribed Fire Workshop on Friday, October 26th, 2007. The workshop will be held from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm on the Edgefield, SC campus of the Piedmont Technical College. The goals of this workshop are to provide updated results from research conducted on both the Long Cane and Enoree Ranger Districts and related studies on how prescribed fire can affect the landscape. This workshop will feature guest speakers as well as a field tour on the nearby Long Cane Ranger District. Please contact Toni Reale at RealeA@cofc.edu or (843) 364-1796 if you are interested in attending.

Back to top

Oct 01, 2007The Annual Conference on Ecosystems Restoration and Creation

Join scientists, policy makers, researchers, and students for a forum that will present the latest scientific research on ecosystem restoration and management. This conference will be held in Plant City, Florida from November 1 - 2, 2007, and will feature sessions on topics such as riparian ecosystem restoration, invasive species control, and assessing the health of urban forests. The cost of the conference is $130 for regular registration and $50 for student registration. Visit http://www.hccfl.edu/depts/detp/ecoconf.html for more information.

Back to top

Sep 27, 2007Cost of Saving Homes Adding Up

A recent study conducted by an independent nonprofit economic group shows that yearly national firefighting costs could exceed $4.3 billion if development in the wildland-urban interface continues to increase. Firefighting costs to protect these homes currently total at over 1 billion each year. The study examined residential development in wooded areas at the edge of forests in 11 states and found that 14 percent of interface areas in these states have been developed. Concern over the rising costs of firefighting, particularly as developers set their sights on the remaining 86 percent of wildland-urban interface areas in these states, has prompted government officials to begin discussing new land-use planning measures. To view this article visit: http://missoulian.com/articles/2007/09/19/news/local/news02.txt

Back to top

Sep 13, 2007Environmental Impacts of Trade

The expansion of world trade has always been viewed as a beneficial process by economists, as it allows countries to specialize in the goods they can produce the most efficiently, thereby becoming more efficient in their production and gaining higher economic returns. However, the production of goods in any situation is likely to have environmental effects. In a world market where the authority to formulate and enforce environmental policies usually exists at the national level, the burden of environmental externalities associated with trade may be borne by the importers, exporters, or others not directly involved in the production and consumption of the traded goods. This presents challenges as to how to provide provisions for environmental protection in areas that are subject to high rates of production related environmental degradation. To view a critical discussion of these issues and more, visit http://www.earthportal.org/?page_id=70

Back to top

Sep 06, 2007CARIBOU HILLS FIRE SERVES AS A REMINDER TO FIREWISE YOUR HOME, SAYS ALL LANDS, ALL HANDS GROUP

JOINT NEWS RELEASE Kenai Forest, Wildland Fire and Fuels Management Coordinating Committee For release Sept. 4, 2006 Soldotna, Alaska Reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire on the Kenai Peninsula remains a top priority of State, federal, Native and local government agencies. During a recent meeting, the seven-agency Kenai Forest, Wildland Fire and Fuels Management Coordinating Committee reviewed the cause, fire behavior and burn patterns of the Caribou Hills Fire. Eighty-eight residences and cabins were consumed by the fire while 156 homes or other structures within the perimeter of the fire survived with little or no damage. It appears that homes and cabins where owners took precautions consistent with 'FireWise' practices sustained far less damage than homes with vegetation and other flammable material under or near structures, said Alaska Division of Forestry, Kenai-Kodiak Area Forester Ric Plate. Highly flammable grasses are of particular concern. Dried grasses grow back thickly every year. They tend to build up under and against structures, making them extremely flammable. We need individual structures, and whole communities to be as FireWise as possible, that means knocking back all vegetation, including reedgrass. The Kenai Peninsula Borough's (KPB) Spruce Bark Beetle program, the State Division of Forestry's Soldotna office and other agencies have been working to remove flammable vegetation, also called hazardous fuels, in and around homes, businesses and other buildings throughout Borough. Hundreds of thousands of acres of white spruce here on the Kenai Peninsula have been killed by the spruce bark beetle. More acres still are covered by the highly flammable black spruce. One of our main charters is to protect communities from a catastrophic wildfire, said Roberta Wilfong of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Individual responsibility is often what determines whether a home will withstand a wildfire or will be lost. Many landowners within the Caribou Hills fire demonstrated that responsibility. Through the All Lands All Hands interagency approach, nearly 2,300 acres were treated in 2006. This year, coordinated mitigation projects are planned to remove more than twice that amount of hazardous fuels near residences, evacuation routes and high use public areas. The result is safer communities and fewer homes lost to wildfire, said Debora Cooper, Interagency National Fire Plan Coordinator for Alaska. There has been great cooperation among agencies on the Kenai. And cooperation is what will be necessary during these times of high fire danger. Last fire season included the burning of 266,268 acres, 58 lightning caused fires (113,496.4 acres), and 249 fire starts from other causes across the State (132,771.4 acres). To date, 493 fires have burned 389,000 acres. For more information, including how to 'FireWise' your home, contact the KPB Spruce Bark Beetle Mitigation Program at (907) 714-2430, or visit these websites: http://www.borough.kenai.ak.us/sbb http://www.firewise.org

Back to top

Aug 29, 2007The Wealthy Get an Extra Shield for Wildfires

51, 'The Wealthy Get an Extra Shield for Wildfires ', 'August 28, 2007 By WILLIAM YARDLEY KETCHUM, Idaho, Aug. 26 The wind shifted, and suddenly the wildfire that has been raging just west of these exclusive high desert hills appeared closer than ever to Al LaPeter's 7,000 square feet of the sweet life. 'Oh, My,' Mr. LaPeter said. Then he exhaled, and relaxed. After all, he has insurance. His big house on the Big Wood River? The Ferrari 430 Spider in the garage? The immaculate Model A Ford? Covered. Literally. Right then and there, Tom Futral, a guy from Montana with a spray gun and a truckload of the magical goop that has quickly become the envy of the second-home set in this pricey part of the parched West, was applying fire retardant to Mr. LaPeter's shake roof and wood house, courtesy of his insurer, the AIG Private Client Group. 'They called me,' Mr. LaPeter, 62, said. 'I didn't even know that they did this.' That may be because this is the first time in memory that a wildfire has so closely threatened the A-list redoubts of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley (there are $3.7 billion in assets to protect, according to the incident commander leading the fire fight), and it is the first time AIG has deployed a crew to Idaho as part of its Wildfire Protection Unit for high-end clients who are willing to pay what the company says is an average of $10,000 annually for homeowner's insurance. The company, which insurance industry experts say is the only major insurer applying emergency fire retardant as part of some policies, has offered the service since 2005 in parts of California and Colorado. But increasing development at the fringes of national forests, recent drought and higher temperatures are combining to expand the risk of property damage and expand the AIG client list. Last year, the insurer sent crews to fires in Montana and Texas. Federal firefighters largely welcome the help. 'There are people that are building in places where they never used to build before,' said Dorothy Sarna, vice president and national director of risk management for AIG Private Client Group. 'They're getting more and more into what we call the urban interface,' where development meets publicly owned wilderness. The Forest Service has emphasized that the federal government needs help protecting structures given the increase in private development next to public lands. Of the assist from AIG, Don Smurthwaite, a spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, said, 'We don't see any downside to it. The homeowner receives added protection, the insurer may be able to avoid a large payoff and it frees up firefighters to work on suppression rather than protecting structures. That's one of the big changes in firefighting in the last 20 years. People are moving into areas that have burned historically.' AIG is not alone in offering premium service for higher premiums. Several companies, including Chubb and Fireman's Fund, will help prepare homes in advance of wildfires by creating plans for clearing the kind of brush and branches that become fire fuel and, for a fee, sometimes hiring contractors to do the work. Insurers provide similarly specialized service to limit damage from hurricanes, such as specifying what kind of shutters a house should have and which valuable furnishings should be moved where in the event of flooding and quickly coming out to cover damaged roofs. But out West, AIG is taking special treatment to a new level. It has a contract with Firebreak Spray Systems to deploy crews to apply retardant wherever policy holders are threatened by wildfire. This year, the fire season has been so busy and widespread that Firebreak has had to subcontract work in Idaho to Mr. Futral, a distributor of Phos-Chek, the fertilizer-like retardant Firebreak uses. Firebreak and Mr. Futral also install permanent sprinkler systems that can be activated remotely, even by cellphone, to spray retardant on homes when their owners are away. The Phos-Chek used by the companies is clear, but Firebreak says it is chemically similar to the red-dyed retardant wildfire crews have been dropping on parts of Bald Mountain and the Sawtooth National Forest since the fire, known as the Castle Rock fire, broke out last week. The fire has expanded to about 25,000 acres, though part of the increase is because of 'burn-back' efforts to keep fire from reaching populated areas. So far no structures have been lost. Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, the incident commander with the United States Forest Service who was overseeing the crew of 1,300 that was fighting the fire over the weekend, is based in fire-prone California and said that in three decades of firefighting she had never heard of an insurance company showing up to spray retardant on homes while a fire is threatening. 'That's a first, I have to admit,' Ms. Pincha-Tulley said. 'But that's the kind of affluence there is here.' Mr. Futral said he and an employee expected to treat 40 or more of the approximately 200 houses that AIG Private Client Group insures in the area, and that his list was growing rapidly as people had heard about the service or simply seen neighbors being given the treatment. Mr. LaPeter, who owns shopping centers and splits his time between Idaho and Maui, said the service might be a security blanket for the rich, but that it was also good business. 'At first I thought, I've never heard of an insurance company coming and doing that. But, duh! Of course they should,' he said. 'I mean, compare the cost of these guys' coming out to the cost of replacing a $3 million or $4 million home.' Mr. Futral weighed in. 'Save one $10 million house and it pencils out pretty quickly,' he said. 'And there are a lot of nice homes here ' Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood.' He stopped short of saying whose houses he had sprayed. Ms. Sarna, of AIG, acknowledged a business incentive but said the priority was 'making sure people don't lose their home.' Mr. Futral said he has had to procure permission from Ms. Pincha-Tulley to enter some evacuated areas. All is not lost for homeowners who lack high-end coverage. Some private fire-protection companies will apply various kinds of retardants for a one-time fee ' Mr. Futral said he would do so for $800 to $1,000. Thermo-Gel, based in North Dakota, has been applying a retardant to some homes near the Castle Rock fire. And when houses are severely threatened, fire officials say, firefighting crews are often stationed at individual houses, where they may cut down trees, clear brush and wet roads, roofs and landscaping. But the idea of an extra ounce of prevention for those who can afford it has a special allure here where plenty of people can. Michel Lalanne, who splits his time between Sun Valley and France, watched Mr. Futral apply retardant to a house across the street and asked whether he might obtain his services for a price, even though he was not covered by AIG Private Client Group. 'He said, No,' Mr. Lalanne said. 'We've got a long list.' ', 'Aug 29, 2007', '', '2007-08-29'

Back to top

Aug 16, 2007National Urban Community Forestry Advisory Council 2008 Challenge Cost-Share RFPP

National Urban Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) 2008 Challenge Cost-Share Request for Pre-proposals Deadline for Pre-proposal Applications is September 13, 2007 The 1990 Farm Bill created the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council to bring together the wide variety of voices raised about a common concern: the present health and future preservation of America's urban treescapes. NUCFAC was founded to synthesize the full spectrum of views into a consistent vision, as a foundation for practical policy on urban forestry. An important way the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council can fulfill its vision and make a positive impact on community forests nationwide, both now and in the future, is through its annual challenge cost-share program. Each October, a request for pre-proposals is distributed nationwide. Brief proposals are then evaluated by the Council on the basis of meeting the specified criteria and demonstrating merit relative to the other proposals. Selected applicants are then invited to submit full proposals for final judging in this competitive program. In all cases, project funding must be matched on at least a 50-50 basis from non-federal sources and the project must have national scope, application, and distribution of its findings. Projects that will only have a local impact (i.e. local tree planting projects) do not qualify under this program. You can download the application instructions and form here: http://nucfac.urbanforestrysouth.org/resources/library/2008%20CCS%20RFPP%20LockedFinal%20%2814Aug07%29.doc

Back to top

Aug 07, 2007Annual Photo Contest for National Recreation Trails

American Trails is sponsoring the 2007 contest for photographs of National Recreation Trails across the country. Our annual contest provides awards in several categories and shows off entries (and previous winners) on the NRT website. The goal is to highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails. The deadline for entries is October 31, 2007. Check the on line searchable database for a list of NRTs in your state and provide more information on individual trails. If you're not sure if a trail is an NRT, or if you have questions about the contest, call American Trails at (530) 547-2060 or NRT@AmericanTrails.org. Entries will be displayed on the NRT website. To read more about the contest, visit http://americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails/photocon.html

Back to top

Jul 24, 2007'Greenest,' 'meanest' vehicles of 2007

This multimedia CNN article ranks the most efficient and least efficient cars of the year based on a 100-point ranking system. Check out the "greenest" and "meanest" car slideshows: http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/07/06/greenest.meanest/index.html

Back to top

Jul 18, 2007Grant opportunity: NSF Energy for Sustainability

The Energy for Sustainability program supports fundamental research and education in energy production, conversion, and storage and is focused on energy sources that are environmentally friendly and renewable. Sources of sustainable energy include sunlight, wind, and biomass. Biomass is available from agricultural crops and residues, forest products, aquatic plants, and municipal wastes. In addition to hydrogen, biomass can be a source of liquid, solid and gaseous fuels including biofuels such as ethanol. Advances in these areas are needed to address key challenges in efficiency, durability, power density, and environmental impacts. The engineering aspects of fuel-cell design and operation also require further study in areas such as water and thermal management and process control. The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years. The average annual award size for the program is $100,000. Please refer to the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), June 2007, (NSF 07-140) when you prepare your proposal. Chapter II, especially, will assist you. The GPG is available for download at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg Current Closing Date for Applications: Sep 15, 2007 To read the full grant announcement, visit: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=501026

Back to top

Jul 12, 2007IKEA plastic bags costing customers a pretty nickel

In the big-business crusade to be greener than the other guy, IKEA gets kudos from environmentalists who recognize the Swedish chain as the first major retailer in the U.S. to put a price on the omnipresent bags made of thin, flexible plastic film that clog landfills, don't readily decompose and can suffocate wildlife. The infamy of the nonbiodegradable plastic shopping bag is recent, but the war against it is moving fast. The bags will be banned altogether in San Francisco this fall, and similar embargoes are being considered by other jurisdictions. A California law that went into effect this month requires large grocery stores and pharmacies to recycle plastic bags returned by customers and to offer reusable bags for purchase. To encourage customers, IKEA places signs near registers that say: "The world uses a trillion plastic bags a year. Unfortunately most end up in the trash or in the ocean or in trees ... and they take forever to disappear." The signs recommend that people buy the reusable tote rather than drop 5 cents on plastic but note that every nickel spent on the latter is donated to American Forests, a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C., for the planting of trees to offset carbon dioxide emissions. For the full article, visit: http://gainesville.com/article/20070711/BUSINESS/707110312/-1/news02

Back to top

Jul 11, 2007Announcing 2007 Florida Firewise Conference: October 2-3, 2007

2007 FLORIDA FIREWISE CONFERENCE "PROTECTING FLORIDA COMMUNITIES FROM WILDFIRE" October 2-3, 2007 The Florida Hotel and Conference Center 1500 Sand Lake Road Orlando, FL Each year, wildfires destroy homes, disrupt people's lives and impact our Florida economy, however, as with floods, hurricanes or tornados, there are things we can do to protect our families and our homes. Homeowners, community leaders, elected officials, planners, builders & developers and other business professionals can collectively make a difference! The 2007 Florida Firewise Conference will provide two information-filled days of presentations by national, regional and local speakers on proven wildfire protection techniques, case histories and practical guidelines for protecting individual homes or entire communities from wildfire. General Registration - $150 Early Registration (before September 10th) - $125 One-Day and Student Registrations Are Available To preview the conference program on the internet, go to www.ffca.org and select: Florida Firewise Conference under Conferences Sponsored by the Florida Firewise Communities Partnership and The Florida Fire & Emergency Services Foundation

Back to top

Jun 26, 2007Why Cities are Uprooting Trees

If trees fall in the middle of a city, does anyone make a sound? So far, not much of one--and that's a problem. To most of us, city trees are to genuine forests what gardens are to jungles or fish tanks are to the ocean--pocket-size imitations of the wild world, decorative perhaps but playing no real role in the global ecosystem. But urban trees are a lot more important than that, and at the moment, they're in decline. The broad-shouldered maple you pass without notice on your way to the office each day is part of a sprawling urban canopy that helps absorb carbon dioxide, pull particulate matter from the air, prevent floods and keep temperatures at livable levels. How much tree cover a city needs depends on local climate, but in the U.S., the guidelines divide roughly along the Mississippi River, with cities to the east needing a 40% cover and cities to the west a less leafy 25%. These days things aren't nearly that green. Tree cover from city to city has been measured by any number of studies, so direct comparisons of figures are hard, but across the country, things are trending downward. In the past few decades, Washington has lost half its tree cover; San Diego's is off about a quarter; the cover in cities in Michigan, North Carolina and Florida has fallen to about 27% of what it once was; Chicago and Philadelphia are just 16%. "Urban deforestation," says Ed Macie, an urban specialist with the U.S. Forest Service in Atlanta, "compares with what's going on in the world's rain forests." To read the whole story, visit Time magazine online at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1635842,00.html

Back to top

Jun 20, 2007A crisis is growing in America's vast forest lands

There is a crisis growing in America's vast forest lands, but it has little to do with the health of the woods: the acreage is essentially the same as it was a century ago, and there is over 30 percent more wood volume per acre than in 1952. At stake are large tracts of private forest that are at risk of falling into mismanagement, subdivision, or being sold for development. "It's a ticking time bomb," said Brett Butler, a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service Family Forest Research Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. He says the situation could jeopardize things like the wood used to build homes as well as jobs, clean water and fresh air. Nearly 60 percent of America's forests are privately owned, the majority by families and individuals, and most of these owners are 55 or older. A huge amount of forest land is about to change hands as aging landowners pass the land to heirs or buyers. "Without a doubt, it is the largest intergenerational transfer of forest land in our nation's history," said Al Sample, president of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, a nonprofit environmental policy research organization, "and we are not ready for it." Already, he said, forest land is rapidly disappearing. "We're losing four acres a minute," or 1.6 hectares per minute, he said. The institute, in cooperation with the Forest Service, recently completed a survey of the next generation of family forest owners. It found that heirs who will inherit the land are often professionals living far away in cities, have weak bonds to the land, and have little involvement in management of family forests. High taxes were a top reason heirs cited as deterrents to keeping the land. "The first time Wal-Mart or a developer makes an offer, they are going to take it," Sample said. "They often feel that they have no choice." For more information and the full article, visit: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/06/18/business/forests.php

Back to top

Jun 15, 2007Bald eagle soaring 'success,' but at what cost?

The bald eagle is officially about to become a "conservation success story" for the U.S. government, which has worked for more than three decades to help the national symbol recover from habitat destruction, illegal shooting and contamination of its food source. By June 29, the government is expected to take bald eagles off the Endangered Species Act's "threatened" list. The birds then would be protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. But Kieran Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity conservation group said this victory comes at a price -- loss of eagle habitat protection. The bird's nesting grounds were protected as long as the bald eagle was considered a "threatened" species. But the less restrictive eagle protection act does not put eagle habitats off-limits. Suckling said he worries that without habitat protection, developers will move into critical bald eagle areas, push the birds out and reduce their numbers. "There is big money to be made in cutting down and developing bald eagle habitat," he said. The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act prohibits anyone without a permit from "taking" bald eagles, including their parts, nests and eggs. Its definition of "take" includes: pursuit, shooting, shooting at, poisoning, wounding, killing, capturing, trapping, collecting, molesting and disturbing. "For the most part, it's a shooting and hunting statute," said Nicholas Throckmorton of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "It does talk a little about nesting and the tree that eagles are in, but it's not intended to protect habitat or ecosystems." For more information and to view the full article, visit: http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/06/07/bald.eagle.delisting/

Back to top

Jun 15, 2007New Look of the Interface South Website

Come have a look at the Interface South website's new layout! It has a fresh look but still contains the same great resources and references. The site is updated regularly and includes educational brochures, upcoming events, training resources, decision support systems, fact sheets, a photo gallery, a database of reference literature and links to other resources.

Back to top

Jun 08, 2007Puerto Rico could be 'isolated for days' after a storm

June 5, 2007 South Florida Sun-Sentinel Jeannette Rivera-Lyles SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Poor urban planning, overdevelopment and increased construction along the coast, coupled with an antiquated sewer system, make Puerto Rico vulnerable in an emergency. For more information or to view the full article, visit: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/caribbean/orl-prcane0407jun04,0,1368495.story?coll=sfla-news-caribbean

Back to top

Jun 06, 2007From Turkey Waste, a New Fuel and a New Fight

39, 'From Turkey Waste, a New Fuel and a New Fight', 'By SUSAN SAULNY The Energy Challenge New York Times BENSON, Minn. For anyone curious about what thousands of tons of turkey litter looks like, piled high into an indoor olfactory-assaulting mountain of manure, this old railroad stop on the extreme edge of alternative energy production is the place to be. Thanks to the abundance of local droppings, Benson is home to a new $200 million power plant that burns turkey litter to produce electricity. For the last few weeks now, since before generating operations began in mid-May, turkey waste has poured in from nearby farms by the truckload, filling a fuel hall several stories high. The power plant is a novelty on the prairie, the first in the country to burn animal litter (manure mixed with farm-animal bedding like wood chips). And it sits at the intersection of two national obsessions: an appetite for lean meat and a demand for alternative fuels. But it has also put Benson, a town of 3,376 some three hours west of Minneapolis, on the map in another way: as a target of environmental advocates who question the earth-friendliness of the operation. The critics say turkey litter, of all farm animals' manure, is the most valuable just as it is, useful as a rich, organic fertilizer at a time when demand is growing for all things organic. There is a Web site devoted to detailing the alleged environmental wrongs at the power plant, which detractors consider just another pollutant-spewing, old-technology incinerator dressed up in green clothing. A related issue is that the electricity is expensive, as called for in a utility contract that led to the plant's construction, and that it requires a lot of input for a rather small output. Marty Coyne of Platts Emissions Daily, a newsletter that analyzes issues related to the energy markets, said it would take 10 waste-burning plants the size of the one here to equal the energy generated by one medium-size coal-fired plant. David Morris, vice president of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, an advocacy group with offices in Minneapolis and Washington, said: 'As a matter of public policy, it stinks. The problem is that it's using a resource in an inefficient way, and required huge subsidies to create a more inferior product than what was already being sold on the market.' All the unwanted attention shows, once again, how the landscape of renewable energy production is fraught with potential land mines, even in a case that seems small-scale and straightforward. What could be so offensive about burning turkey poop? 'This is the only advancement in manure utilization since the manure spreader ' that's 100-year-old technology,' said Greg Langmo, a third-generation turkey farmer who lobbied for the plant, where he now works as a field manager. Minnesota produces more turkeys than any other state, some 44.5 million birds in 2005, the most recent year for which data are available. It follows that the turkeys leave behind a lot of waste in their pens, where most are confined to gobble and peck until they are robust enough for slaughter. The Benson plant, then, has been of considerable help for farmers with a disposal problem. The plant was built by Fibrowatt, a Philadelphia-based company, with financial incentives from the State of Minnesota. And, without precedent in the United States, it is largely a test case, watched carefully because Fibrowatt has plans to expand its operation to other big poultry states. Officials at the company did not expect a perfectly smooth start but are surprised by the level of debate over the plant. 'We are completely puzzled by why people would make such a major effort to denigrate what we're doing,' said Rupert J. Fraser, the chief executive, whose father pioneered manure-burning technology decades ago in Britain. Fibrowatt ran three such plants there before moving to Philadelphia to enter the American market. 'We're seeking to provide an environmentally sustainable service to the industry which produces renewable energy,' Mr. Fraser said. 'We're not claiming to be the only solution, but we think we are environmentally responsible and are doing everything to the highest possible standard.' Fibrowatt is advancing an important goal, Mr. Fraser said: the reduction of dependence on fossil fuels and their attendant pollutants. But biomass burning, as it is called, produces its own pollutants. According to information in one of its federal air permits, the plant is a major source of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrogen sulfide. It was granted permission to operate because of the way the emissions are controlled and cleaned before being released into the air'. 'All projected impacts were well below Minnesota's health risk values,' the permit says ' but officials will continue monitoring it. 'We shouldn't just assume that because something is called an energy source, it's a good one,' said J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director at Fresh Energy, an advocacy group in St. Paul. 'You have to evaluate: where did this waste product come from? You have to look at the whole life cycle, how the plants were grown, what the turkey was fed. You want to be careful about what you're putting into the air and water.' Pet owners who see newfound possibilities for their household litter boxes should know that it will take about 500,000 tons of turkey waste to produce enough electricity for a few rural counties for a year. And not all litter burns well, although turkeys' does, at least relatively so. Unlike cow or hog manure, which is wet, turkey litter is mostly dry. That aids combustion. So does the fact that it is mixed with turkey-bedding materials like sunflower hulls, wood chips and alfalfa stems. At the plant here, a boiler produces high-pressure steam that drives a 55-megawatt generator. Throughout operations, a negative air pressure system controls odors from becoming a nuisance outside the facility. Part of what drew Fibrowatt to Minnesota, Mr. Fraser said, was a legislative mandate, back in the early 1990s, that the primary utility in the area, Xcel Energy, build a wind or biomass generating plant, or contract for electricity from one, as a way of reducing Minnesota's dependence on traditional energy. To meet the requirement, said Karen Hyde, Xcel's managing director of resource planning and acquisition, the company entered into a 21-year agreement with Fibrowatt to buy all of the waste-burning plant's power at a rate that was, at the time, twice the price of the electricity generated by plants fired by fossil fuels. Because the price of fossil fuel has gone up, Miss Hyde said, the contract is more cost-effective today: the waste-burning electricity is now 30 percent more expensive than power from conventional plants. 'Some people call it a subsidy ' that's fine,' said Mr. Fraser, Fibrowatt's chief executive, who prefers to look at it as 'an incentive for change.' 'Any way you look at it,' he said, 'you're not going to get a shift from fossil-fuel energy to renewable energy without an equivalent change in the financial structure of energy policy.' Back on his turkey farm, Mr. Langmo let the gritty litter from some of his 49,000 birds fall through his fingers. In one year, his farms will produce 8,000 tons of manure, and the power plant is buying manure from farmers for $3 to $7 a ton, depending on the quality. 'Is it green enough?' Mr. Langmo said of the operation. 'I'm in no position to judge that.' But he added: 'It just feels right. And I think the vast majority of Americans would look and say, 'I think it makes sense.' ', 'Jun 06, 2007', '', '2007-06-06'

Back to top

May 31, 2007Daily Forecasts Track Smoke From Southern Fires

At the request of the Georgia State Department of Health, scientists with the Southern Research Station Smoke Management Team located at the Center for Forest Disturbance Science in Athens, GA, are producing daily smoke forecasts which help communities determine potential health risks caused by current wildfires across south Georgia and north Florida. The forecasts show smoke concentrations over continuous 72-hour periods, combining detailed weather forecasts with information about the fire to estimate the amount of smoke produced and where that smoke will be transported. "The smoke forecasts are extremely useful to communities surrounding wildfires as well as those in neighboring States," says Dr. Scott Goodrick, Smoke Management Team research meteorologist. "Our research also helps Incident Command Teams suppressing these fires, providing information they can share with local health officials who determine potential health risks." For more information and to access the complete article, visit: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070530134625.htm

Back to top

Mar 29, 2007Grant Funds 'Green' Design

The University of Arkansas (UA) School of Architecture's Community Design Center, in collaboration with the Ecological Engineering Group in the UA Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, has been awarded a $464,000 grant by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. The grant, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, will facilitate the planning and design of a new sustainable neighborhood in the city of Fayetteville. McClelland Consulting Engineers will work with engineering students from the university to design and test low-impact storm water management strategies that are distributed across the site. Shared streets, high-density housing, rain gardens and other sustainable storm water management systems will be designed, built and studied. The goal is to implement low-impact development that will reduce non-point source pollution. Technology such as bioswales, a drainage technique that is designed to remove silt and pollution from surface waters, and the use of riparian greenways are among the strategies that will be tested for use in the new development. The University of Arkansas and its associated partners hope that the project will serve as an example for other cities across the nation in setting standards for green development. For more information and to access the complete article, visit http://dailyheadlines.uark.edu/10410.htm For access to more news articles visit http://www.interfacesouth.org/inthenews.html

Back to top

Mar 22, 2007International Symposium on Caribbean Fire Ecology and Management

This meeting will bring together research and management personnel that deal with wildland fire issues in the Caribbean, with additional perspectives provided from researchers in the U.S. and Latin America. The goal of this symposium is to facilitate the exchange of research and management knowledge related to fire ecology, and to increase public awareness of wildland fire issues in the Caribbean. The symposium will include two days of discussion sessions and research presentations, a workshop to identify the priorities in Caribbean fire ecology research and management, and a field excursion to the Guanica National Biosphere reserve. Session topics include assessing and mapping fire fuel loads, the effect of fire on wildlife habitat, fire ecology education, and the role of prescribed burning as a tool for ecosystem management. The symposium will take place April 17-19, 2007 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The cost is $260 for regular registration and $125 for student registration. For more information about this event visit http://www.caribbeanfireecology.net/ For more information on upcoming events visit http://www.interfacesouth.org/resources/events.html

Back to top

Mar 08, 20072007 American Planning Association (APA) National Planning Conference

Join practicing planners, active citizens, and elected officials for over 200 conference sessions, mobile workshops, training seminars, and networking opportunities. Session topics include planning for a disaster resistant community, smart growth planning, green area planning, and creating sustainable communities. This year's APA conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA, from April 14-18, 2007. The cost of the conference is $695 for APA members, and $895 for non-members. For more information visit http://www.planning.org/2007conference/ For more information on additional upcoming events, visit http://www.interfacesouth.org/resources/events.html

Back to top

Feb 27, 20079th Annual Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium

This conference offers an exciting program of presentations and workshops that will address invasive plant identification, risk assessment, ecosystem impacts, educational opportunities, and the latest in management strategies. The program features morning lectures from nationally recognized speakers, followed by concurrent sessions and afternoon workshops. Session and workshop topics include invasive plant mapping, herbicide application methods, early detection of invasive species, and habitat restoration. There will also be an opportunity for field excursions to locally managed sites. The conference will be held in Athens, GA, from March 20-22, 2007. The cost of the conference is $135 for regular registration and $65 for student registration. For more information visit http://www.gaeppc.org/meeting07.html. For more information on additional upcoming events, visit http://www.interfacesouth.org/resources/events.html.

Back to top

Feb 23, 2007State May Spend More on Land

By MIKE SALINERO The Tampa Tribune Published: Feb 19, 2007 TAMPA - Florida's land conservation program is the envy of the country, with more than 2.2 million acres purchased and preserved by state and local governments since 1991. Local environmental treasures such as Brooker Creek Preserve in Pinellas County and Balm Boyette Scrub and Apollo Beach Nature Preserve in Hillsborough County were purchased in part by money from the state Florida Forever program and its predecessor, Preservation 2000. Yet, Florida's aggressive land-buying program has not matched the rate land is being gobbled up by development. About 1 acre is preserved for every 5 acres that are developed, according to Audubon of Florida, a nonprofit conservation group. While explosive population growth has driven Florida land prices skyward, Florida Forever funding has remained unchanged for 15 years. Now, a coalition of 16 state and regional conservation groups is pushing the state to do more. They want the Florida Forever program to be extended beyond its statutory sunset of 2010 and funding increased from the current $300 million a year to $1 billion annually. Conservationists say the state needs to buy about 2 million more acres to achieve a goal of preserving 33 percent of Florida's land area. That figure came from a 1991 study by a group of scientists who traveled the state identifying environmentally significant lands. Purchasing the targeted lands will take about $10 billion, the groups estimate. At Florida Forever's current rate of funding, the state will not be able to buy those lands before they are developed. "With a third of a million people coming into Florida every year, development will overwhelm our natural systems," said Eric Draper, head Tallahassee lobbyist for Audubon. The coalition also wants the governor and Legislature to increase spending during the program's final three years. They argue that the annual $300 million budget is limiting the state's ability to compete for land that has increased in price by 112 percent since 1999. Infusion Of Money Possible "When the Preservation 2000 program was passed in 1991, the $300 million seemed like a lot of money, and it was," said Richard Hilsenbeck, associate director of land acquisition for The Nature Conservancy, a conservation group. "There's been a tremendous escalation in raw land prices," Hilsenbeck said,"and that $300 million doesn't go nearly as far as it used to." The coalition has reason to hope the program will get a new infusion of money next year. Gov. Charlie Crist's proposed budget for 2008 increases Florida Forever funding to $400 million. In the Legislature, state Sen. Burt Saunders, R-Naples, has filed a bill that would double Florida Forever funding to $600 million next year. He also wants to start work on extending the program beyond 2010. Preserved Land Draws Tourists Saunders said he thinks legislators are starting to understand that conservation is important to Florida's economy as well as its environment. "A lot of people come here to fish, a lot like to come here for bird watching or go hiking in natural areas," Saunders said. "If we don't preserve those natural areas, we will actually kill that reason for people to come here in the first place." Draper said the Legislature needs to move quickly to take advantage of a slumping real estate market. The slowdown is increasing the number of big landowners who are interested in selling to the state. "We now have something we haven't seen in the Florida Forever program in a long time: willing sellers competing with each other to sell to the state rather than competing with each other to sell to developers," Draper said. Although most Florida Forever money goes toward land acquisition, only $105 million is available for the larger tracts picked by the team of scientists 15 years ago. The balance of the money goes to water management districts to protect water supplies and to local governments for urban parks. The inadequacy of Florida Forever's funding for large land buys was painfully evident last year when the state bought 74,000 acres in the Babcock Ranch tract. The Legislature had to appropriate $295.5 million for the tract, which creates a wildlife corridor from Lake Okeechobee to near the Gulf of Mexico. The purchase would have wiped out Florida Forever's funding, canceling any other land purchases for the year. Hilsenbeck of The Nature Conservancy points out that $1 billion a year is much less than the Florida Department of Transportation's annual budget of $8.2 billion. "We're trying to sustain our economy with just $1 billion a year," he said. "We don't want to preserve these areas just because they're pretty or because we're tree huggers, but because they are sustaining our economy."

Back to top

Feb 20, 2007New content on National Wildfire Programs Database website

The National Wildfire Programs Database website serves as a clearinghouse of information about nonfederal policies and programs that seek to reduce the risk of loss of life and property through the reduction of hazardous fuels on private lands. The website has a new section that focuses on community planning. This new addition to the website profiles the Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) of state and local governments in many parts of the country. To access these community wildfire protection plans and to learn more about other types of wildfire hazard mitigation programs, such as biomass utilization, demonstration projects, and firewise community recognition programs, visit the website at http://www.wildfireprograms.usda.gov/index.html.

Back to top

Feb 15, 200710th Annual Public Interest Environmental Conference

This conference aims to address some of the key environmental issues facing today's decision makers. This year's theme is Shaping Florida's Future: A Decade of Protecting an Eternity. Panels will cover some of the most pressing environmental issues facing Florida, including population growth, increasing development, marine and coastal management, Florida's water supply, and the possibility of a clean energy future. The conference will be held at the Reitz Union in Gainesville, FL from February 19 - 21, 2007. The cost is $85 (conference only) and $20 for students. For more information visit: http://grove.ufl.edu/~els/piec10/index.htm. For more events visit http://www.interfacesouth.org/resources/events.html.

Back to top

Feb 08, 20072nd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference

This conference focuses on the fire environment by providing attendees with the latest innovations in wildland fire science, examples of successful and maybe not so successful management practices, and current and potentially future wildland fire policy. The conference program includes presentations by internationally respected experts in wildland fire as well as workshops, a staff ride and a prescribed fire event. Workshop topics include designing landscape fuel treatment strategies, fire behavior, prescribed burning and creating outreach programs. The conference will be held March 26-30, 2007 in Destin, Florida. For more information, visit http://www.emmps.wsu.edu/fire.behavior/index.html.

Back to top

Jan 10, 2007Agency affirms human influence on climate

29, 'Agency affirms human influence on climate', 'By ANDREW C. REVKIN The New York Times President Bush has said it. A lot of government scientists have said it.'' But until yesterday, it appeared that no news release on annual climate trends out of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Bush White House had said unequivocally that a buildup of greenhouse gases was helping warm the climate. The statement came in a release that said 2006 was the warmest year for the 48 contiguous states since regular temperature records began in 1895. It surpassed the previous champion, 1998, a year heated up by a powerful episode of the periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean by El Nino. Last year, another El Nino developed, but this time a long-term warming trend from human activities was said to be involved as well. 'A contributing factor to the unusually warm temperatures throughout 2006 also is the long-term warming trend, which has been linked to increases in greenhouse gases,' the release said, emphasizing that the relative contributions of El Nino and the human influence were not known. A link between greenhouse gases and climate change was also made in a December news conference by Dirk Kempthorne, the secretary of the interior, as that agency proposed listing polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Still, the climate agency's shift in language came as a surprise to several public affairs officials there. They said they had become accustomed in recent years to having any mention of a link between climate trends and human activities played down or trimmed when drafts of documents went to the Commerce Department and the White House for approval. James L. Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the release reflected longstanding views within the administration. 'It's helpful for them to describe what is a question in many people's minds ' what is the human factor, what is the El Nino factor,'Mr. Connaughton said of the NOAA release. 'From our perspective, what was in the press release was a direct reflection of what the president and folks in his administration have been saying for some time.' Mr. Bush has made two speeches on climate. He first expressly accepted that humans were contributing to global warming in a news conference in Denmark in July 2005 on the way to an economic summit in Scotland, saying, 'Listen, I recognize that the surface of the Earth is warmer and that an increase in greenhouse gases caused by humans is contributing to the problem.' But the government's scientific bureaucracy, where public affairs officials and scientists as recently as last year complained that findings pointing to climate dangers were being suppressed, has taken time to catch up. 'There's been some sensitivity to the fact that some people have complained that NOAA and other parts of the government haven't been as open as they would like them to have been on this,' said Jay Lawrimore, a climatologist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., where the temperature trends are compiled. 'Now NOAA is making an effort to be clearer on some of the influences.' Mr. Lawrimore said there was no way to account for the trends, be they the melting of Arctic sea ice or the warming of winters, without including an influence from heat-trapping gases. 'Year after year as we continue to see warmer temperatures,' he said, 'there are more and more converts convinced that it's not just natural variability and not just something that's going to return back to temperatures we saw 40 or 50 years ago ' that in fact we are doing something to the climate.' ', 'Jan 10, 2007', '', '2007-01-10'

Back to top

Dec 21, 2006Societies Choices: Land Use Changes, Forest Fragmentation, and Conservation

The November 2006 issue of Science Findings, a newsletter of the Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNWRS), focuses on changing land use patterns, forest fragmentation, and conservation. Ralph Alig, a researcher with the PNWRS in Corvallis, OR, has studied rates of development over time since the 1980s. He found that regionally, the largest increases in developed areas within the United States between 1982 and 1997 were in the South. Over one-third of the South's developed area was added during those 15 years. Indeed, 7 of the 10 states with the largest additions of developed area are in the South. The top three - Texas, Florida, and North Carolina - each added more developed area than in the country's most populous state, California. The South, like the Northeast, now has approximately 12 percent of its total land area developed. To view this issue of Science Findings, visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/sciencef/scifi88.pdf

Back to top

Dec 13, 2006Wildland Fire Research Assistants

Two open positions for research assistants to work on projects in wilderness fire ecology and fire behavior in the wildland-urban interface, beginning immediately. Wages from $10-20/hr based on experience and education. Positions involve extensive field work, data collection, and opportunities for direct research involvement. Must have field research and/or fire experience. BS degree necessary, MS preferred. Please contact Leda Kobziar (lkobziar@ufl.edu) 352- 846-0901 or Alan Long (ajl2@ufl.edu) 352-846-0891, University of Florida, School of Forest Resources & Conservation.

Back to top

Dec 04, 2006U.S. Forest Service audit urges letting more wildfires burn, getting more money from states

By Jeff Barnard Associated Press Dec. 1, 2006 GRANTS PASS, Ore. The Forest Service should let more wildfires burn and demand that state and local governments pick up a bigger share of firefighting costs, according to an audit released Wednesday. Forest Service personnel said protecting private property where cities meet forests, known as the wildland-urban interface, accounts for more than half of Forest Service firefighting costs, which have exceeded $1 billion in three of the past six years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's inspector general said. By picking up so much of the cost, the Forest Service was taking away the incentive for homeowners to take responsibility for protecting their properties in the woods, the audit says. State and local governments control development in the wildland-urban interface, so they should bear a greater share of the costs, it said. "We are pleased with the results and hope to have all the recommendations in place for the 2007 fire season," service spokeswoman Jennifer Plyler said from Washington, D.C. The audit was produced at the service's request. The service has long put out as many fires as it could, despite recognizing for many years that this has led to an unnatural buildup of fuels that has increased the size and severity of fires. Part of the problem is that old trees die and turn into dried tinder. Current policy calls for equal consideration of extinguishing fires and of letting them burn, but outside pressure and a lack of personnel make it difficult to choose to let fires burn, the audit said. This year, fires have been allowed to burn under supervision across 257 square miles, amounting to 1.7 percent of about 14,800 square miles nationwide, according to the National Fire Information Center. The audit urged the Forest Service to train more personnel to assess and monitor such wildfires. The service should also ask Congress to decide who has primary responsibility for protecting homes in the woods, the audit says.

Back to top

Nov 09, 2006New Products on InterfaceSouth

The USDA Forest Service Southern Center for Wildland-Urban Interface Research and Information would like to update you on several new products that we think will be useful for natural resource professionals in the South. We have five fact sheets in the 'Fire in the Wildland-Urban Interface' series that are available on our website, InterfaceSouth. Hard copies of these fact sheets can be viewed and/or ordered from the website at: http://www.interfacesouth.usda.gov/products/fact_sheets.html We also have two decision support systems on InterfaceSouth ( http://www.interfacesouth.usda.gov/products/dss.html ), a wildfire risk assessment and an interactive flammability key that can be used to create your own firewise plant lists. We have recently included a section that describes our research projects ( http://www.interfacesouth.org/products/research.html ). The Changing Roles: Wildland-Urban Interface Professional Development Program is available on the InterfaceSouth website ( http://www.interfacesouth.org/products/training/changing_roles.html ) and you can find information about the upcoming conference co-sponsored by our Center, "Emerging Issues along Urban/Rural Interfaces" ( http://www.sfws.auburn.edu/urbanruralinterfaces/ ). If you need help with acquiring wildland-urban interface information or answers for any questions please contact Annie Hermansen-Baez, Center Manager, 352-376-3271, ahermansen@fs.fed.us.

Back to top

Nov 06, 200613th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM)

The theme for the 2007 symposium is Landscape Continuity and Change - Social Science Perspectives and Interdisciplinary Conversations. Primary sub-themes include: 1. Contributions of social science to environmental and natural resource management - How can we integrate ideas from social science and economics with those of the natural and managerial sciences to improve human interactions with natural resources and the environment? 2. Planning from community to regional scales - What have we learned about planning frameworks and institutions that can help people live sustainably in a rapidly changing world? 3. Landscape implications of social and economic change - How do the dramatic social and economic transformations taking place across the globe affect surrounding natural landscapes, and how can they be effectively managed or mitigated? 4. Social and economic implications of landscape change - How do changes in natural landscapes affect social and economic well being, and how can we better understand, predict, and mediate the effects of these changes? The event will take place June 17-21, 2007 in Park City, Utah. For more information visit: http://www.issrm2007.org/index.php?L1=left_home.php&L2=body_home.php

Back to top

Oct 27, 2006Assessing Damage and Restoring Trees After a Hurricane

Hurricanes can be damaging to communities and urban forests. However, there are opportunities to better prepare for the next hurricane season and rebuild a healthy urban forest. This publication is part of an Urban Forest Hurricane Program, aimed at citizens and communities who seek to rebuild and set better urban forest management practices so that future storms are less devastating. It contains six topics: (1) Safety: staying safe during storm cleanup, safely operating a chain saw and hiring the right tree care professional, (2) Assessing Damage and Deciding What to Do: distinguishing trees that should be removed and those that may recover through restoration pruning, (3) Restoration Pruning: pruning trees to restore them to health, (4) Palms and Pines: dealing with palms and pines, (5) Prevention and Design: selecting the right tree, designing the right location and evaluating trees for potential hazard to reduce future storm damage, and (6) Wind Resistant Species: establishing trees for a healthy and more wind resistant urban forest. This publication is available in English and Spanish at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/EP291

Back to top

Oct 20, 20062007 National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) Annual Conf

The NAEP 2007 Conference is designed to showcase alliances by discussing permitting, development and sustainability, natural resource management, re-development and new research and technology designed to improve the environment. Topics will include brownfields/redevelopment, water rights and water quality, wetlands restoration/mitigation, urban ecosystem restoration, and much more. The conference will be taking place on April 22-25 in Orlando, FL. For more information about this event visit: http://www.naep.org/displayconvspecific.cfm?convnbr=2679

Back to top

Oct 12, 2006Urban Forestry and Soil Quality M.S. Assistantship

MS Graduate Assistantship Available Urban Forest & Urbanization Effects on Soil Quality University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation This MS Assistantship will provide support for one student to study the role of urban forests and urbanization on soil quality characteristics and subsequent effects on watersheds. The research will be conducted in urban Gainesville and surrounding forests, rural areas, and urbanizing natural systems. The project is in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service, Southern Center for Wildland-Urban Interface Research and Information. The student will pursue an MS at the School of Forest Resources and Conservation. Requirements: BS in Forestry, Environmental Sciences, Soil Science, or Watershed Management.; Minimum GRE scores 1000 (verbal + quantitative), minimum undergraduate GPA 3.0. Applicant will have experience in GIS, soils, field work, and willing to work in urban forests and urbanizing areas in north central Florida. Assistantship: $15,000 per year plus tuition waver Please send resume, college transcripts, self-reported GRE scores, and statement of interest to Dr. Francisco Escobedo; fescobed@ufl.edu; 352-378-2169; http://sfrc.ifas.ufl.edu/urbanforestry/ http://www.interfacesouth.org/

Back to top

Oct 06, 20062nd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference Call for Abstracts

The organizers of the 2nd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference invite the submission of abstracts for contributed papers and posters addressing innovations, management, and policy in the wildland fire environment. This conference focuses on the fire environment. It will provide attendees with the latest innovations in wildland fire science, examples of successful and maybe not so successful management practices, and current and potentially future wildland fire policy. The conference program includes presentations by internationally respected experts in wildland fire as well as workshops and field trips. The site of the conference is located in the Florida Panhandle, an area rich in wildland fire history and practice. The conference will take place on March 26-30, 2007. The deadline for abstract submission is November 1, 2006. The conference Program Committee will review all abstracts, determine which are accepted, and make the final assignment to a topical session. Individuals who contribute abstracts will be notified of acceptance by e-mail no later than January 10, 2007. For more information visit: http://emmps.wsu.edu/fire.behavior/index.html

Back to top

Sep 29, 2006Sun Grant Initiative: Bioenergy Research and Education

The Sun Grant Initiative is a concept to solve America's energy needs and revitalize rural communities with land-grant university research, education, and extension programs on renewable energy and biobased, non-food industries. Five regions of the U.S. will carry out the Sun Grant Initiative, with coordination led by land-grant universities that have biomass production potentials and involvement in bioenergy research. A Southeastern Sun Grant Center of Excellence at the University of Tennessee will coordinate activity in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Visit the Sun Grant web site to access state biomass/bioenergy factsheets, information about the Sun Grant Seminar Series and fellowship program, and other resources: http://sungrant.tennessee.edu/

Back to top

Sep 19, 2006New Publication for Small Woodlot Owners!

The Woods in Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas around Your Home This new book promotes the stewardship of small parcels of land for the personal enjoyment of the owners and improved environmental quality for society. It is geared towards owners of 1-10 acres of land that is forested or has unmowed natural areas and to owners interested in turning mowed lawn area into a forest. The first four parts (Introduction, Inventory Your Property, Ecological Principles, and Put Your Knowledge into Practice) describe concepts necessary to fulfill land management goals for your property. Part five is a workbook with blank activity sheets designed to apply the lessons in parts I-IV to your own land. Includes color photographs throughout. Also includes a list of resources, a glossary, and an index. Published in September 2006 by the Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service. For ordering information visit: http://www.nraes.org/publications/nraes184.html

Back to top

Sep 08, 2006Emerging Issues Along Urban/Rural Interfaces II Conference

On behalf of Auburn University's Center for Forest Sustainability and the USFS Southern Center for Wildland-Urban Interfaces Research and Information, we are pleased to formally announce the Call for Abstracts for our second Emerging Issues conference, to be held at the Sheraton Atlanta, April 9-12, 2007. As before, the focus of this conference is the linking of ecological aspects and human dimensions of land-use science and practice along urban/rural interfaces, with interfaces construed broadly. The Sheraton has excellent facilities and we have the room space to actually expand the conference a bit over the previous one. We are delighted to have Joe Chamie (former Head of the U.N. Population Division) returning to provide another overview of population/urbanization trends around the world to set the stage for the rest of the conference. Joining Joe as keynote speakers are Dr. Ann Bartuska (Deputy Chief for Research and Development for the U.S. Forest Service), Dr. Art Gold (University of Rhode Island), Dr. Bill Shaw (University of Arizona), and Dr. Mark Eigenraam (Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia). Brief biographies for each are posted on the conference website (Dr. Bartuska's is still pending), which we invite you to peruse at http://www.sfws.auburn.edu/urbanruralinterfaces/ Before you visit the website, here are several items of interest: ** The National Science Foundation has very generously provided support money to issue travel grants to a sizable number of undergraduate and graduate students who want to attend the conference. As indicated on our website, these grants will range between $250-$750 with priority being given to students who contribute actively to the conference program by making either a paper or poster presentation. Interested students can apply on-line from our website. We also have applied to the EPA for a conference grant to provide support for students. So if you know of a student with an interest in inter-disciplinary aspects of urban/rural interfaces and who might benefit from attending our conference, please encourage him/her to consider contributing a paper/poster and to apply for a conference grant. ** Abstracts can be submitted electronically from the Submit an Abstract page on our website. ** We are pleased to say that Lisa Ditchkoff is once again handling the conference planning. As many of you will remember, she is superb. ** We will shortly be able to handle electronic registrations. You will find a click-able link on the Registration page of the website that permits electronic registrations that go straight to Lisa. Alternatively, you can download, print, complete, and mail to us a hard copy of the registration form. The registration rates are the same as before: $375 for a full registration and $125 for a student registration. As before, we're planning to make that worth your while in terms of stimulating speakers and colleagues, great food, and excellent surroundings. ** We will be producing a conference Proceedings volume. ** The Sheraton Atlanta offers great facilities/rooms and Lisa once again has negotiated a $99 per night rate. This is an exceptionally attractive rate and we hope that you will stay at the Sheraton to help us meet our room commitment, which in turn helps us provide the other conference facilities. The Sheraton reservation website (which is linked to our conference home page) is extremely easy to navigate. ** Early April is a beautiful, warm time in Atlanta. We have scheduled in a little down time during the middle of the conference. This will permit you to pay a visit to Atlanta's recently opened aquarium, Olympic Park, the CNN Center, or other places of interest. For any questions, comments, or suggestions please feel free to contact: David N. Laband Forest Policy Center School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences 602 Duncan Drive Auburn University Auburn, AL 36849-5418 334-844-1074 (voice) 334-844-1084 fax

Back to top

Aug 25, 2006Wildland-Urban Interface Research Projects

The Southern Center for Wildland-Urban Interface Research and Information is involved in research projects addressing a variety of interface issues. Listed below are the current activities with a brief description. To download full project descriptions and related publications visit: http://www.interfacesouth.org/products/research.html 1) Flammability of Natural Vegetation and Home Landscapes This study is comprised of three research projects that were designed to address the issues of wildfire hazard in the wildland-urban interface and investigate different facets of natural vegetation and home landscape flammability. They provide information to help guide firewise planning and to improve fire behavior modeling for urban settings. 2) Fuel Reduction Options for Landowners at the Wildland-Urban Interface This study includes two parts: (1) a review of fuel reduction options available to small landowners and (2) a comparison of the effectiveness, longevity and costs of three fuel reduction treatments in the South. 3) Post-fire Assessment of Interface Landscapes This study looked at how building materials and the arrangement and composition of landscape plants influence structural vulnerability during wildfires. 4) Wildfire Risk Assessment Guide for Homeowners in the Southern United States This assessment and accompanying guidelines were designed to provide information about fire risk focused on individual properties throughout the South, as a complement to guidelines available for whole communities.

Back to top