Center for Health Reporting editor-in-chief David Westphal writes about the impact of the Center's four-day series “Burning Issue: Gasping for Breath,” which examined the scientific links between woodstove/fireplace smoke and asthma, chronic lung disease and heart problems and highlighted the state's failure to regulate wood smoke pollution.
"Here in the vast wilderness surrounding Peru's Alto Purús National Park, the locations of [mahogany] trees, worth tens of thousands of dollars in the United States, have become closely guarded secrets among members of indigenous tribes."
The coffers of wildland fire-fighting agencies are depleted in places like Colorado, even as property-damage figures are hitting record highs. That's partly because more and more people are building houses in the high-risk wildland-urban interface.
Sudden aspen decline, a disease that has killed many aspens in the mountain West, seems to be slowing enough that some stands can hold their own.
The American chestnut, which was virtually wiped out by an exotic blight, may be making a comeback.
"New government data show forests play a key role in offsetting U.S. industrial emissions, but the ability of Western lands to sequester carbon is shrinking as the planet warms."
"A proposal to designate more than 300,000 acres of wilderness in central Idaho appears to be in a political tailspin, dashing hopes among wilderness advocates that the Gem State could soon resolve a decades-long debate over management of its public lands."
"A coalition of nine land trusts says it will reach a five-year goal of protecting 50,000 acres in Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains."
Despite some bad wildfires, the 2010 fire season overall has been less severe than many recent years.
"A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revise a Bush administration recovery plan for the threatened northern spotted owl, and the agency said today it intends to release a draft of the revision next week."