2012 Land Stewardship News

December 9, 2012

Historic Maverick Ranch threatened again

The Maverick Ranch-Fromme Farm (MkR-FF), is national landmark and endangered species wildlife refuge located in Northwest Bexar County. Landowners working with their community have withstood five eminent domain fights in order to retain this rare and sensitive open space. They need support Wednesday, Dec 12 as San Antonio considers adjacent dense development. Incentivizing ranch land protection will not be effective unless we get serious about dealing with encroaching development. Learn More

November 19, 2012

“This Riparian stuff is not Rocket Science…”

“The water challenges of Texas will never be resolved until more people understand how creeks and rivers work, including the vital role of voluntary land stewardship, which helps sustain flows and maintain water quality. Landowners, policy makers, agencies, conservation and agricultural organizations all need to work together with greater cooperation to help sustain, maintain and restore the most precious and valuable natural resources that we have.”Read and share Steve Nelle’s Riparian notes.

Private Lands/Public Benefits: Farmland = Drinking Water

By recognizing that healthy working lands provide clean water, an unlikely alliance of New York City officials and upstate farmers came together in the early 1990’s to create a unique watershed protection program. The ground-breaking program protected the purity of the region’s water without inflicting onerous regulations that would have decimated the region’s agricultural industry. Learn more

November 7, 2012

Great news video clip about Edwards Aquifer Protection

San Antonio program steps outside city limits to protect water source: SA buys easements from willing landowners to protect aquifer. This two-minute video from KSAT tells a great Hill Country conservation story. Listen and learn.

September 20, 2012

LCRA to create land trust to help protect Colorado River Basin

The Lower Colorado River Authority Board of Directors recently authorized General Manager Becky Motal to pursue the creation of a nonprofit land trust to help preserve land and water quality in the Colorado River basin for future generations. The new trust will acquire and manage conservation easements in the Colorado River watershed. More from LCRA.

August 16, 2012

“Art and Conservation” to feature landowner-artist

collaboration to promote Hill Country conservation Some Hill Country landowners have invited a group of artists to spend time over a one-year period exploring 21 properties not typically open to the public, so the artists can interpret their experiences in nature through art. Next April, that art will be exhibited and sold to the public as part of “Art and Conservation: Hidden Treasures,” presented by the Cibolo Nature Center and the Hill Country Council for the Arts to raise awareness about and promote conservation of Hill Country animals, plants, land and water. Learn More

July 9, 2012

TPWD offers landowner assistance through it’s “LIP” program

A healthy future for the Hill Country region depends on wise practices on private lands. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has a wonderful program in place that provides expertise as well as financial assistance to landowners who want to initiate private land stewardship efforts. The Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) is currently accepting new projects, now is the time to check it out.

June 25, 2012

Hill Country Landowner experience and guidance featured in a valuable new blog

“I want to share what I’ve learned throughout the years with others who are interested in partnering with Mother Nature to help heal, restore, and conserve the land and its creatures for future generations.” Jill Nokes is a landscape designer, land restoration specialist and author who is telling her Llano County story online for all to benefit from. Read, learn and share with Jill.

June 18, 2012

Conservation group targets Hill Country spread

The Hill Country Conservancy is spearheading an effort to buy the development rights to the (1242-acre Triple C Ranch), once part of the Newberry Ranch and one of a dwindling number of large properties available for preservation in this part of the Hill Country. Under current development rules, at least 200 homes could be built on the property, turning it into another subdivision in a region rich with them. Read more from Statesman.com.

June 14, 2012

Hill Country Land Trust – Saving Land in 19 Counties

The Hill Country community is under intense development pressure as more and more people (retirees and visitors) want to live in a scenic and culturally interesting part of the state. The Hill Country Land Trust (HCLT), an all-volunteer non-profit offers landowners a way to conserve their land through donated easements. Bill Lindeman, HCLT President tells his story “Linked by Land” for Saving Land, a publication of the Land Trust Alliance. Learn more about conservation easements in the Hill Country region.

Dealing with Feral Hog? New online resource available

Feral hog ‘community of practice’ provides multi-state expertise and resources. Dealing with Feral Hogs is a common Hill Country landowner challenge. Learn more about this Texas AgriLife Extention effort to bring the best and most timely educational resources to the public here.

June 6, 2012

Saving water, preserving land

To ensure that there is clean water entering the aquifer, the city’s Edwards Aquifer Protection Program is about to spend an additional $90 million from a voter-approved one-eighth-cent sales tax to buy conservation easements over the aquifer’s recharge zone. Through the easements, landowners are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for giving up their rights to subdivide and develop their land. The easements are slowing the trend of the subdivision of Hill Country ranches. The concept is also starting to reunite under one management plan some of the original ranches that once measured in the tens of thousands of acres but have since been divided into tracts of a few hundred acres. Read more from SA Express-News.

June 4, 2012

Can a new partnership protect a water source in the Texas Hill Country?

Drought and rapid growth threaten San Antonio’s water source in nearby Texas Hill Country. But a new kind of conservation partnership aims to keep the taps running pure. Read full Nature Conservancy article.

May 15, 2012

LCRA Creekside Conservation Program helps landowners heal the land

Landowners in the lower Colorado River basin may be eligible to receive grant funding for conservation practices that reduce soil erosion and increase native plant and animal diversity. Learn More

March 5, 2012

Funding is available for land conservation in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone

A public educational event will be held at 6:00 pm March 21st at the San Antonio River Authority Headquarters in San Antonio to provide information about how the Aquifer Protection program works. Attorney’s from Braun & Gresham will lead the program which is free and open to the community. Learn More

February 21, 2012

Texas Land Trusts and Texas Landowners . . . Writing the Greatest Conservation Success Story You May Have Never Heard

We all know that the population of Texas continues to grow. The projection is that by 2060 there will be 46 million Texans, almost double our current population. During this same period, an unprecedented transfer of rural land will occur. Much of our state will be passed from one generation with a strong connection to the land, to another that has fewer opportunities and less time to connect to the land. While this may seem to forecast a bleak future for the land, water and wildlife that make Texas so special, Texas landowners and Texas land trusts are working hard to ensure that our innately Texan landscape is preserved in perpetuity. Read more from Texas Land Trust Council.

February 16, 2012

The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program is at work in Texas

The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program is the community assistance arm of the National Park Service. RTCA staff provides technical assistance to community groups and local, state, and federal government agencies working to protect natural areas and water resources and enhance close-to-home outdoor recreation opportunities. See what they’re doing in Texas and here in the Hill Country Region along the Llano River and in San Antonio. Learn More

February 6, 2012

Hill Country Landowner’s Guide, an essential resource

HCA has been hosting county focus groups and workshops, and regularly meeting with landowners all over the Hill Country. The most frequent comment we hear is the importance of educating landowners about good land stewardship. Help us spread the word in your community with these fantastic resources: Landowner Assistance from TPWD and a must read for every Hill Country landowner: Hill Country Landowner’s Guide, by Jim Stanley.