After Error, Hays County Groundwater Bill is Revived

After Error, Hays County Groundwater Bill is Revived

A bill designed to protect western Hays County residents’ water wells in light of a massive groundwater pumping project is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk —following an emotional week of political drama over an issue once considered local and relatively uncontroversial. House Bill 3405, by state Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, was thought to be dead this week, after a “point of order” by Rep. Mary González, D-El Paso, targeting the legislation was sustained. But in a stunning reversal on Thursday night, the House…

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Legislative victory for Texas’ working lands

Legislative victory for Texas’ working lands

Texas Agricultural Land Trust: HB1925, authored by Representative Charlie Geren, will move the Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD). TPWD is well-suited to ensure that the program meets its purpose, which is to conserve Texas’ farms and ranches that provide our state’s critical natural resources. TALT worked with our partner organizations – the statewide agricultural and landowner groups – as well as the Texas Land Trust Council and other conservation organizations to…

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A Scientist who Modeled Texas’s Blanco River in 2007 Probes for Lessons After the Deadly Flash Flood

A Scientist who Modeled Texas’s Blanco River in 2007 Probes for Lessons After the Deadly Flash Flood

As news spread of the devastating and deadly flooding west of Austin, Tex., last weekend (followed by so much more), I started exploring what’s known about flood risks along the Blanco River and other waterways in Texas’s “Flash Flood Alley.” I came across a 2007 modeling study by Joanna C. Curran, a hydrologist then moving from Texas State University to the University of Virginia, assessing how urbanization in the Blanco River watershed would affect the river flows under various scenarios for growth.…

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Tussle in Legislature over Hueco Tanks, Hays County water

Tussle in Legislature over Hueco Tanks, Hays County water

Residents of flood-ravaged Hays County were furious Tuesday that State Rep. Mary González used a legislative maneuver in an attempt to kill a local bill they say will protect their wells. In calls and emails, several asked why a lawmaker whose district is 500 miles away would insert herself into a strictly local debate. “She seems like a decent person,” said Nancy Weaver, who lives about a half mile from a commercial wellfield that she and her neighbors fear will…

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Cibolo Nature Center & Farm awarded REI grant to expand access to natural places in Texas

The Cibolo Nature Center & Farm was awarded a $10,000 grant from specialty outdoor retailer REI for recreational trail improvements to increase public access to wild, open places in Texas, executive director Carolyn Chipman Evans said Thursday. “We are honored to have the support of the country’s largest consumer co-op, which each year invests in outdoor recreational places around the country that inspire all of us who love the outdoors,” Chipman Evans said. “We are inspired by REI’s generosity to…

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Finding Nature Near You Just Got Easier

Finding Nature Near You Just Got Easier

Nature Rocks Texas is making it easier for families to get outside and connect with nature. The Nature Rocks Texas website brings together parks, nature centers, zoos, natural areas and nature-based programs and events all in one place. Did you know that Texas has 15 National Parks and Historic sites, and over 90 State Parks? They are all on Nature Rocks Texas along with all the city, county and local parks and natural areas. Explore Nature Rocks Texas and start camping, hiking,…

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Before Central Texas Flooding, Officials Sounded Alarm

Before Central Texas Flooding, Officials Sounded Alarm

When some residents of Wimberley woke up early Sunday morning to flooding inside their homes, the fear and surprise were palpable: The Texas Hill Country had been going through a record, multiyear drought. But just three months earlier, local officials had voiced concerns about the rapidly growing region’s vulnerability to devastating flooding. “The more we know, the safer we will be when flooding occurs,” Hays County Judge Bert Cobb said in a February news release after county commissioners voted to…

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Contested Case Hearing legislation signed by the Governor

Contested Case Hearing legislation signed by the Governor

Senate Bill 709, which will become law Sept. 1, scales back contested-case hearings, a process that allows landowners and the public to challenge industrial TCEQ permits such as sand and gravel operations and wastewater discharges in and along Hill Country rivers. From the Texas Tribune: Gov. Greg Abbott has signed legislationaiming to quicken regulators’ pace of cranking out permits for major industrial projects by limiting public scrutiny — another victory for a wide range of industries and a blow to…

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Award for Llano River Field Station

Award for Llano River Field Station

James Murr, The Junction Eagle: Texas Tech University’s Llano River Field Station in Junction has been selected for the “Education and Public Service Award” given by the Universities Council on Water Resources.  The award recognizes “contributions to increased public awareness of water resources development, use, or management covering one or a combination of the natural, biological, and social sciences.”  The Council is an association of universities and other organizations with executive offices located at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Dr. Tom Arsuffi is…

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Tomorrow: Public Forum – San Antonio’s Water Future: Better Alternatives (to the Vista Ridge deal)

Tomorrow: Public Forum – San Antonio’s Water Future: Better Alternatives (to the Vista Ridge deal)

Public Forum: San Antonio’s Water Future: Better Alternatives (to the Vista Ridge deal) and better ways of engaging the whole community in deciding and realizing that Water Future Tuesday, May 19 — 6:30-8:30 pm. Location: at Trinity University, in Northrup Hall 040 (bottom floor of administration building) Parking lots: Alamo Stadium and Trinity Lot E (beside Parker Chapel, off Oakmont). Sponsored by: Trinity University Environmental Studies Program and Biology Department, as well as the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club,…

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