The Stars at Night

The Stars at Night

  • March 31, 2017
  • News

A satellite map of light pollution in the United States shows the country split down the middle, with nearly everything to the east full of light and broad swaths of the west still dark. The Interstate 35 corridor forms the boundary between the two; immediately west is the Hill Country. “We call it ‘the edge of night,’ because you have dark skies that are close to very populated cities,” says IDA board member Ken Kattner, a Houston lawyer and amateur…

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TPWD Announces 2016-17 Season CWD Monitoring Results

TPWD Announces 2016-17 Season CWD Monitoring Results

  • March 31, 2017
  • News

Texas records first cases of disease in free-ranging whitetail, elk AUSTIN – Texas recorded a couple of unwanted firsts for chronic wasting disease (CWD) during statewide surveillance efforts for the 2016-17 collection year, including detections in a free-ranging whitetail and a free-ranging elk. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) surpassed its statewide goal of 6,735 CWD samples, collecting 9,830 from hunter harvested and road kill deer, and other susceptible cervid species, between March 1, 2016 and Feb. 28, 2017.…

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Austin environmental report: SH 45 SW construction could harm cave, aquifer

Austin environmental report: SH 45 SW construction could harm cave, aquifer

The environment in Austin remains preserved and protected despite its tremendous growth over the past few decades, said Chuck Lesniak, the city’s environmental officer, in the annual State of Our Environment report published on Thursday. The city’s environmental policies often stand in contrast to the state’s and now the federal government’s as regulations begin to be rolled back, Lesniak’s foreword in the report states. “Austin has made environmental protection a community priority for well over 30 years,” he said. “That ongoing…

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A milestone in Edwards recharge protection

A milestone in Edwards recharge protection

Thursday, the San Antonio City Council considers purchase of a conservation easement on the 2,800-acre Middle Verde Ranch in Medina County. If approved, this will effectively mark the final expenditure from the $90 million Edwards Aquifer Protection Program fund ratified by voters in 2010. That was the third of four ballot measures dedicating a portion of city sales tax revenue to conserving parcels over the aquifer’s recharge and contributing zones. Voters approved $45 million in 2000, $90 million in 2005,…

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Proposal for urban gondola system in Austin will not move forward

Proposal for urban gondola system in Austin will not move forward

  • March 29, 2017
  • News

The plan to build a gondola cable car system in Austin, in what would have been the largest system of its type in the world, is not moving forward. In a list of shared conclusions released by Capital Metro, the transit agency says gondolas are best suited to “niche” applications and not as a primary way of moving people as part of a regional transportation network. The door is being left open in the event another interested party wants to…

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In Hays County, water fight springs anew

In Hays County, water fight springs anew

Two years after expanding the reach of an Austin-area groundwater district to regulate pumping in Hays County, lawmakers are considering measures that would water down oversight. The measures appear to favor Greg LaMantia — a politically connected South Texas beer distributor and owner of the 5,000-acre Needmore Ranch east of Wimberley — who unsuccessfully fought efforts in the last legislative session to expand the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Groundwater Conservation District. LaMantia, whose property is also in the territory of the…

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UGRA Releases “Be Flood Aware” Video

UGRA Releases “Be Flood Aware” Video

  • March 28, 2017
  • News

The Board of Directors of the Upper Guadalupe River Authority (UGRA) previewed the recently completed Kerr County flood awareness video “Be Flood Aware” at their regular meeting on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. In order to promote flood danger awareness, UGRA joined forces with Kerr County and the City of Kerrville to create this flood awareness video for Kerr County. The video is intended as an educational tool to share with the community to remind us all of the danger of…

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Jacob’s Well: An Endangered Species?

Jacob’s Well: An Endangered Species?

In 1996 David Baker, an area landowner, formed a 501(c)3 called Wimberley Valley Watershed Association to preserve the area for future generations. The preservation efforts have been significant, acquiring land around the well to allow for less development and for rainwater to continue to feed the aquifer below. The Well has gone dry numerous times in the last 15 years, and at times the water quality has been poor. The problem, according to David, is that urbanites value this rural…

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Texas Water Symposium planned for April 27 in Fredericksburg: Invasive Species Impacts On Water Resources, Economics and Ecosystems

Texas Water Symposium planned for April 27 in Fredericksburg: Invasive Species Impacts On Water Resources, Economics and Ecosystems

  • March 28, 2017
  • News

The final Texas Water Symposium of the 2016-2017 series has been set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 27th at the Texas Tech Hill Country University Center, Fredericksburg, Texas. The Texas Water Symposium is free and open to the public. Download event flyer Join our panel in a discussion of potential costs of invasive species to native wildlife and infrastructure, approaching threats, and the most effective ways for Hill Country boaters, ranchers and landowner to protect our waterways. Invasions of…

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