Three Additional Ranches Conserved with Travis County Bonds

Three Additional Ranches Conserved with Travis County Bonds

Diverse Partners Protect Hamilton Pool Road Corridor (Dripping Springs, TX) – On Monday, July 30th, Travis County and the Puryear family celebrated the closing of a real estate deal on their 423-acre historic ranch. Unlike most real estate deals, however, this one allows them to stay on the land, where their family has lived for 138 years. The Puryears worked with Hill Country Conservancy to create a conservation easement that keeps the land from being developed in perpetuity. The project…

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NBU examines the future of water in New Braunfels, releases 20-year plan

NBU examines the future of water in New Braunfels, releases 20-year plan

  • July 26, 2018
  • News

 In late May, New Braunfels Utilities approved a strategic water resources plan that will help guide accommodations for the next 20 years. “So we looked at supply and we projected demand,” NBU Chief Executive Officer Ian Taylor said. The plan, which will be updated every five years, details how NBU will ensure an adequate water supply for its service area, which falls in one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions…Read more at Community Impact New Braunfels

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In Business and Conservation, George C. ‘Tim’ Hixon Was a Force of Nature

In Business and Conservation, George C. ‘Tim’ Hixon Was a Force of Nature

Hikers visiting the preserved dinosaur tracks or mysterious German ranch house at Government Canyon State Natural Area might never have seen these sights had it not been for San Antonio businessman George C. “Tim” Hixon. Hixon, who reached international heights in the conservation arena, was instrumental in preserving Bexar County’s largest piece of public land – one of his countless contributions to society and the natural world, Hixon’s friends and family told the Rivard Report on Monday…Read more at Rivard Report

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Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act

Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act, which for 45 years has safeguarded fragile wildlife while blocking ranching, logging and oil drilling on protected habitats, is coming under attack from lawmakers, the White House and industry on a scale not seen in decades, driven partly by fears that the Republicans will lose ground in November’s midterm elections. In the past two weeks, more than two dozen pieces of legislation, policy initiatives and amendments designed to weaken the law have been either introduced or…

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Artificial light is killing our view of the night sky. But we can change that.

Artificial light is killing our view of the night sky. But we can change that.

  • July 23, 2018
  • News

Through much of human history, our ancestors looked up at a night sky filled with stars that set planting patterns and helped lead them across continents. We’ve since filled that night sky with artificial light, brightening our immediate surroundings and dimming the stars above.  New York City residents can live their entire lives seeing fewer than a dozen of the brightest stars and planets. Most people living east of the Mississippi River will never see the Milky Way in all its sparkling…

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Report: Sludge dumped into river by wastewater plant caused algae

Report: Sludge dumped into river by wastewater plant caused algae

Test results show that an unauthorized dumping of sludge by a city-operated wastewater treatment plant in Liberty Hill was to blame for the algae that blanketed the South San Gabriel River in Georgetown this spring. The excessive algae marred the appearance of the river, and people complained they could not safely get into the water, according to a report from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality…Read more from Austin-American Statesman.

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Central Texas archaeologists find ancient artifacts dating back 20,000 years

Central Texas archaeologists find ancient artifacts dating back 20,000 years

  • July 23, 2018
  • News

Archaeologists at Texas State University say there have been people living in Central Texas for tens of thousands of years. In fact, they believe they may have discovered the oldest civilization in North America, right here at home. “We can’t just say people were here eight or 10 thousand years and that’s it,” said Nancy Velchoff, co-principal investigator for the Gault School of Archeological Research. She said people have been living here a lot longer then what we’ve thought….read more…

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Artificial Light at Night May be Contributing to “Ecological Armageddon”

Artificial Light at Night May be Contributing to “Ecological Armageddon”

  • July 23, 2018
  • News

In 2017, drastic declines of insects were reported by a team of scientists in Germany. The research indicated that the biomass of flying insects decreased more than 75% over the 27-year study period. In a new study published in the Annals of Applied Biology, scientists from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) investigate the relationship between insect declines and artificial light at night (ALAN), suggesting “that artificial lighting could be an overlooked driver of insect declines.”…read more on DarkSky.org

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Opposition to sand crusher grows

Opposition to sand crusher grows

As the news of a planned sand dredging and crushing operation along Sandy Creek has spread, controversy about this commercial project has grown. Property owners upstream and downstream from the proposed site on the Nash Ranch are voicing environmental, lifestyle and safety concerns about allowing Collier Materials, Inc. to refine tons of sand and gravel from Sandy Creek with massive amounts of water drawn from the already sensitive underground watershed…read more at The Llano News.

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Well’s gone dry: aquifers taking a hit during the drought

Well’s gone dry: aquifers taking a hit during the drought

“It’s not out of the ordinary to have wells drop in a severe drought like this, when there is a really terrific shortage of groundwater,” said John Fisher, a Bell County commissioner, who lives in southern Bell County near the Williamson County line. As of July 10, most of Williamson County is classified as abnormally dry, with a portion in the northern part of the county in a moderate drought, according to the drought report and map released every Tuesday…

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