Texas on pace for worst wildfire year since 2011

Texas on pace for worst wildfire year since 2011

Last week, nearly 100 firefighters from across Texas loaded up and headed west to join thousands of colleagues in an extended battle against massive wildfires burning across Northern California, one of which has become the largest in that state’s history. While the fires raging in California have garnered national attention and help from fire departments across the country, Texas faces its own particularly severe year for wildfires. Texas is on pace to see the highest number of wildfires in the…

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August Director’s Notes: Introducing the Newest HCA Family Member!

August Director’s Notes: Introducing the Newest HCA Family Member!

  • August 14, 2018
  • News

Hill Country Neighbors, It’s easy to see why the Hill Country is one of the fastest growing regions in the Lone Star state. With the combination of friendly neighbors, family values and idyllic scenery – it provides a wonderful place to raise a family. And, raising kids in an environment where they can appreciate nature is also a privilege enjoyed by many who live here. Speaking of future generations, my husband Cody and I are excited to share some very…

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Offers Exceptional Opportunity to Help Wildlife, Business, and Texans in the Hill Country

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Offers Exceptional Opportunity to Help Wildlife, Business, and Texans in the Hill Country

With fish and wildlife populations under decline throughout the country, Hill Country Texans are hailing a new opportunity to reverse this trend.  The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, H.R. 4647 in the U.S. House of Representatives, would provide $1.3 billion annually from existing federal revenues for state-led projects to improve and restore fish and wildlife habitats, without any increase in taxes. This federal legislation represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide crucial conservation funding, increase regulatory certainty for business and industries, support…

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Hill Country land comes back to life at Spicewood Ranch

Hill Country land comes back to life at Spicewood Ranch

Spicewood Ranch has evolved from a cattle ranch into a laboratory for management of native plants and habitat. Chris Harte acts like a proud papa as he points out a grove of tiny green, white and red flags sprouting alongside a gravel road cutting through his Hill Country ranch. The flags mark the locations of post oak, Mexican plum and Eve’s necklace seedlings. To Harte and David Mahler, an ecologist with Environmental Survey Consulting who has directed restoration work at…

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SwRI, UTSA researchers map Edwards Aquifer with innovative new tracers

SwRI, UTSA researchers map Edwards Aquifer with innovative new tracers

August 7, 2018 — Researchers from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) are using unique DNA-based tracers to characterize the recharge and flow patterns in the Edwards Aquifer. The work, led by Dr. Ronald Green of SwRI’s Space Science and Engineering Division and Dr. Vikram Kapoor of UTSA’s College of Engineering is supported by a $125,000 grant from the Connecting through Research Partnerships (Connect) Program. The Edwards Aquifer is the primary source of…

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$76 million resort coming to Fredericksburg

$76 million resort coming to Fredericksburg

  • August 9, 2018
  • News

Fredericksburg is already a hot spot for visitors — and developers and city tourism officials say a planned $76 million hotel project will help take the Hill Country city to the next level. Construction is scheduled to start on the Seven Hills Resort and Conference Center this fall, with completion slated for 2020. It will be on a 22-acre site at the intersection of North U.S. 87 and West U.S. 290…Read more on Austin American-Statesman

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Pape: State ‘betrays’ Bastrop County by allowing Cedar Creek waste site

Pape: State ‘betrays’ Bastrop County by allowing Cedar Creek waste site

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has approved a permit for a waste transfer station proposed in Cedar Creek despite strong opposition from residents, the Capital Area Council of Governments and Bastrop County and state officials. “We have been betrayed by TCEQ on this in two ways,” Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape wrote in an email, obtained by the Bastrop Advertiser, to state Sen. Kirk Watson’s office. “First, they issued the registration before the applicant applied for and receive a local…

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Here’s how America uses its land

Here’s how America uses its land

There are many statistical measures that show how productive the U.S. is. Its economy is the largest in the world and grew at a rate of 4.1 percent last quarter, its fastest pace since 2014. The unemployment rate is near the lowest mark in a half century. What can be harder to decipher is how Americans use their land to create wealth. The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that…

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‘Orphan’ oil, gas wells are problem

‘Orphan’ oil, gas wells are problem

So-called “orphan” oil and gas wells, which have been abandoned by defunct companies that cannot pay to plug them, are a growing problem in many states thanks to a recent slump in energy prices that has forced marginal operators out of business. Nobody knows how many orphan and abandoned drilling sites litter farms, forests and backyards nationwide. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are more than a million of them. Unplugged wells can leak methane, an explosive gas, into…

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