Truck crash spills 42,000 pounds of avocados into South Llano River

Truck crash spills 42,000 pounds of avocados into South Llano River

  • March 31, 2019
  • News

If you are spending the weekend at the South Llano River State Park you may have noticed 42,000 pounds of avocados have hit “guac” bottom. Texas Parks and Wildlife posted on social media sites Friday afternoon that park employees had collected bags of avocados littering the river near Junction after a crash caused the tasty fruit to spill into the river. But park officials still need your help, they report. “Here’s a great opportunity to grab some kayaks, trash bags…

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Hays County commissioners authorize defense agreement with intent to join or file a suit against Kinder Morgan

Hays County commissioners authorize defense agreement with intent to join or file a suit against Kinder Morgan

  • March 29, 2019
  • News

Hays County Commissioners Court on March 26 unanimously authorized the county’s general counsel to execute a joint defense agreement related to Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline project with the intent of joining or filing suit against the company. The vote, which was taken following executive session, comes after commissioners joined a mounting regional movement of opposition against the Permian Highway Pipeline’s proposed route. Hays County, San Marcos and Kyle are among a growing number of local governments in the Hill…

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Algae infestation is causing an upset among residents along the Blanco River

Algae infestation is causing an upset among residents along the Blanco River

  • March 26, 2019
  • News

BLANCO, Texas — Homeowners near the Blanco River say there’s an algae problem that’s damaging the quality of the river, and it’s gotten a lot worse in just a few weeks. “It makes me sick,” said Joe Theriot, owner of The Blanco Settlement Riverfront Lodging. “Once a river or stream is failed in Texas, it’s hard to get it back.” Theriot’s business consists of 20 RV sites and about 10 cabins. He said it’s upsetting to see the water turn…

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Landowners attend workshop on financial, conservation tools: About 90 hear CCCA, Hill Country Alliance speakers

Landowners attend workshop on financial, conservation tools: About 90 hear CCCA, Hill Country Alliance speakers

The Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA) and the Hill Country Alliance co-hosted the workshop, “Saving Family Lands: Tools for Landowners in Comal County” on Feb. 15 at the Anhalt Dance Hall in Spring Branch. The one-day workshop, which highlighted financial and conservation tools available to rural landowners in fast-growing Hill Country counties, attracted 90 attendees. The workshop was designed to provide farmers, ranchers and other landowners with effective tools and resources to help them address issues inherent in passing family…

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New publication examines consequences of groundwater depletion to agriculture

New publication examines consequences of groundwater depletion to agriculture

COLLEGE STATION — A new Council of Agricultural Science and Technology, or CAST, paper examines the causes and consequences of groundwater depletion throughout the U.S. with a focus on how this will affect agriculture — the largest sector of groundwater use. The paper, “Aquifer Depletion and Potential Impacts on Long-term Irrigated Agricultural Productivity,” was co-authored by Dr. John Tracy, Texas A&M University’s Texas Water Resources Institute director, College Station. Tracy chaired a task force of university and government researchers exploring…

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Could a tug-of-war between two Central Texas counties leave residents without drinking water?

Could a tug-of-war between two Central Texas counties leave residents without drinking water?

Dirk Aaron’s timing was terrible. He took over management of Bell County’s Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District in the summer of 2011, which the National Weather Service regards as the driest year in Texas history. What made the drought particularly difficult was that the less it rained, the more groundwater people pumped. When Mother Nature isn’t watering your yard or your farm, you have to do it yourself. That dynamic played hell with the resources Aaron had been hired to…

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Homeowners take fight against gas pipeline land grab to U.S. Supreme Court

Homeowners take fight against gas pipeline land grab to U.S. Supreme Court

For nearly a decade, Michelle and Gary Erb lived on a rustic, 72-acre plot of land east of the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The bucolic setting was perfect for farming, hiking, and hunting. There, the couple hoped they could build a second home for their sons. But the landscape Gary once called a “deer paradise” became a construction site for a pipeline that can move 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day. Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line…

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Landowners, volunteers wade into riparian restoration effort

Landowners, volunteers wade into riparian restoration effort

While the cooler temperatures March 2 were enough to send some people inside, a number of folks rolled up their sleeves, and pants legs, sowed seeds, and planted vegetation along a stretch of Sandy Creek. “We want to be proactive by doing riparian zone restoration,” Fermin Ortiz said. He and about 25 local landowners, concerned residents, and volunteers gathered along the creek at CR 316 in Llano County. Ortiz and several other residents and landowners are concerned about a sand-mining…

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Rep. Erin Zwiener brings aggregate industry bills

Rep. Erin Zwiener brings aggregate industry bills

Austin, TX — State Representative Erin Zwiener filed four bills to address concerns from House District 45 residents regarding the proliferating aggregate industry. Aggregate operators include concrete batch plants, gravel pits, and stone crushers. With a rapidly growing district, some areas have seen a growing number of aggregate operators who are unconcerned with being good neighbors to the community around them. “I’m working with my Hill Country neighbors, Representatives Terry Wilson and Andy Murr, to provide comprehensive oversight for aggregate…

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J. David Bamberger on fifty years of coaxing his Blanco county ranch back to life

J. David Bamberger on fifty years of coaxing his Blanco county ranch back to life

On an overcast day in early February, J. David Bamberger charged down a trail at his ranch near Blanco, pointing out maples he’d planted more than a decade ago. The ninety-year-old land conservationist wanted to determine why the leaves of some of the trees turned orange last fall, while those on others became deep red or golden yellow. To collect the data he sought, he needed to clear the brush from around each maple. The former door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman…

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