Blanco County’s night skies celebrated in song

Blanco County’s night skies celebrated in song

Some of the Hill Country’s most talented songwriters and performers gathered on Thursday, March 12 in the Back 40 of the Old 300 BBQ on Blanco’s Town Square to celebrate the night sky in song.  The cause for celebration was the CD Release Party for “Deep in the Dark of Texas™ Vol 1,“ an effort sponsored by the Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky (BCFNS) to support night sky preservation in the Hill Country. Last fall, the organization challenged…

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Getting out: At a time of social distancing, people look to nature

Getting out: At a time of social distancing, people look to nature

With the spread of the new coronavirus causing school closures and mandatory work-from-home measures across San Antonio, people are looking to nature as a place to get exercise and find a source of peace, even while staying at least 6 feet away from each other, as recommended by health experts. “As far as we know, the outdoors is relatively safe for all of us,” said Jeanette Honermann, a San Antonio local director of community outreach for outdoor retailer REI. “It’s…

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Rare native prairie near Texarkana preserved by family, conservation groups

Rare native prairie near Texarkana preserved by family, conservation groups

Fifth-generation Texans, David and John Talbot of New Boston, in February 2020 sold one of the last examples of unplowed native prairie in northeast Texas to the Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) for permanent preservation as the Talbot Brothers Prairie Preserve. The 366 acres in Bowie County also includes more than 200 acres of bottomland hardwood forest and wetlands. The Talbot family owned the property for more than 55 years. “The land stewardship and preservation of these unique prairie…

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Protecting the Edwards Aquifer means protecting the contributing zone

Protecting the Edwards Aquifer means protecting the contributing zone

The total Edwards Aquifer watershed north of San Antonio is 2.5 million acres, composed of 2 million acres in the Contributing Zone and 500,000 acres in the Recharge Zone. To protect the total watershed, we must protect land and water in both zones, not just one of them. In a 2018 report, the Edwards Aquifer Authority suggested protecting 200,000 acres in the Contributing Zone within 5 miles of the recharge zone and 194,000 acres of Contributing Zone made up of land…

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

Our natural world provides innumerable benefits to human health and economic prosperity. As wildlife and their habitats disappear, these benefits are compromised. Nationwide, experts have identified more than 12,000 Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including over 1,300 here in Texas. The majority of these are at-risk fish and wildlife — like the Texas horned lizard, Pronghorn, and American bumblebee. Unfortunately, America lacks a dedicated funding stream to conserve vulnerable fish and wildlife. We are in danger of losing the ecological…

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Important Update: Hill Country Living FESTIVAL Rescheduled for October 24, 2020

Important Update: Hill Country Living FESTIVAL Rescheduled for October 24, 2020

Vendors, Sponsors, Partners and Volunteers: Considering recent developments pertaining to COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Hill Country Alliance FESTIVAL planning team decided yesterday to RESCHEDULE the 4/4/20 Hill Country Living FESTIVAL + Rainwater Revival to SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2020. We have been closely following public health guidelines from local, regional, and state authorities and have watched as numerous cities and counties nearby have reacted accordingly. We believe this decision is in the best interest of our volunteers, vendors, partners, and the…

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NRCS announces 2020 sign-up available for partnership led conservation program

NRCS announces 2020 sign-up available for partnership led conservation program

Producers should visit their local USDA service center before the first application pool closes on April 3, 2020, to apply for this opportunity. If funding permits, a second application pool will close May 15, 2020. If already a USDA client, a producer can submit applications online via Conservation Client Gateway. The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas is accepting applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) as part of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Three RCPP projects…

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Portman, bipartisan colleagues introduce the Great American Outdoors Act

Portman, bipartisan colleagues introduce the Great American Outdoors Act

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Richard Burr (R-NC) today introduced S. 3422, the Great American Outdoors Act – landmarklegislation to address the deferred maintenance backlog across the federal land management agencies and to provide mandatory and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Notably, the legislation includes Portman, Warner, Alexander, and King’s Restore Our Parks legislation to help address…

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Troubled waters: San Antonio weighs the cost of preserving its water supply

Troubled waters: San Antonio weighs the cost of preserving its water supply

Taxpayers have spent $260 million to protect the Edwards Aquifer. With the tax set to expire, officials can’t agree on how much more to spend. The Frio River snaked south through the hills of Uvalde County, its clear waters coursing over a bed of white, fractured limestone in the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer. Then, unceremoniously, it disappeared. The river had flowed into — and underneath — Dripstone Ranch, nearly 2,000 acres of undeveloped ranchland named after a system of…

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Hill Country Alliance: Meet Executive Director Katherine Romans

Hill Country Alliance: Meet Executive Director Katherine Romans

Once again the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) is hosting their spring Hill Country Living FESTIVAL + Rainwater Revival (April 4, 2020). And their fifteenth anniversary looms, all of which makes for a great excuse to sit down with the nonprofit’s executive director, Katherine Romans. The goal? To learn more about this important organization as well as Romans’ personal commitment to it. Can you tell us what led you to join HCA as a staff member? It was a chance connection that…

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