Last week appears to mark the end of our local concerns about a large 345Kv Transmission Line being built in Mason County. Read more from the Mason County News here.
At its regularly scheduled Open Meeting last week, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) began the last stage of the process that will result in the construction of a high-voltage Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission line stretching from near San Angelo to Comfort. The commissioners are evaluating evidence and considering intervenor-requested adjustments as they determine the final route for this controversial project - Read more
The Scenic City Certification Program is Now Accepting 2011 Applications. Encourage your city to seek this recognition for high scenic stands for roadways and public spaces – Learn more
“…when it’s all said and done, I will know that we did everything we could to preserve the Hill Country’s wide open spaces and our way of life for the benefit of future generations. That keeps me going.” stated Bill Neiman. Read the full article by Lorie Woodward Cantu for Texas Wildlife Magazine, a publication of the Texas Wildlife Association here.
CVA was recognized as a meaningful and significant party in the recently completed PUC hearings in Austin. “Speaking about long-term social and ecological costs must have sounded like Greek” reflects Bill Neiman. Read more here.
The PUC has ordered cost effective alternatives for two CREZ lines, while progress continues on the big one, McCamey D to Kendall. Routing decision should be made before Christmas. Click here to read the latest from SOSHE.
To Hill Country landowners' undoubted relief, the Public Utility Commission will cancel plans to build one controversial wind-power transmission line, as well as a portion of a second. Read full Texas Tribune article here.
In an effort to thwart a proposed electric transmission line that will skirt their town, the people of the tiny town of Clifton, northwest of Waco, sketched out a novel argument Wednesday to the Public Utility Commission: The line would hamper the town's ability to attract artists and inspire art. Read full Statesman.com article here.
An informational meeting for anyone who would like to know more about CREZ transmission lines will be hosted by Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE) tonight in Fredericksburg. Click here for details.
A presentation entitled “CREZ Transmission Developments and The Rest of the Truth About Wind Energy” will be featured as the key part of an informational meeting hosted by Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE). The meeting will be at 6:30pm on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at the Gillespie County Farm Bureau building. Details
To get a sense of how contentious Monday's hearing about where to build a massive electric transmission line through the Hill Country will be, consider this: It's being held at the Austin Convention Center. That's big enough to hold more than 1,000 people — and there are easily that many with a stake in the outcome. Read full San Antonio Express article here.
When the PUC met Thursday, two of the three acknowledged that alternatives filed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas last week for the Kendall-to-Gillespie and Gillespie-to-Newton sections of the wind energy transmission lines appeared to be cost effective. Those comments were encouraging for opponents of the lines who agree that the ERCOT suggestions are less invasive than the route proposed by the LCRA. Read full Fredericksburg Standard article here.
It seems that every time you drive out of town, a new rural billboard has been built to capture your attention-and spoil the view. Since so many Texas cities (over 200) now prohibit billboard construction, industry growth has moved into the rural areas, exactly where billboards do not belong. Read more from Scenic Texas here.
As an advocate of private property rights, I support the ability of any landowner to make decisions about the disposition of their property. I've always been able to count on the practicality and good sense of those around me to make sure that, no matter what they were doing on their property, it did not infringe upon my property rights. Until now. Read this editorial from Mason County here.
Click here for the most recent update from Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment following ERCOT, PUC, LCRA actions to construct transmission lines through the Hill Country. The next SOSHE meeting is set for November 9th.
There may be a less expensive method to bring wind energy from West Texas than building proposed power lines through the Hill Country. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas released its analysis on alternative routes for the Gillespie to Newton and McCamey D to Kendall to Gillespie transmission line routes Monday. Read full Daily Times article here.
There is no cost-effective alternative to building a transmission line through the Hill Country, according to the state's electrical grid operator. The proposed line would bring West Texas wind power to the state's most populous cities and is being fought by Hill Country landowners, who say the clear-cutting and massive lattice towers that would carry the wires would decimate the most beautiful and ecologically sensitive land left in Texas. Read full San Antonio Express article here.
If two steps forward had been made in the effort to curtail the construction of wind energy transmission lines in the Hill Country, then one step back was taken last Wednesday (Sept.15) when the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in Austin cast votes that would slow down grassroots efforts to lessen the impact of those lines or move them out altogether. Read full Fredericksburg Standard article here.
In this New York Times opinion article, Stanley Fish discusses "Windfall;" a documentary recently appearing at the Toronto Film Festival which looks at the impact windmills had on the small town of Meredith, New York. Read full article here.
"As a people, we get once-in-a-lifetime chances to make a difference by fulfilling our responsibility to the future. The construction of 2,300 miles of really big, industrial transmission lines, on top of 160-foot wide clearcut rights-of-way, fits into the "forever" category." Read Bill Neiman's opinion piece published in the Austin American Statesman here.
Although county authority in this area is limited, this seminar will include a session on bandit signs and control of off premise signs. Scenic beauty is an economic resource and quality of life issue for the Hill Country. Learn more
By the time the first segment of the Hill Country line came before the commission in April, the commissioners told the LCRA to go back to the drawing board on proposed routes. And now, with commission Chairman Barry Smitherman signaling his unwillingness to go forward, the commissioners appear to be on the verge of scotching the line altogether. Read full Statesman.com article here.
Public officials participated in the August 19th PUC Open Meeting in Austin; “CREZ transmission line would have a significant negative impact on the Hill Country which is truly a unique area…” Read the summary from SOS Hill Country here. Senator Fraser continues to push for use of existing rights of way. Read Fraser’s letter to the PUC dated Aug 19th here.
LCRA TSC mailed about 5,100 notice letters to landowners along each of the 75 alternative routes the same day it filed the application on July 28. Newspaper notices describing LCRA TSC's proposed routes began running in area newspapers the week of Aug.2” August 27th is the intervention deadline. Complete LCRA Newsletter can be viewed here.
SaveOur Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE)is an organization of more than 500 members in Gillespie, Llano, Mason, Kerr and Kimble counties. They are highly concerned about the negative impacts that the McCamey D – Kendall – Gillespie CREZ line will have on the future of the Hill Country and are asking for a re-evaluation of the need for these lines. Read their letter to PUC here.
Clear View Alliance is hosting sessions with their legal team to help Hill Country landowners unite to fight the destructive impacts of massive transmission lines through our region. Meetings will be held in Harper, San Angelo and Junction. Learn more here.
Five transmission line seminars are scheduled across the state featuring expert information on the electric transmission line process, CREZ, and options for private landowners who may be impacted by proposed transmission line routes. Read details from Texas Wildlife Association here.
The line would connect the approved McCamey D Station to be constructed north of Eldorado with stations in Kendall and Gillespie counties, providing more reliability and a new path for wind power to get to market. Counties that could be impacted by this CREZ project include Schleicher, Sutton, Kimble, Kerr, Kendall, Gillespie, Menard and Mason. Read more here.
With a Twin Buttes to McCamey D route approved earlier this month, LCRA Transmission Services Corporation will present proposed routes for the McCamey D-to-Kendall-to-Gillespie transmission line project to the Public Utilities Commission on July 28. Read full Boerne Star article here.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas on July 1 chose a route for a new transmission line project intended to carry renewable wind power through Schleicher, Irion and Tom Green counties to more populated areas of the state. View route map. Read more.
“People should be angry with our governor, their legislators, the state and the utility companies not only because of the destruction these new power lines will cause, but because it appears this was all done for the age-old reason of greed and power.” Read full Go San Angelo article here.
LCRA Transmission Services Corporation (LCRA TSC) has put on hold further development of an 85-mile transmission line in the Texas Hill Country awaiting further guidance from the state on whether the project still is needed. Read more here.
SOS Hill Country Environment reports several encouraging developments regarding the planning of transmission lines from Gillespie to Newton and also McCamey D to Kendall to Gillespie. Hill Country elected officials continue to question the process and the need for all of the lines. Read more…
Last week, Barry Smitherman, Chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, asked the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to “thoroughly re-evaluate the need for the Gillespie to Newton transmission line” that has been proposed to carry wind energy generated in West Texas to population centers along the I35 corridor. Read full Llano News article here.
The chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas is continuing to press the operator of the state’s vast electric grid to reconsider the need for a new and potentially intrusive transmission line through Burnet and Llano counties. Read full Highland Lakes Newspapers article and supporting documents here.
Kerrville - City Council voted Tuesday to oppose a route proposed by the contractor that calls for a 345-kilovolt line to track Interstate 10 through valuable parcels here, including the city's gateway at Texas 16. Read full SA Express-News article here.
"Transmission Line Easements in Lieu of Condemnation”, 6:30 May 11th, learn more about this and other related news from Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment here.
Save our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE) will be hosting the presentation “Negotiating Transmission-line Easements in Lieu of Condemnation”, May 11th in Fredericksburg. The presentation is open to the public. Click here for details.
A final decision on the route of an electric line intended to carry wind power from West Texas through the Hill Country took a tumble Friday after the state agency nixed the options before it. Read full Statesman.com article here
Hill Country residents have another chance to tell our stories regarding the LCRA high-voltage transmission lines. Your personal story can be put on the record as part of the scoping meetings hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Read more here.
Hearings continue April 23rd regarding the Fredericksburg to Lampasas line. US Fish and Wildlife begin Hill Country public meetings regarding the Environmental Impact Statement. Mason County in the News and SOSHE schedules a meeting for May 11th in Fredericksburg. Details here
Common sense tells us that clear-cutting a path through the Hill Country’s heart and erecting 18-story towers to hold high-voltage transmission lines will have environmental impacts. Even the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), the utility power player, isn’t disputing that. In fact because LCRA knows that the damage is unavoidable, they have been working to find a way around the requirement to protect endangered species: they are trying to obtain an Incidental Take Permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by developing a Habitat Conservation Plan. Read full Clearview Alliance Op-ed here.
From Texans for Public Justice: The Texas Public Utility Commission awarded almost $5 billion in electrical-grid contracts to energy companies. The contractors' PACs and executives, in turn, pumped almost $5 million into state elections over the past five years. Grid contractors also spent up to $45 million on Texas lobbyists during this period. Read more...
After a string of hearings, open houses and debates, the Public Utility Commission is preparing to make decisions in April on the hotly contested routes for the transmission lines bearing West Texas wind power to the central part of the state. Read full Statesman.com article here.
A sense of bitter resignation permeates the Hill Country over proposals for new electric transmission lines now advancing through state and federal regulatory processes. Read full SA Express article here.
Friday, March 19th The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will hold five public meetings in Texas as it begins work on a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) related to the building of new transmission lines in parts of central and west Texas The meetings will take place in San Angelo, Junction, Comfort, Lampasas and Fredericksburg. Dates and locations will be posted on this page. More here
As the nation's largest energy consumer, leading emitter of carbon dioxide emissions and vanguard of the traditional energy industry, Texas might seem an unlikely candidate for the world's solar market leader. But with the combination of an expansive solar resource, recent success with wind power, extensive natural gas installations, competitive electricity markets and commitment to add transmission capacity, Texas might become just that. Read full Statesman.com article here.
Transmission line updates from Save our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE). Read here
The latest news on CREZ transmission lines. Click here
Organizations across the Hill Country are asking state and federal agencies to ensure that protecting the Hill Country environment is a primary consideration as sites are selected for the high-voltage transmission lines soon to be built throughout the region. Read full media release here.
The LCRA is finished with this last round of open houses but people in the Hill Country still have many concerns. It’s not too late to send in your comments. Read this open letter from one landowner and learn more. Read more...
You might be wondering, however, what exactly a “small wind system” is and whether you should consider bolting one to your roof. Read all about it in Gazette.com's article here.
More than 500 citizens from Gillespie County gathered at Pioneer Pavilion Thursday for a transmission line open house held by the Lower Colorado River Authority. Read full Fredericksburg Standard article here.
A new website is launched offering a “plea for common sense” in the Hill Country and information about LCRA plans. The site encourages landowners to sign a petition urging specific action. Click here.
To illustrate the impact that lattice towers will have on the Hill Country viewscape, Clear View Alliance members (CVA) worked all last week to build a surprise for those who attend the Lower Colorado River Valley Authority (LCRA) Open Houses on transmission line routes in the coming weeks. Read full CVA article here.
Thought provoking and informative article from American Thinker on the long term blight and economic sense of wind generated electricity. Read article here.
The Trans-Texas Corridor threatened to take massive amounts of land for transportation purposes before the project was scrapped. Now, with wind turbines sprouting up across Texas, the need for transmission lines sets the stage for more condemnation of private land. Read more here.
The vast wind farms of West Texas promise to put a dent in the demand for coal-fired electric plants. But delivering that green energy to where it's needed most — the state's biggest cities — will leave scars on some of the most coveted land. Read full SA Express article here.
Back to Scenic Beauty
The first Texas Water Symposium of 2014 will feature a conversation between Hill Country landowners and water experts about the Pedernales River. As Central Texas grapples with population growth, land fragmentation and changing land uses, understanding the impact of land and water management on the health of our rivers and their associated catchment areas is essential. Find out more.
Faucets, Toilets, and Automobiles: Balancing Growth and Sustainability in the Barton Springs Aquifer Region. Join us Friday, April 25th for a day of learning at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center. Click here to learn more and register online.
Property is a thing. Happiness is an ideal, a story of the future created by the imagination. The American dream, even when it takes material form, is a wish the heart makes in its pursuit of happiness. It is an act of the imagination made vivid by the life and liberty that allow us to pursue it with hope. Read and share one of our timeless favorite pieces by Betty Sue Flowers.
Nominations are now being accepted for the Preservation Texas, Most Endangered Place list. Some wonderful places in the Hill Country already grace this list including the Spettel Riverside House in Bandera County, The Old Llano County Jail, Hamilton Pool, Scenic Loop-Boerne Stage Corridor and statewide, Texas Dance Halls! The deadline is fast approaching, March 21st, take it upon yourself to nominate an iconic Hill Country treasure. Learn More
Hill Country-area artists and landowners are invited to join together to promote conservation of the region’s natural resources during “Art and Conservation: Our Hidden Treasures,” a collaboration between the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm and the Hill Country Council for the Arts. Learn More
"The ag ombudsman is helping us spread the word to rural communities about the SWIFT and the benefits it will offer to those communities," says TWDB Chairman Carlos Rubinstein. "His effort is a critical part of our SWIFT outreach and our outreach on many other programs." Read More
Promoting Solar, Electric Vehicle charging stations, Zero Waste, Bicycling, Water Efficiency… Fredericksburg SHINES is striving to make Fredericksburg become the most sustainable community in Texas! Read their most recent newsletter and get involved.
The Medina Lake Preservation Society (MLPS) has invited officials from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to speak with LakePlex citizens about drought assistance availability for communities and individual well owners. Details
Droughts are too often viewed as local disasters. The historic drought gripping California, which grows more than 90% of the country's almonds, broccoli, grapes and tomatoes, reminds us that in today's global economy, the economic repercussions of water scarcity ripple far beyond any single state. In California, as in Texas, drought has provoked a conversation on how to invest in more secure water supplies--but for both states, drought is just a preview of water shortages that are likely to persist, and which are driven by the choices we make around water use. In both states, systemic water scarcity requires a serious examination of how we manage water and how we value it. Read more from HCA Board Member, Sharlene Leurig.
Commissioners seemed to agree they don’t have much chance of preventing the pit, even though it is in the 100-year floodplain, where land modifications require the county’s approval. The county must approve the proposal if the company submits plans to the county indicating the new pit won’t cause sedimentation in the river. Read more from Sean Batura at the Kerrville Daily Times.
Cow Creek Groundwater District Directors Milan J. Michalec and Bob Webster will present a program about Groundwater in the Texas Hill Country on Thursday evening, March 20. This informative program focuses on the many misconceptions people have about our groundwater, the aquifers that contain it, and the laws that regulate it's withdrawal and use. Learn More
Who is in charge at the San Antonio Water System as major water supply policies are about to be set for the next decade and beyond? The answer, for the moment, is evident only to a handful of senior SAWS executives, board trustees, city officials and business leaders. Read more from the Rivard Report.
San Antonio and Austin are separated by roughly 80 miles and receive an average of about 32 inches of rain each year. They sit just east of the 100th Meridian, which is often considered the divide between east and west where the plentiful rainfall greening the east quickly becomes the arid desert of the interior west. Read more from Climate Central.
Speakers will highlight real life examples from around the country where initiatives such as investing in scenic roadways and tree lined parkways, promoting corporate visual responsibility, defining design standards and prohibiting new billboards has created increased market value for real estate, expanded tourism and enhanced neighborhood livability and quality of life. Learn More
What’s your view of Hill Country Stewardship? HCA is seeking photographs that tell the story of our region’s stewardship ethic for publication in its 2015 calendar. The Texas Hill Country is a cherished place, yet it is threatened by land fragmentation, over-allocated rivers and aquifers, incompatible land development practices and a lack of understanding about appropriate stewardship. Read More
How are the city’s current policies affecting water quality and supply? How do the city’s growth strategies impact our water security measures? Do these efforts complement or conflict with each other? And most importantly, how are ratepayers impacted? A full transcript of Nirenberg’s keynote to the Resilience Conference are posted on the Rivard Report. His must read request to Council related to the Edwards Aquifer and Water Supply Planning can be read here.
Hays County is gambling one million tax payer dollars a year on our water future. Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development (CARD) believes our elected officials need to show the taxpayers of Hays County that this is a sound bet, not wasted tax money that will never hold water. Read more from CARD.
“We look at the climate science that warns that Austin faces serious water supply problems, and at the roles played by transportation planning and suburban sprawl in that crisis…Is the CAMPO 2040 Plan smart planning, or does it more closely resemble a real estate Ponzi scheme?” Read more from Roger Baker.
"The MUD needs the pipeline to get Canyon Lake water to Lerin Hills, where 1,475 homes — plus businesses, parks and a school — are proposed.” Read more from SA Express-News.
The Hill Country Land Trust (HCLT), a non-profit land conservation group headquartered in Fredericksburg, Texas, recently welcomed several new board and committee members: Steve Nelle, Jill Nokes, Kassi Sheffer, Floyd Trefny, Mike Krueger and Ernest Smith. The Hill Country Land Trust is delighted and proud to add such prestigious and hard-working individuals to their all-volunteer board. Learn More
The Meadows Center for Water & the Environment at Texas State University is inviting kayakers and canoeists to join the Texas Stream Team, a citizen science program that has been monitoring the quality of Texas waterways since 1991. Learn more about opportunities for students, educators, outdoor enthusiasts to get out on the river and work on one of the most important issues of our time: Water.
State photographer Wyman Meinzer has been selected as the keynote speaker for the Bennett Trust Land Stewardship educational program, “Protecting the Legacy of the Edwards Plateau,” to be hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service April 23-25 in Kerrville. Read More
The amount of water flowing into the Highland Lakes in January was the lowest for that month since the 1950s. The lower Colorado River basin is in its seventh year of a severe drought, and the Highland Lakes remain near historic low levels...Lakes Travis and Buchanan, the region's major reservoirs, now hold about 762,000 acre-feet, or 38 percent of capacity. Read more from the LCRA.
With the enactment of the Agriculture Act of 2014, known to most of us as the Farm Bill, landowners have more certainty about the availability of federal funds for conservation on farm and ranch lands. The Farm Bill provides up to $57 billion dollars over the next five years to support a variety of rural land conservation activities, including the dedication of conservation easements, and eliminates some of the complexity of the varied conservation programs. Read more from Braun & Gresham.
Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site presents a day of family fun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, featuring adventure and hands-on experiences for all ages. Representatives from a dozen central Texas state parks and state natural areas will be on hand to showcase the area’s rich natural and cultural resources. Learn More
The National Park Service, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program is working on trail projects throughout Texas including urban trails in Austin and San Antonio and the Llano River Biodiversity trail at Texas Tech University in Junction. Learn More
Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is hosting a discussion about the implementation of historic legislation creating the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). This discussion is the third of several meetings that TWDB is hosting related to prospective rulemaking for House Bill 4, 83rd Texas Legislature. Learn More
The Globe at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone. This hands-on learning activity is designed for schools, students, communities and families. The more participation we inspire in the Hill Country the better data we’ll have for our region. It’s easy, learn more at www.globeatnight.org
“How much IS too much?” Is the rate of growth northwest of San Antonio undermining the good efforts of land conservation investment over the aquifer recharge area? These tough questions are explored in the new documentary film project, Water Blues. View clips by location or issue and pass along to others.
“A wonderful diversity of native plants is found on this property, and many years of excellent wildlife and range management by the owners is evident,” says HCLT President, Katherine Peake. “But even more exciting to us is that this property contains habitat of the Golden-cheeked Warbler. We consider this easement one of HCLT’s crown jewels.” Read More
Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is hosting a discussion about the implementation of historic legislation creating the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). This discussion is the third of several meetings that TWDB is hosting related to prospective rulemaking for House Bill 4, 83rd Texas Legislature. Learn More
Every year, water experts from over 13 agencies in Central Texas combine forces to take 50 teachers to the aquatic hotspots in and around Austin. We go caving, canoeing, hiking, and splash in streams--all in the name of science. It is the most fun, free way to earn 22 continuing education credits. Dip your hands into local water topics and try activities that help bring those topics back to your classroom. Visit the Groundwater to the Gulf Registration page for more details including photos from years past, registration link, and sponsor info. Learn More
The stars at night remain big and bright deep in the heart of the Texas – thanks to the hard work and dedication of Texas Hill Country residents. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) announced today it has designated the first International Dark Sky Community in Texas. “Dripping Springs joins a select club as the world’s sixth Dark Sky Community,” said IDA Ex-ecutive Director Bob Parks. Read More
“Springs occur where groundwater from saturated aquifers escapes to the surface, usually amid exposed and broken rock along fault lines, such as the 300 mile “spring line” along the Balcones Escarpment in Central Texas... Springs form the headwaters of some of Texas’s rivers and streams, and many provide crucial seasonal or year-round flow.” Learn more about water in Texas from this recent issue of Texas Wildlife.
Randall Arendt will be back in Austin May 16 for this full day of Conservation Development education. The program also features a low impact development presentation by Karen Bishop of the San Antonio River Authority and a panel discussion with city planners, land developers, and landscape architects to discuss key opportunities and challenges to implementing conservation design in Central Texas. Learn More
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is accepting applications for its 2014 New Land Owners Series (NLOS), which will take place in Blanco, Kendall, Kerr and Gillespie Counties in Texas Hill Country. Participants in the program will hear from Extension experts in various fields about best management practices they can implement on their own property. The series will consist of 6 program meetings, beginning March 21. Learn More
“Kudos are due to SAWS President and CEO Robert Puente for choosing a closer-to-home strategy that, along with continued efficiency improvements, will help the City meet its water needs far into the future. Here is hoping that the SAWS board and the Mayor give full support to this sensible approach. But, in the press release announcing the decision, SAWS expressed concern about the role of groundwater districts…” Read more from Mary Kelly, Texas Center for Policy Studies. Hill Country GCD’s need to protect spring flow.
“…mine are not views of water issues as seen through a politician’s, chambers of commerce’ or developers’ rose colored glasses. Water is too critical and too big an issue to play games with in giving the citizens the facts.” Read more from the Hill Country’s Mike Mecke, published in Ranch and Rural Living Magazine.
“The chairmanship is a posting that could easily tumble into cynicism, to the knowing feeling that despite legislative assurances that portions of the water money will be used for the sort of conservation project that Delia, the 9-year-old girl, favors, most of it will benefit the engineering, real estate and lobbying firms that have the most to gain from massive water projects.” Read the full story in the Austin American Statesman.
Pay attention to what’s happening in California - "17 rural communities providing water to 40,000 people are in danger of running out within 60 to 120 days. 'I have experienced a really long career in this area, and my worry meter has never been this high,' said Tim Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies." Read more from the NY Times here.
“This place – along with other sanctuaries for nature and people – gives me hope that we can live in harmony with our surroundings, if we work together to learn about our history and the wonders of the natural world, and embrace the communities in which we live.” Read Cheyenne Johnson’s story recently published in the Rivard Report here.
In a striking show of bi-partisanship, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to support the 2014 Farm Bill. The final vote was 251 - 166. The legislation will generate more than one billion dollars for saving endangered farm and ranch lands. The bill is expected to be approved by the Senate and signed by the President shortly. More from Land Trust Alliance.
Bandera County Water Awareness Series will hold it’s first event March 21-22 at the Mansfield Park Recreational Hall. The free workshop is open to anyone interested in water related issues in the Bandera region. Learn More
A controversial groundwater pumping plan that opponents argue could threaten the lower Rio Grande's already depleted supply is highlighting a conundrum in Texas water law. Texas rivers and springs are considered the property of the state, while water flowing below ground belongs to individual landowners. But many of the state's surface water resources, from Barton Springs to the Guadalupe, Colorado and Brazos rivers, are fed in large part by groundwater. Read the full story from the Texas Tribune.
For six years, New Braunfels has tried to keep rowdy tubers from tossing trash into its rivers with a series of ordinances barring them from floating through town with coolers larger than 16 quarts or from carrying disposable bottles and cans. Now, a judge has sunk the effort, the latest blow to the city's attempts to regulate water recreation that can draw tens of thousands of tourists to the Comal and Guadalupe rivers on any busy summer weekend. More from SA Express-News. Support the Ban” activists are urging an appeal; Learn how to be involved here.
“Many landowners, whether retiring from a lifelong career of farming or inheriting land from parents who farmed, want to leave a legacy of conservation and sustainable agriculture. As a landowner, you may be looking for ways to pass on the farm to a farmer and/or new owner who shares this vision. For retiring farmers and off-farm landowners alike, there are many ways to do this, depending on the value and priorities of the particular landowner.” An excellent resource from NCAT.
On January 21st the Hays County Commissioners Court discussed creation of a Hays County Rainwater Initiative Fund, the Hays “RAIN” Fund. The proposal authored by Commissioner Ray Whisenant would create a revolving loan fund that would be available to Hays County citizens for installation of systems to collect, store and use rainwater that would result in a reduction in the use of groundwater. Learn More
The challenges and opportunities in brackish groundwater desalination as a source of future water supply in Texas have been receiving considerable attention lately. With a Joint Interim Committee on Desalination, Senate Natural Resources Committee interim charges that include desalination, and a new Texas Desalination Association, this area will continue to be a hot topic. Read more from the Texas Center for Policy Studies blog.
The State Comptroller’s Office released “Texas Water Report: Going Deeper for the Solution” earlier this month. The report demonstrates the value of conservation investments and innovation in water research and technology. A website was also launched to compliment the report and provide ongoing education about water use- some great thoughts here worth reading: http://www.txwaterreport.org.
“Local conservation districts, democratic institutions that allow regional interests to control their own fate, should be permitted to continue their work. But they must be empowered by the Legislature to do their jobs properly, which will never happen as long as private property rights are allowed to trump all other considerations.” Read the full story from Texas Monthly.
The disastrous chemical spill that contaminated West Virginia's water supply reinforced the value of harvesting rainwater to provide distributed sources of safe water. Read More
In this exclusive premiere of the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) mini-documentary “Dealing with Drought,” diverse Edwards Aquifer permit holders share their stories of resilience and conservation practices. More from the Rivard Report.
Last fall the Llano River Field Station (the Station) at the Texas Tech University (TTU) Center in Junction received a grant for $230,000 from the Office of the Texas Comptroller for an alternative energy demonstration project. The renewable energy devices have been installed and are now generating electricity for two buildings on the Junction campus. Learn More
The bulk of the western Texas Hill Country lies in House District 53, Representative Harvey Hilderbran’s seat since 1992. Three candidates are running in the Republican Primary. “Murr acknowledged the diversity of the region: “Different growing regions, different sources of income and use of the land, but overall the perspective, the composition, the people remain the same. They’re conservative and independent-minded.” Read the Texas Tribune story here.
A bid by San Antonio's water utility to declare ownership of the sewage it treats and releases has sparked a regional tug-of-war — one that could become more common as Texas' thirsty water users struggle to protect their supplies. Read more from the Texas Tribune.
Five U.S. communities have been designated “Promise Zones” by HUD and USDA including San Antonio’s east side. These communities will benefit from a comprehensive approach to development that will enhance and connect local assets ranging from schools to housing to jobs. Learn More
Imagine a water management strategy that would accommodate growth and development without unsustainably pumping down aquifers or incurring the huge expense and societal disruption to build reservoirs or transport water from remote supplies to developing areas. Welcome to the concept of Zero Net Water. Read more from waterblogue.com.
The Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP) is one of four organizations to receive the Department of Interior's Partner in Conservation Award. EARIP's Habitat Conservation Plan, approved in 2013, was created to ensure that the Comal and San Marcos springs will continue to flow and that species such as the fountain darter and Texas blind salamander will survive even if Texas experiences yet another significant drought. Learn More
Sustainable residential landscapes can have a positive impact on the environmental health and human well-being of an entire region, promoting clean air and water, fertile soils and other essential aspects of daily life. To help homeowners create and maintain landscapes that are both beautiful and sustainable, the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm will offer a five-part workshop on Landscape for Life from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays from Feb. 18 through March 18. Find out more.
Many eyes are on SAWS in the weeks ahead as decisions are made about regional water supply, i.e. bringing in water from outside of Bexar County. One of the three proposals being considered is from a water marketer seeking to pump and pipe 150,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer in Val Verde county to San Antonio, San Angelo and other western cities. The Devils River Conservancy and numerous others have sprung into action in opposition to water export in the region that could have serious consequences to inflows of the Devils River, Amistad Reservoir and the Rio Grande below. Get facts here. Read HCA comments to SAWS and the City of San Antonio here. "Opposition Grows to Val Verde Water Plan." Read more from SA Express-News here.
Important commitments for rainwater harvesting, night sky lighting, drainage and other considerations, make this new HEB in one of the Hill Country's most charming communities more tolerable. City Council meets Thursday, January 16th, learn more from Hays County's Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development here.
“Groundwater resources are not only reflective of water levels in wells, but also of the health of seeps, springs, creeks, and rivers. As of today, many, if not most, of these resources in the Texas Hill Country are in pitiful condition, if not completely dry.” Read the details from David K. Langford.
All of the advocacy outreach opposing the Crescent Hills project adjacent to Bracken Bat Cave has paid off, Stratford Land officially declined to purchase the property. “Meanwhile, a coalition of conservation groups and local officials worried about the impact of development on the bats and the land remains interested in buying the 1,545-acre parcel and still is trying to raise money.” Read more from the San Antonio Express here. GEAA is helping rally support for this conservation opportunity, read GEAA’s recent outreach communication here and find out how you can help.
“We are excited about helping landowners protect their piece of Texas. In doing so, we believe other parts of the state will also benefit.” The first educational efforts to be made through the Bennett endowment will be the “Protecting the Legacy of the Edwards Plateau” conference, April 23-25 in Kerrville. Learn More
It’s full steam ahead for San Antonio 2030 District organizers after January 10th's successful district launch party. Architecture 2030 is a nonprofit that challenges cities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from building operations via energy-saving design and planning tactics. Read the full story from the Rivard Report.
The Hill Country Land Trust (HCLT), a non-profit land conservation group headquartered in Fredericksburg, Texas, announced recently that Martha Zeiher has been named its first executive director, effective January 1, 2014. Learn More
Enjoy the regional premier of the movie WATERSHED, to be followed by a panel discussion featuring international water policy experts. The evening will feature discussion of drought and water policy in Texas and around the world. Sponsored by the Paramount Theatre and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. Learn more and purchase tickets here.
Landowners who have an agricultural tax valuation on their property and are interested in managing their land for wildlife are invited to attend a three-part seminar, beginning January 11, to prepare a management plan and application for a wildlife management tax valuation from the State of Texas, sponsored by the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm. Learn More
Think of our scenic Hill Country roads as you read this story of rural character preservation from Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Gazette.
When you picture a housing development in the suburbs, you might imagine golf courses, swimming pools, rows of identical houses. But now, there's a new model springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement: Farms — complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees — are serving as the latest suburban amenity. Read more from NPR.
“Terrell Graham and his wife’s family have owned their ranch in the Texas Hill Country for over 100 years. It’s remained a working farm and cattle ranch, and now Texas state government is stealing their land so private developers can discharge treated sewage from 1,500 new homes into the Lux family’s dry creek bed.” Link to this alarming article by Terry Hall here. Direct discharge permits are an issue of concern for water quality in the Hill Country. The Belterra permit in Hays County was legally challenged and ultimately revised for the better. Highland Lakes residents beat a discharge permit in 2009. And currently The City of Dripping Springs in Hays County is preparing to file for a direct discharge permit into Onion Creek. More on this issue on our Water Quality page.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Texas Water Star Program will hold an Earth-Kind landscaping workshop Feb. 14, 2014, at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. “The Earth-Kind techniques that will be covered are research-proven and are designed to provide maximum garden and landscape enjoyment while showing how to preserve and protect the environment.” Learn More
To understand the level of crisis facing the Lower Colorado River Authority, look no further than the three-page job description the agency has drafted in its search for a new general manager. Read more from Texas Tribune.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries will be stocking 2,400 rainbow trout into the Llano River near Castell, Texas, on December 18, 2013. This site is a recent addition to the popular winter trout program which provides Texans a unique fishing opportunity during the winter months. Read more from TPWD.
The Texas Tribune examines Texas’ major rivers, all of them threatened by drought, climate change and rapid population growth. Link to the full series and interactive map here. Or, link directly to the story related to a specific Hill Country basin; Colorado, Devils, Guadalupe, San Saba. This valuable series will continue so stay tuned for more revealing reporting from the Texas Tribune.
The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) is now soliciting applications and essays for the 2014 Kent S. Butler Memorial Groundwater Stewardship Scholarship Essay Contest through Tuesday, March 18, 2014. The essay contest is open to high school juniors, seniors, and immediate graduates who reside in the Austin, Eanes, Dripping Springs, Hays Consolidated, Del Valle, and Lockhart school districts. Learn More
Neighbors are keeping a watchful eye to make sure the agreement LCRA made as they began expanding waterlines along 290 and then along Hamilton Pool Road stays put. Read the story in Impact News here. Read the full MOU in question here. More insight can be found at www.HPRMatters.com.
A Hill Country Christmas tradition started by President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) and his family more than four decades ago will continue this Sunday, Dec. 15, in Stonewall. Johnson’s descendants are expected to join with visitors for the 44th Annual LBJ Christmas Tree Lighting and Evening Tours at the LBJ State Park and Historic Site, off U.S. Highway 290. Details
Government Canyon State Natural Area in west Bexar County, which is typically only open to the public Fridays through Mondays, will be open daily from Dec. 20 through Jan. 6 throughout the upcoming holiday season. Additional camping nights during the Christmas holidays will be offered. Learn More
Topics include conservation easement negotiation and amendment, bridge financing and other conservation funding issues, Texas water policy, legal issues, endangered species, conservation easement appraisals, conservation on agricultural lands, public-private partnerships for conservation, and much more. Learn More
"The lighting systems are visible for miles around and produce a substantial amount of sky glow and light pollution... It is essentially impossible to mitigate the impact these types of facilities have on the surrounding areas.” This is a significant issue in the Hill Country but it is one that is fairly easy to correct with some cooperation and good neighbor lighting. Learn about Recommended Practice (RP) from the International Dark Sky Association.
Our region is not focused as it once was on Envision Central Texas, a program that was admired nationally for its collaborative nature and “growth centers” concept. Other regions are moving in this direction. Utah for example, is launching a program with a similar focus, “centers would allow people to live, work and play in the same area, and drive less and walk or bike more. It would save billions in roads that would not need to be built, conserve water, reduce air pollution, preserve open space and cut traffic congestion.” Read more from the Salt Lake City Tribune.
As native landscapes disappear, wildlife disappears, and important ecological processes that insure outcomes such as clean drinking water, climate change buffers, and flood control also disappear. Read more from Healthylandandethic.com.
The climate is changing, and Texas is growing. For a bird’s eye view of these developments, NASA has put together a ‘State of Flux‘ image gallery that shows how climate change, urbanization, and natural disasters have changed certain geographic features in Texas, and across the world. The gallery puts two satellite images side-by-side to show the changes. Read more from State Impact Texas.
On Sept. 1, 2013, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) began serving the citizens of Texas under a new management structure with three full-time Board members. Between that time and the successful passage of Proposition 6 on Nov. 5, both the new Board members and agency staff have been hard at work preparing to implement the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and to respond to other new legislation. Read More
Tune in as Evan Smith from the Texas Tribune hosts a conversation with two Hill Country legislators, Senator Donna Campbell and Representative Jason Isaac. Learn More
Mirroring trends seen elsewhere in the nation, Texans living in urban areas are driving less, according to a report from think tank TexPIRG. The reports authors say the decreased driving trend means that policymakers should be shifting infrastructure funding priorities away from road projects and into alternative modes of transportation. Read full article from Austin Business Journal.
Big Bend National Park is one of the darkest place in the U.S. but the Hill Country is quickly losing the night, “...much outdoor lighting used at night is wildly inefficient, overly bright, poorly targeted, improperly shielded, and, in many cases, completely unnecessary.” Read this story published in the December issue of Men’s Journal featuring HCA Night Sky Team member and frequent guest speaker Bill Wren of the McDonald Observatory.
In a series of three guest blogs, Sharlene Leurig, Water Program Director for Ceres, examines the details of Proposition 6, the water project financing measure approved by Texas voters on November 5th. Proposition 6 amends the Texas constitution to appropriate $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to seed a new water infrastructure loan fund directed to water supply projects included in the State Water Plan. Click here to read.
Across the Hill Country, other aquifers, which provide vital spring water for many rivers, are very low and many of their springs and seeps have dried up. These aquifer-fed springs are not only key to local ranchers, but to maintaining river flows in the upper Nueces, Guadalupe and Colorado river basins. Read full article by Mike Mecke in Ranch and Rural Living Magazine.
Second in five part series by Texas Tribune: "Like any natural resource, the precious groundwater that flows under Texas’ land does not follow political boundaries. The state is home to nine major and 21 minor aquifers, some of which stretch across the entire state and have segments with wildly different hydrologic properties. Yet at a time when thirsty cities and industries are clamoring for groundwater more than ever, the resource is regulated by nearly 100 entities drawn along political boundaries such as county lines, in part because groundwater is considered a private property right in Texas." Read more from Texas Tribune.
Bob Webster, a staunch advocate of the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District tapped to fill vacancy on Board of Directors. Webster, the "public" at nearly all of the GCD meetings, is the host of The Garden Show on KTSA AM 550 San Antonio and serves as an advisory board member of the Hill Country Alliance. Learn more from the Boerne Star.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries and State Parks divisions have partnered with other private groups to develop habitat enhancement projects to improve fishing opportunities at Inks Lake the past three years. More from TPWD.
Texas Parks and Wildlife is the only state agency with a dedicated sales tax. Under state law, a portion of the sales tax on sporting goods is meant to go for parks. But lawmakers consistently divert some of that money to balance the state budget. Read more from StateImpact.
The mayor of Del Rio told San Antonio Water System trustees Monday that his city would use every legal means to block a proposed plan to pipe billions of gallons of water from Southwest Texas to San Antonio. The proposal, made by the V.V. Water Co., would send enough water for more than 150,000 households per year from drought-weary Val Verde County to SAWS by 2018. Red more from SA Express-News.
The mood was grim among folks from Bay City, Eagle Lake and other coastal communities today as the Lower Colorado River Authority board voted 8-7 in favor of an emergency proposal that will likely cut off water to rice farmers for the third year in a row. Read the full article from the Texas Observer. View Sierra Club's comments and press statement for the November 19 LCRA meeting.
Unlike surface water, which is owned and allocated by the state, groundwater belongs to the landowner and is regulated by nearly 100 different conservation districts across Texas, all of which set their own rules. The recent drought, along with major court decisions, has led to what some say is the most uncertain time in state history for those who depend on and manage groundwater in Texas. Read the first of this five-part series from the Texas Tribune.
The Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter recently released an updated version of its popular report on desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater and surface water. Desalination: Is It Worth Its Salt? is a basic primer on desalination written for the general public. The report explores the environmental, energy, and economic issues surrounding desalination and provides an overview of desalination activities in Texas. Read More
Now leading one of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s top five most-visited parks, Doug Cochran sees challenges and opportunities in managing Enchanted Rock State Natural Area’s 1,600-plus acres, which includes the iconic, 640-acre granite dome outcropping. Read the full article from the Fredericksburg Standard.
With groundwater and surface water treated as two independent water supplies under Texas law, it can be tricky to plan for our future generations. Citizen involvement is essential to achieving fair policy to sustain our water supply, a shared resource. A great place to learn is the Texas Living Waters Project - Tune in.
Attendees of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association's annual conference gathered at Austin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for a rainwater harvesting tour and discussion. The tour was hosted by Quality Control Steel who donated a 3000 gallon rainwater harvesting tank to the school. Learn More
The case for County Authority is made once again on the edge of Austin and Bee Cave. With little county power to deal with intensity and location of development, planning can be left to the utility. More than a hundred residents showed up at City Hall to express concerns about water, traffic and quality of life issues. Learn More
Americans favor walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods, with 56 percent of respondents preferring smart growth neighborhoods over neighborhoods that require more driving between home, work and recreation. Read More
Perhaps the biggest elephant in the room when it comes to the state water plan is groundwater regulation. Almost every region in Texas plans to look below the surface for more water supplies. But many water suppliers, including those that serve Austin and San Antonio, are battling for the right to pump groundwater outside their own jurisdiction. Read more from the Texas Tribune.
The Texas Water Journal, an online, peer-reviewed journal about Texas water issues, will present the inaugural Texas Water Journal Forum, “Water, Politics and Drought,” Nov. 21 in Austin. Learn More
Environmental leaders call on water board to focus Prop 6 money on conservation and avoid projects harmful to rivers. “The State of Texas has consistently declined to implement common sense approaches to to maintain in-stream flows to the bays and estuaries - to the point where coastal ecosystems are now in peril,” said Annalisa Peace, Executive Director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance.” Read the story from Environment Texas.
As water becomes scarcer in Central Texas and the thirst for it is on the rise, property owners in Rollingwood are requesting permission to drill a well and pump 913,400 gallons of water per year for their home. More from Hays Free Press.
“We’re dealing with so many water challenges in the state, particularly here in the Hill Country. There are a lot of unknowns like how to solve the complex water problems and rainwater harvesting is just a simple thing people can be doing to take the stress off of our aquifers.” Read the full Boerne Star article.
With what has been described as the worst drought in recorded history punishing parts of Texas, Attorney General Greg Abbott found a way to keep watering his yard without risking fines or incurring huge monthly bills: He drilled his own well. Austin has no power to stop landowners from drilling water underneath their own terrain in pro-property-rights Texas. It can only monitor the proliferation of private wells, which Jason Hill, an Austin Water Utility spokesman, said officials are doing “vigorously.” More from the Texas Tribune
Henly is not so much a town as a collection of farmers and ranchers along U.S. 290 between Dripping Springs and Johnson City. Community life revolves around volunteer fire department barbecues and services at the Henly Baptist Church. The unincorporated town, which has more livestock than people, doesn’t have so much as a traffic light or a gas station. More from Statesman.com.
Texas Green Network is hosting an event in Austin, November 21st to examine next steps related to Prop 6. What does this mean for conservation? How do these funds get prioritized? How does this affect the business community? Details
“Parks and recreation won big on the ballot this week,” said Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger. “At a time when many parks are suffering and natural areas are quickly being eaten up by sprawl, millions of Texans put their money where their mouth is and made a big investment in green spaces, water quality, ball fields, bike trails and in our overall quality of life.” Read the full story.
Scenic Texas announces the appointment of three new Hill Country board members. The new appointments are Kathleen Krueger, Former Mayor Pro-Tem, New Braunfels; Paul Robert Goebel, Associate Dean at Texas Tech University, Lubbock; and Chris Cornwell, former PepsiCo Food Scientist, Canyon Lake. Learn More
Texans overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment Tuesday to jump-start financing for water projects in the state: Proposition 6. The plan will take $2 billion in surplus state money (from the Rainy Day Fund) to start a low-interest loan program for water projects in Texas. The measure had widespread support from both sides of the aisle as well as business and environmental groups. It passed with over 73 percent of the vote. More from State Impact.
It might have been a clear, crisp fall day in Boerne, but inside the Boerne Civic Center it was raining a solid schedule of rainwater harvesting information at the 4th annual Rainwater Revival. This Hill Country Alliance (HCA) event brought together a full day’s schedule of rainwater experts and professionals to teach and demonstrate a sure way to end all your water woes. Read the full story in the Rivard Report.
The new CAMPO website features a pretty bluebonnet-lined Hill Country road on the cover, what are we doing to protect this vision? A new video featuring CAMPO leaders kicks off a new public input vehicle - Mind Mixer. What’s important to you as we grow this region? Quality of life, clean water, natural resource protection, open spaces, rail and bike options? Let CAMPO know.
The choice for cities facing water shortages now or in the future is clear: invest in expensive new water supplies or invest in programs to reduce water use, including outdoor water use. Several smart Texas cities chose the latter. San Antonio Water System provides rebates to customers who agree to reduce their turf grass and to replace it with plants from an approved drought-tolerant plant list. More from texaslivingwaters.org.
Now is the time because current enhanced tax incentives expire Dec 31. Rules regarding amount of the deduction and the number of years you can take the deduction are about to change. Contact your local land trust for more information. Learn about conservation easements and land trusts working in the Hill Country here.
March 7 in Fredericksburg - 2014 New Landowner Series: "Fredericksburg, Introduction, Neighbor Relations, Tax Valuations, Well and Septic Permits, Grazing and Hunting Leases" - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details
March 17-23 - National Wildlife Week! "Wildlife and Water: From the Mountains to the Rivers to the Oceans" - National Wildlife Week gives families, educators and community groups the chance to connect kids with wildlife and explore the world around them Details
March 20 in Fredericksburg - Texas Water Symposium - The Pedernales: "Challenges and Opportunities Facing an Iconic Hill Country River Basin" - Details
March 20 in Boerne - Hill Country Water: Myths and Truths - Presented by Cow Creek Groundwater District Directors Milan J. Michalec and Bob Webster - Details
March 21-22 in Bandera - First event in the Bandera County Water Awareness Series - Workshop free and open to the public - Details
March 22 in Johnson City - Master Gardeners of Blanco County host Invaders of Texas Workshop - Details
March 26 in Sequin - Agriculture and Rural Development Workshop - Details
March 26-28 in Fort Worth - Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference - Details
March 29-30 in Stonewall - LBJ 100 Cycling Weekend Details
April 3 in Junction - Multi-County Wildlife Program - Presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details
April 4 in Kerrville - 2014 New Landowner Series: "Live Oak Wilt, Home Use Pesticides, Turf, Tree and Landscape Maintenance, Rainwater Harvesting" - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details
April 11 in Houston - Scenic America 2014 Conference: How scenic beauty supports economic development, livability and tourism - Details
April 23-25 in Kerrville - Bennett Trust Educational Program: "Protecting the Legacy of the Edwards Plateau" - Details
April 25 in Austin - Kent Butler Summit, “Faucets, Toilets, and Automobiles: Balancing Growth and Sustainability in the Barton Springs Aquifer Region” - Details
April 25-27 in Fredericksburg - 4th Annual Wings over the Hills Nature Festival - Details
Photo contest begins March 1st!
Imagine a place where vibrant communities draw strength from their natural assets to sustain their quality of life. A place where citizens care about protecting the special qualities of a region – their region. A place where people and partners band together to envision a better economic future, tackle shared challenges and care for the natural, scenic, and recreational resources that define the place they call home.
~This is a Conservation Landscape
Helpful Mapping Resources - Beautiful and informative maps of the region to print and share.
HCA Dynamic Mapping Tool - Interactive online GIS mapping tool