HCA is a passionate community caring for the unique features, spring-fed streams, heritage ranch lands, spectacular beauty and culture of the Texas Hill Country for the benefit of future generations. Join us.

Transportation News

News

December 29, 2013

Saving Rural Roads: One-Man Mission Turns to Island-wide Effort

Think of our scenic Hill Country roads as you read this story of rural character preservation from Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Gazette.

November 5, 2013

CAMPO encourages more community involvement

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.

October 30, 2013

Feds Establish National Center to Pick Up the Slack on Sustainable Transportation

Despite transportation becoming cleaner, quieter and safer over the past few decades, little has been done to limit how passenger and freight travel contribute to climate change. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation this week announced a $5.6 million grant to help six universities establish the National Center for Sustainable Transportation. Read the full article from Nextcity.org.

September 19, 2013

San Antonio long range transportation planning meetings set for Sept and Oct.

In preparation for updating the 2040 transportation plan, meetings have been scheduled throughout San Antonio and in New Braunfels Oct. 2nd and Boerne Oct 3rd. Virtual meeting are also an option. Click here for a full schedule and details.

August 16, 2013

Green Highways: New Strategies To Manage Roadsides as Habitat

From northern Europe to Florida, highway planners are rethinking roadsides as potential habitat for native plants and wildlife. Scientists say this new approach could provide a useful tool in fostering biodiversity. Read more from Yale Environment 360.

June 13, 2013

Federal judge says sprawl, transit, equity must factor into highway decisions

Houston Tomorrow reports “A Wisconsin court ruling may require planners across the country to publicly consider the effects on sprawl and transit before approving highway expansions.” According to The Houston Chronicle, "The interim ruling is far from final and could still be overturned by a higher court, but its mere existence has emboldened some highways foes that the days of 'build it and they will come' answers to handling growth."

May 1, 2013

Industrial Wind and Transmission Updates

Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment continues to monitor and participate in industrial wind and transmission activities that could impact the Hill Country. In the latest updates, information is provided on the continuing debate over the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC). Near and long term transmission developments are covered as well. Read the latest from SOSHE here.

April 30, 2013

CAMPO expands to include Burnet County

The Capitol Area Management Planning Organization (CAMPO) is responsible for coordinating transportation plans for counties and cities surrounding Austin. The boundaries have been expanded and the organization has formalized a cooperative planning agreement with Lone Star Rail for high capacity transit plans in Central Texas. Read CAMPO’s recent news here.

March 15, 2013

Decrease In Young Drivers May Influence Transportation Infrastructure

In 2011, the percentage of 16-to-24 year olds with driver’s licenses dipped to another new low. Why does it matter that young people just aren’t that into cars anymore? One important reason it matters is because today’s young people are tomorrow’s main users of our transportation systems. Read more from Dc.StreetsBlog.org.

February 15, 2013

Expansion of Loop 1604 hits another roadblock

Any possible expansion of Loop 1604 between Bandera Road and Interstate 35 will be on hold longer than expected because a federal environmental study could take another three years to finish, Alamo Regional Mobility Authority officials said Thursday. More from SA Express-News.

February 5, 2011

Regional Leaders support transit vision

The Regional Transit Vision Map will help lay the groundwork for the next 25 years of regional mobility investment including urban rail and the Lone Star Rail project from Austin to San Antonio. "...experts have acknowledge that highways alone will not solve Austin's traffic problems." More at Austin Mobility News.

January 21, 2013

Statesman reveals road needs in Central Texas

A Dozen Central Texas roads among state’s top 100 road and bridge problems. “U.S. 290 through Oak Hill is seen as the worst locally”. Read a little more closely to observe where these statistics are coming from. TRIP is a research organization led by contractors, developers and engineers. Learn more about TRIP here

November 29, 2012

Hays Citizens can and should provide input on County Transportation Plan, comments are due December 8th

Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development (CARD) has taken time to carefully review the draft Hays County Transportation Plan. Help spread the word in Hays County that now is the time to review and comment. This plan is BIG and CARD points out several valid concerns. Please review carefully and speak up.

July 11, 2012

Transportation funding concerns aired

Depreciating gas tax revenues and billions of dollars of debt likely will mean a dearth of funding for new road construction in the coming years. The message, which has been broadcast for years, was echoed again Monday at a state House Appropriations and Transportation joint subcommittee hearing on transportation funding in Austin. Read more from SA Express-News.

July 9, 2012

While Profits Are Up in the Eagle Ford Shale, So is Road Damage

Drilling trucks are doing their damage on Texas roads, especially on highways, bridges, or other roads not designed for heavy loads. The Texas Department of Transportation said Monday that damage from those trucks is at two billion dollars. Read more from NPR.

June 19, 2012

Top leadership resigns from RMA board

The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority's long-standing board chairman, Bill Thornton, and the board member expected to succeed him resigned from their positions Monday, less than a week after the Bexar County Commissioners Court voted to take over the organization's operations. Read more from SA Express-News.

May 15, 2012

City of Austin Unveils Long-Term Rail Vision

Project Connect’s recent newsletter included an impressive graphic showing vision for rail connecting Austin and San Antonio. Check it out and learn more.

April 9, 2012

Building a legacy should take time

“Because once they're on the ground, those projects are there for a very, very long time and literally change the lives of everyone who lives here. For good or for ill. Those lines on the Central Texas map are in fact legacies of those who came before us. And any additions to those maps will be the legacies of people now in a position to decide such things, be it politicians, transportation officials or, in the case of the proposed urban rail line, voters.” Read more from Statesman.com

July 11, 2012

Transportation funding concerns aired

Depreciating gas tax revenues and billions of dollars of debt likely will mean a dearth of funding for new road construction in the coming years. The message, which has been broadcast for years, was echoed again Monday at a state House Appropriations and Transportation joint subcommittee hearing on transportation funding in Austin. Read more from SA Express-News.

July 9, 2012

While Profits Are Up in the Eagle Ford Shale, So is Road Damage

Drilling trucks are doing their damage on Texas roads, especially on highways, bridges, or other roads not designed for heavy loads. The Texas Department of Transportation said Monday that damage from those trucks is at two billion dollars. Read more from NPR.

June 19, 2012

Top leadership resigns from RMA board

The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority's long-standing board chairman, Bill Thornton, and the board member expected to succeed him resigned from their positions Monday, less than a week after the Bexar County Commissioners Court voted to take over the organization's operations. Read more from SA Express-News.

May 15, 2012

City of Austin Unveils Long-Term Rail Vision

Project Connect’s recent newsletter included an impressive graphic showing vision for rail connecting Austin and San Antonio. Check it out and learn more.

April 9, 2012

Building a legacy should take time

“Because once they're on the ground, those projects are there for a very, very long time and literally change the lives of everyone who lives here. For good or for ill. Those lines on the Central Texas map are in fact legacies of those who came before us. And any additions to those maps will be the legacies of people now in a position to decide such things, be it politicians, transportation officials or, in the case of the proposed urban rail line, voters.” Read more from Statesman.com

February 28 2012

Rural Texas – Making the Connection

The transportation needs in rural Texas are as diverse as the citizens who live here. Over the past nine months, TxDOT has been developing the Texas Rural Transportation Plan 2035. Several Hill Country Projects are being prioritized right now. Meetings will be held March 6th in Austin and March 8th in San Antonio. Learn More

December 9, 2011

Perry Survived Even as His Big Plan for Texas Failed

Unveiled by Mr. Perry in early 2002, the public-private transit project was intended as a centerpiece of his governorship, “a plan as big as Texas and as ambitious as our people,” he said, to create 4,000 miles of road, rail and utility corridors each as wide as four football fields. Read more from NY Times.

December 5, 2011

Regional Rail from San Antonio to Georgetown

Project Connect is a collaboration of transportation agencies exploring “high-capacity transit” for our region. Check out this news segment from KUT and KXAN. Open house public meetings will be held in the Austin area December 6, 8 and 9. Learn More

November 23, 2011

New Braunfels Transportation Planning with a Community Vision

After many years of controversy over a proposed outer loop for New Braunfels, a parkway plan will be considered this evening by city council. This new plan, supported by the planning commission, is more sensitive to the environmental features, community character and aquifer recharge zone of the region. Public comments are welcome at 6:00pm New Braunfels City Hall. Read More

November 17, 2011

Commission OKs plan without outer loop

NEW BRAUNFELS — The controversial outer loop will not appear in the city’s new transportation plan being developed as part of an effort to create a municipal planning organization in the New Braunfels/Seguin region. After a City Hall public hearing attended by an estimated 75 people, the city’s Planning Commission voted Tuesday evening in favor of a city-staff drawn plan that would replace the outer loop with parkways on the northern, southern and eastern portions of the outer loop’s would-be route. Read full Herald-Zeitung article.

September 8, 2011

CAMPO is encouraging public comments on Transportation projects

Public meetings will be held this month throughout the CAMPO planning area which includes Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson Counties. Cities and Counties have submitted project priorities, CAMPO's job is to determine how limited funding is spent in this region. Details about the meetings and various project options here. Comments can be submitted online as well as at the public meetings through the month of September.

August 30, 2011

TxDot Public Meeting September 1st in San Antonio

TxDot will hold a public meeting in San Antonio from 5:30 to 6:30 Thursday, September 1st. The State Transportation Agency is seeking input to their comprehensive ten-year plan for all transportation projects including roadways, public transportation and rail. This will be an open-house style public meeting – learn more here.

June 26, 2011

Europe makes driving unpleasant to discourage car use

While U.S. cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission is clear to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation. Read full Statesman.com article here.

June 7, 2011

Regional Transportation Plan for Comal and Guadalupe Counties

The City of New Braunfels is pursuing the formation of a regional metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and the creation of a regional transportation plan. Residents and stakeholders are encouraged to get involved in this process that will determine the appropriate types of roads, review the environmental aspects of relocating or expanding roads and proposing new roadway alignments. Open houses to share draft concepts and gather input from the community will be held June 16th and June 20th . Learn more and get involved.

June 6, 2011

More Roads, More Traffic

Building roads in urban areas doesn’t alleviate traffic, a study finds, because every mile built leads to a corresponding increase in vehicle-miles driven. Other studies have come to similar conclusions, but none has been so comprehensive. Read full Wall Street Journal article here.

April 14, 2011

Bandera Road ‘Super Street'

State and city officials are beginning to explore how turning Bandera Road into a “Super Street” would impact Leon Valley and its main thoroughfare, where traffic congestion is a daily headache for drivers. Read full SA Express article here.

February 10, 2011

S.A. still aboard effort to build Austin rail link

San Antonio officials will continue to pursue a passenger rail line that one day could connect the Alamo City to Austin, a transit project that's already been in the works for more than a decade. Read more from The San Antonio Express-News here.

February 3, 2011

Lawmakers File "Complete Streets" Bill

Lawmakers today filed a bill they hope will help drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safely share the roads. Read more from The Texas Tribune here.

January 23, 2011

Less Fuel Also Means Less Revenue

For environmentalists and others eager to reduce reliance on foreign oil, the advent of electric cars and other fuel-efficient vehicles is cause for celebration. Yet for governments, the trend has a distinct downside: their fuel-tax receipts will dwindle, because drivers will buy less gasoline. Read full New York Times article here.

December 7, 2010

San Antonio West/Southwest Sector Plan 12/14

The City of San Antonio invites you to participate in the first West/Southwest sector planning meeting. December 14th from 6 – 8 pm at the Northside ISD Activity Center. Click here for details.

October 19, 2010

Driven Apart – Land Use and Transportation

This analysis, once again, shows that many of the assumptions driving big investments of taxpayer dollars that shape our communities are outdated, said CEOs for Cities President and CEO Carol Coletta. Driven Apart adds to the growing body of evidence that shows compact development that puts many destinations close at hand has unexpected benefits — in this case, less time spent in traffic requiring less spending on highways. If we heed its findings, we’ll save time and money. Full story

October 3, 2010

Electrification of Transportation Conference

On October 21-22, the Alamo Area Council of Governments Clean Cities Coalition, in partnership with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, will conduct the first ever Advancing the Choice event on electrified transportation. Read more

August 23, 2010

Capitol Area transportation planning news

The Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's (CAMPO’s) August “CAMPO Connection” features information about the newly adopted 2035 Plan and ECT’s forum taking place on September 10th, “Innovate or Stagnate: Can New Approaches to Infrastructure Development Transform our Region?

June 30, 2010

Mobility bond package has little for Oak Hill

TxDOT: Quick fix plan for the 'Y' in the works. Read full Oak Hill Gazette article here.

May 26, 2010

TxDot comments on strategic plan are due Friday, May 28th

The Texas Department of Transportation is seeking public comment on its 2011-2015 Strategic Plan. Learn more here.

May 9, 2010

Regional transportation plan nears approval

The CAMPO board, recipient of more than 4,000 public comments submitted on the draft plan in recent months, will take one last listen in a public hearing today. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. in Ballroom B of the Austin Convention Center. Read full Statesman.com article here.

May 5, 2010

TxDOT Holds Public Meetings on Statewide Transportation Plan

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will host a series of open-house style public meetings across Texas to give citizens an opportunity to provide feedback on a long-range plan that provides the agency with a blueprint for the state’s future transportation needs. Read more here.

San Antonio considers funding options and priorities for road projects

The San Antonio Metropolitan Planning Organization is hosting “listening sessions” This Thursday, May 6th and Saturday May 8th to provide public information about which road projects Bexar County will committed for funding in the short term. Learn more here.

April 19, 2010

New Braunfels Future Growth Plan Requires Shared Vision

New Braunfels was once promoted as “The Beauty Spot of Texas”. A regional land use plan that expresses goals for sustainable growth will help the city and surrounding land retain its beauty and enjoy prosperity as it grows. Read more here.

April 15, 2010

CAMPO extends public input process

Long range transportation planning is underway in Central Texas. This is your time to read the plans, consider how they affect you, and provide your own comments to elected officials who are determining transportation improvement priorities through 2035. CAMPO will receive input through May 14. A public hearing has been scheduled for May 10th. Learn more...

March 24, 2010

State Sen. John Carona speaks on problems with Texas’ transportation funding

State Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, addressed the Austin Chamber of Commerce at the chamber’s State of Transportation Luncheon March 24 about the state’s growing need for transportation funding. Carona serves as the chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security. Read full Community Impact article here.

March 22, 2010

Commuter Rail Service in Austin

The long awaited Red Line opens in Austin Monday, March 22nd. Read about the service, fares, routes and more transportation news here here.

March 19, 2010

Transportation Plan - What's your say on sprawl?

CAMPO has scheduled a series of public meetings, inviting review and comment on its draft 2035 transportation plan, currently dubbed "People, Planning and Preparing for the Future: Your 25 Year Transportation Plan." The core question: Are you happy with road-based sprawl, or do you expect your regional planning organization to lead the region toward more sustainable development patterns? Get the details from Austin Chronicle here.

November 27, 2009

Developing Stories: Driving in Two Directions

Are Central Texans ready to drive less so that we can become a more sustainable region? Well, about half of us are, suggests a recent survey by the Capital Area Metro­pol­itan Planning Organization. Read full Austin Chronicle article here.

October 7, 2009

I-35 toll twin officially dies

The toll road twin to Interstate 35, once the centerpiece of Gov. Rick Perry's Trans-Texas Corridor plan, is officially dead, the Texas Department of Transportation announced Tuesday. The department, which has spent years and millions of dollars on an environmental study of the corridor between Dallas and San Antonio, will recommend to the Federal Highway Administration that no action be taken on the proposed road. Read full Statesman.com article here.

Prospects are bleak for SH 45 SW

Arguments for the construction of State Highway 45 Southwest (SH 45 SW) are developing cracks even before the first yard of concrete is poured. Precinct 3 County Commissioner Karen Huber, while saying that she still favors the roadway, pointed out some of the problems in a speech before the Oak Hill Business and Professional Association last week. Read full Oak Hill Gazette article here.

September 21, 2009

Tell CAMPO how you would prefer Central Texas to invest in the regional transportation system.

CAMPO announces People, Planning and Preparing for the Future: Your 25 Year Transportation Plan – 3 Concepts. Get involved, take CAMPO's 3 Concepts survey here.

June 2, 2009

TURF, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, gives the play by play of transportation legislation maneuvering through the House and Senate and finally the death of HB 300

It was messy, and full of drama, but the grassroots, with the help of infighting among lawmakers over the "local option" gas tax hike, managed to slay a beast of a bill that would have unleashed horrific provisions upon Texans for GENERATIONS to come. Read full TURF article here.

April 23, 2009

Sunset Review of TxDOT Headed for Critical Decision Points

The two-year “sunset review” examination of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is nearing critical decision points at the State Capitol with key legislators expressing determination to make the agency more efficient and receptive to the public. Members of the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter’s Transportation Committee have been active in the process, presenting recommendations earlier to the Sunset Advisory Commission and recently to House and Senate committees reviewing the bills that would continue TxDOT as an agency but with certain reforms. Under the sunset review process adopted in 1977, the Legislature periodically examines state agencies and must adopt renewal legislation or let them die. In effect, the process has eliminated only a few small agencies but has helped reform even the largest ones. Read full Sierra Club, Lonestar Chapter report here.

April 9, 2009

Statement of Ken Kramer, Director, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club on “Texas Transportation Funding”

“What is being described today as a crisis in Texas transportation funding actually presents a great opportunity for Texas leaders and citizens to revamp our transportation system to provide a comprehensive approach to improving the mobility of Texans in an environmentally sound and energy efficient way. Now is the time to commit to a dramatic expansion of mass transit in and between Texas cities, enhanced bicycle and pedestrian mobility, and promotion of clustered development to make it easier to address our transportation, energy, and air quality challenges. Roads will continue to be part of our transportation system, but we also need more commuter rail, light rail, freight rail, and other modes to have a true transportation system that will meet the needs of Texas in the 21st century.”

March 2, 2009

New survey shows smart growth in transportation helps build communities

"An overwhelming majority of Americans believe restoring existing roads and bridges and expanding transportation options should take precedence over building new roads, according to a survey sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and Transportation for America," reports NAR. "To accommodate future U.S. population growth, which is expected to increase by 100 million by 2050, Americans favor improving intercity rail and transit, walking and biking over building new highways." Read the full story here.

February 24, 2009

Corridor Council seeking TXDOT traffic study of U.S. 281

"The Greater Austin San Antonio Corridor Council wants to see a study conducted on possible improvements along the US Highway 281 corridor between San Antonio and Lampasas," reports the Austin Business Journal. "Ross Milloy, president of the corridor council, said the counties along the 281 corridor, particularly Blanco and Burnet, have experienced tremendous population growth. That growth and the resulting increase in traffic have contributed to increased vehicular fatalities that are higher than the statewide average, he said." Read the full Business Journal story here.

February 8, 2009

CAMPO will ask public to help select priority Central Texas road projects

"Thanks to the U.S. Congress, [Central Texas]'s 25-year transportation plan is also about to get a dose of authenticity in its next rewrite, a change that could force many projects onto the cutting-room floor," writes Ben Wear for the Austin American-Statesman. "Given this culling, as well as a push by activists to tie road planning to growth patterns, the new edition of the long-range plan may have shed some of its obscurity by the time the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board votes in June 2010." Read the full Statesman story here.

January 20, 2009

Tight state funds may affect Texas road bills

"Texas Comptroller Susan Combs' unexpectedly low revenue estimate last week for the next two years was bad news for everyone who spends state dollars," writes Ben Wear. "But for transportation advocates, having $9.1 billion less for the state's general fund carried extra sting: Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and then-House Speaker Tom Craddick (remember him?) had all but promised in a letter last summer to grab general fund dollars with both hands and use them on roads. Now, who knows?" Read the full Statesman story here.

CAMPO needs your input on its Transportation Improvement Program survey

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) is asking for opinions from Central Texans on making amendments to its Transportation Improvement Program. The survey is open until February 13. Click here for more information on the amendments then click here to complete the survey.

January 16, 2009

Trans-Texas Corridor not Dead

"The announcement by TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz at the Texas Transportation Forum that the 'Trans Texas Corridor, as it was originally envisioned, is no more,' is just another in a series of comments to lead opponents into believing the Trans Texas Corridor is indeed dead," writes Terri Hall for Texans Uniting for Freedom and Reform. "TURF believes this is a deliberate move to dupe opponents into complacency, and we expect iron-clad action before we begin celebrating victory." Read this story and more recent news at TURF's Web site.

October 31,2008

California pass innovative land-use bill

"California has just reasserted its environmental leadership with the enactment of another U.S. first -- Democratic Senator Darrel Steinberg's bill (SB 375) 'to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by curbing urban sprawl and cutting back the time people have to spend in their automobiles,'" reports Smart Growth News. Read their full story on the bill here. And read the full press release from the California governor's office here.

Why Central Texas needs a regional approach to transportation

"Capital Metro's MetroRail is set to begin operation from Leander to downtown Austin on March 30, 2009," writes Leander Mayor John D. Cowman for the Austin American-Statesman. "It's a great interim solution and will work on a temporary basis, but these commuters will be hungry for better access, for a system that connects them to all places they need and want to go — for a system that links our region." Read Mayor Cowman's full commentary here.

October 22, 2008

Senator pushing for comprehensive planning in Central Texas

"Kirk Watson is attempting what no one had done before," writes Katherine Gregor in the Austin Chronicle. "Central Texas urgently needs a comprehensive regional plan for growth. To date, however, the multijurisdictional politics of multiple cities and counties has daunted any politician or entity trying to coordinate such an effort...Through CAMPO, Watson now is tackling comprehensive transportation and land-use planning for the region as a whole." Read the Chronicle's full article and interview with Sen. Watson here.

October 6, 2008

Legal roadblock halts Highway 281 toll road

"For the second time in 2 and 1/2 years, the U.S. 281 tollway project has been brought to its knees, and officials say it could take up to two years to get back up," writes Patrick Driscoll for the San Antonio Express-News. "Federal officials pulled the project's environmental clearance after the Texas Department of Transportation, reviewing records as part of a lawsuit filed in February, found problems with contracts to study endangered species." Read the full Express-News story here.

September 10, 2008

CAMPO needs your input

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) of Austin is asking for your input in their survey of Central Texans on transportation issues and their questionnaire on amendments to the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
Make your opinion count today by visiting the questionnaire here.

Back to Transportation Planning

Back to Issues

The Latest News

No Land. No Water.

As the current drought reminds us, water continues to impact the sustainability and growth of Texas' economy. Unfortunately, land is disappearing faster than in any other state, threatening the water resources on which our economy depends. Land conservation is a cost-effective water resource protection strategy. Join TALT October 1st in Austin.

Fall Camping Workshops Announced for Outdoor Families

With cool weather around the corner, the Texas Outdoor Family program has scheduled outdoor recreational workshops statewide though the beginning of December. The workshops offer a low-cost weekend trip where families can un-plug, reconnect with nature, and learn the basics of camping. Read more from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Aquifer is No Quick Fix for Central Texas Thirst

Water marketers who want to sell to cities say there’s plenty of groundwater, however landowners and conservationists warn that this precious resource could drain in a few decades. What’s the long-term impact on the Colorado River as the groundwater table declines? Who exactly is this water for and what are they willing to pay? Read this excellent article by Neena Satija, Texas Tribune.

Where is the Hill Country?

ACC Professor Don Jonsson takes an interesting look at various degrees of consensus about what geography is included in the “Hill Country.” His data shows Luckenbach as generally the mean center of the region and the Pedernales River Basin 100% Texas Hill Country. View his project findings, map and summary. HCA has a plethora of helpful Hill Country map resources available online and as well as an interactive map viewer.

Wild Pigs!

Landowner groups and Wildlife Coops – Here’s something worth passing along to your member lists. Wild Pigs are an issue throughout the Hill Country region. Here’s an opportunity to learn from the comfort of your own ranch/home computer. Dial in September 18th to from noon to 1:00. Find out how to access this webinar made possible by the Texas Wildlife Association.

"I’m a NIMBY and proud"

“The effects of population growth on traffic are easy to understand. More people equal more cars on the road. More cars on the road equal more congestion. Duh! The real culprit is the rate at which new people are moving here.” Read one bold Austinite's views (who happens to also be a Real Estate Developer) about the real issue facing Austin (and the Hill Country) population. Ed Wendler, Special to the Austin American Statesman.

CARD Hosts a Community Water Meeting September 11

to host a free community meeting this Thursday to discuss why water is an increasingly critical issue, and how we can all be part of improving the outlook. Speakers include Andy Sansom, Executive Director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Steve Clouse, Chief Operating Officer of San Antonio Water Systems, Ray Whisenant, Hays County Commissioner, Peter Newell, Water Resources Engineer at HDR Engineering, and Bech Bruun of the TWDB. Details

What’s all this fuss about a Parkway through Oak Hill?

The Fix 290 Coalition, a group of over 40 organizations and businesses and 2,800 petition signers, have been advocating for a “parkway" concept to move traffic through Oak Hill and protect the original character and unique natural environment of the area for more than a decade. The City of Austin is now asking for a study of this community driven “parkway” alternative to TxDot’s traditional elevated/frontage road model. Read more from Fix290.

HCA Transmission Line Workshop Generates Crowd

On Saturday, September 6th the Hill Country Alliance hosted a landowner workshop for those landowners potentially impacted by the LCRA's proposed Blumenthal substation and transmission line project. The workshop featured an update from the LCRA on the status of their application to the Public Utility Commission, and a panel discussion of landowner rights during the transmission line routing and construction process. To read a more detailed summary of the event and access speaker presentations, click here.

A Tale of 2 Water Districts: 1 Aquifer, 2 Strategies

A decade ago, prospective water marketers easily secured the rights to pump more than 20 billion gallons of water annually from the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer in Central Texas’ Burleson County. The company now holding those rights, BlueWater, is negotiating a $3 billion deal to send much of that water to San Antonio. Read more from The Texas Tribune.

Developer pivots on water source for Fair Oaks subdivision

The developer of The Reserve at Fair Oaks Ranch now plans to buy Canyon Lake water to supply the proposed 635-home subdivision after project opponents expressed fears that using groundwater would deplete the Trinity Aquifer. More from SA Express-News.

Cibolo Nature Center & Farm to open restored historic homestead at Herff Farm on Sept. 20 amid festivities

The historic Herff Homestead at the Herff Farm at the Cibolo will open to the public for the first time since its restoration was completed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, sponsored by the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm. Learn more

As Drought Persists, Cities Look to Texas ‘Lakes’ to Answer Needs

If the City of Austin continues with its plan to shut down Decker Power plant, Decker Lake, a little known lake that has fed the power plant for more than 50 years, could end up serving as the city's new reservoir. Read more from State Impact.

Hill Country Land Trust urges support for charitable giving

The United States Senate has the opportunity before the end of the year to provide a powerful boost to charitable organizations working to preserve our beautiful Hill Country. Read more from the Hill Country Land Trust.

City Planning for San Antonio Growth Bomb

“Bexar County Commissioners reviewing their own 2015 proposed budget, were told by county planners on Tuesday that the biggest challenge they face now and in the coming years is the startling rate of population growth in the far reaches of the county, well beyond the reach of city services with expectations that county government will meet infrastructure, public safety and social needs.” Read the full story in the Rivard Report.

Green Spaces Alliance's Picture Your World Youth Photography Project 2014-2015

Open to youth ages 8-18, the Picture Your World weekend workshops teach photographic composition and technique through hands-on demonstration, and constructive critique. Participants will produce a visual memory of their day and begin a creative portfolio while experiencing the wonders of the natural environment. Learn more

Austin Sierra Club talks water in two upcoming meetings

Bruce Melton discusses how Texas' changing weather patterns are affecting our water supply and HCA's Sharlene Leurig discusses the newly formed Austin Water Resources Task Force water in two upcoming meetings of the Austin Sierra Club, September 9 and November 11. Learn more

Fredericksburg SHINES Hosts Second Annual Sustainability-Green Home Tour

Fredericksburg SHINES (FBG SHINES), a local organization dedicated to educating the public about sustainable living, will host their second annual Fredericksburg fall tour of homes to spotlight local examples of sustainable, green-living practices. Learn more

Watershed Stewardship for the Edwards Aquifer Region, a Low Impact Development Manual

The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA) has announced completion of a helpful low impact development publication. This manual was designed for developers, landscape architects, and all of those who live on, or are planning to build over our fragile aquifer recharge areas. The manual is available for download on the GEAA website.

Travis County Wants Your Feedback - Land Water and Transportation Plan Ready for Review

The population of Travis County is expected to grow 50% by 2035 for a total of 1,500,000 people. Planning for growth outside of the city limits is critical for the county to continue to thrive in a sustainable manner. As such, Travis County needs your feedback to ensure the County's first comprehensive, long-range Land Water and Transportation Plan reflects local values and priorities. Click here to learn how you can help Travis County plan for future growth.

California’s water crisis and new groundwater rules are worth learning about

“Streams and lakes have long since shriveled up in many parts of the state, and now the aquifers — always a backup source during the region’s periodic droughts — are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are both historic and unsustainable.” Read more from the Washington Post. Now California lawmakers are overhauling the state's longstanding "pump-as-you-please" groundwater policy under a package of bills lawmakers recently sent Gov. Jerry Brown. Read about California’s new groundwater rules in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Also read “Desperately Dry” in the New York Times.

Truck Stop in Hill Country Threatens Llano River

Hill Country preservationists are calling on state officials to act after Pilot Flying J, the nation’s largest truck stop operator and diesel fuel retailer, broke ground on an environmentally sensitive site in Junction only a few hundred yards from the banks of the North Fork of the Llano River. Read more from the Rivard Report.

Workshop Will Feature Discussion of Proposed Blumenthal Substation and Transmission Line

A landowner workshop has been planned for all interested in, or potentially impacted by, the proposed substation and transmission line planned for the Blumenthal area, September 6 near Fredericksburg. Learn more

Texans Speak Up for Beautiful Highways: TxDOT withdraws proposal for taller billboards

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has withdrawn its June 2014 proposed rule change that would have allowed billboards along federal highways to be taller. After receiving public comments from more than 900 Texans and 15 organizations in opposition to taller billboards, the agency advised today it is removing the item from consideration on the August 28 Texas Transportation Commission agenda. Learn more

The City of Fredericksburg takes steps to protect the night sky

Efforts to limit the nighttime glow in and around Fredericksburg were buoyed this month as the council approved an outdoor lighting standards ordinance, which will primarily affect new residential and commercial development. A complete draft of the ordinance can be found on the city’s website, www.fbgtx.org. Learn about Hill Country attorney-astronomer, HCA Night Sky team member Ken Kattner who records skies from home observatory and advocates for proper lighting in the Hill Country here.

SAWS proposing Burleson County pipeline – questions raised

SAWS presented plans for a 142 mile pipeline from Burleson County to San Antonio at a recent community forum at UTSA. Learn more and watch a video from SAWS news here. While the plan promises 50,000 acre feet of non-Edwards water annually, a Texas Public Radio segment points out that perhaps not enough questions have been raised. Are there consequences related to costs to the community and impacts on San Antonio’s conservation ethic worth exploring? Click here to read and listen to “The Source: Some Critique On A SAWS, Vista Ridge Deal." Decisions will be made by SAWS in September and SA City Council could take this up in October.

Save the date for the October 8th Water Forum: Securing our Water Future

“Innovative Strategies and Hard Choices for a Secure Future” will be moderated by Robert Rivard and hosted at the Historic Pearl Stable in San Antonio. A stellar line-up of speakers includes: Berto Guerra, Bill West, Andy Sansom and Karen Guz. Learn more and mark your calendar today.

The City of Dripping Springs is planning for a “World Class Trail”

“The routes will connect destinations beyond Dripping Springs and will take advantage of opportunities to reach the proposed Violet Crown Trail and other regional trails and parks planned for Central Texas.” Read more and get involved. The City of Dripping Springs is soliciting input.

Rainwater Revival Returns to Dripping Springs on October 25

Look to the sky for your water supply—and learn how to capture and use it at the fifth annual Rainwater Revival, which returns to Dripping Springs on October 25. The popular and free edu-fest event is put on by the Hill Country Alliance. “We began our part-educational, part-fun fest in Dripping Springs in 2010, and after two years there we took the event on the road to other parts of the Hill Country,” said Event Chair Karen Ford. “We’re happy to be coming ‘home’ to share the latest information about rainwater conservation and harvesting at Dripping Springs Ranch Park. Learn more

Lack of Shared Dream Challenges Management of Rural, Open Space

“The population growth has had some obvious impacts, For one, there are a lot more straws, big and small, taking from the groundwater supply.” David K. Langford tells the audience at a recent private lands summit hosted by the Texas Wildlife Association. Read more from Livestock Weekly.

NPSOT Native Landscape Certification Program - Register Now for 2014 Fall Classes

The Native Plant Society of Texas Native Landscape Certification Program is a series of courses that teaches best practices for native plant landscape and habitat preservation. Targeted audiences are homeowners, native plant enthusiasts, landscape architects, architects, landscape designers and nurserymen, Master Naturalists, teachers, citizens, Master Gardeners, engineers, and more. Learn more and register.

San Antonio Mulls $3 Billion Water Supply Project

Depending on whom you ask, San Antonio might either be on the cusp of securing its water future at a relatively low cost, or it is pinning most of its hopes on a multibillion-dollar boondoggle that could diminish the water supply for fast-growing Central Texas and wouldn’t deliver what San Antonio expects. Read more from the Texas Tribune

Hill Country Alliance Announces Winners of Photography Contest for 2015 Calendar

“It’s through photographs like these that we help share the importance of protecting our Hill Country environment, and one of the reasons our calendar has been so popular with both area residents and nature lovers worldw

Upcoming Events

September

September 17 in Lakeway - Water Matters by Central Texas Water Coalition - Details

September 18 in Austin - The Barstow Speakers Series: Wat're the possibilities? Strategies to Reduce the Strain on the Colorado River - Details

September 20 in Fredericksburg - Fredericksburg Shines 2nd Annual Sustainability Green Homes Tour - Details

September 22 in Kerrville - Monthly meeting of the Texas Master Naturalists - Topic: Hill Country Land Trusts, Speaker: Bill Lindemann, Vice President of Hill Country Land Trust - Details

September 25 in Fredericksburg - Hill Country Alliance Leadership Summit - Details

September 26 in Kerrville - 2014 New Landowner Series: Back to Basics, Home Gardening, Chickens, Natural vs. Organic - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details

September 26-28 in Belton - Renewable Energy Roundup - Details

September 27-28 in Boerne - Texas Hydro-Geo Workshop - Details

September 28 in Austin - 7th Annual Celebration of Children in Nature - Hosted by The Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin and the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center - Details

October

October 1 in Austin - No Land, No Water: Tools & Strategies for Conserving Land to Protect Water Resources - Presented by Texas Agricultural Land Trust - Details

October 8 in San Antonio - Water Forum V: A regional forum on our future - Details

October 16 in Boerne - Hill Country Agri-land workshop - Details

October 17-19 in Alpine - Society for Ecological Restoration Annual Conference: Ecological Restoration in the Southwest - Details

October 24 in Utopia - Stars over Utopia - Learn how to protect our night skies and do some stargazing - Details

October 25 in Dripping Springs - HCA's 5th Annual Rainwater Revival! - Details

See more upcoming events


2015 Calendar

HCA's 2015 Calendar is coming soon! Check back for availability.

Check out the top photos from our 2014 HCA Photo Contest


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



Hill Country View
Listen and Learn



Maps

Helpful Mapping Resources - Beautiful and informative maps of the region to print and share.

HCA Dynamic Mapping Tool - Interactive online GIS mapping tool

 
Website Development by
Website Development By
Edit PageUploadHelp