Big Bend Conservation Alliance Hires Executive Director

Big Bend Conservation Alliance Hires Executive Director

  • December 7, 2018
  • News

Alpine – The Big Bend Conservation Alliance (BBCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of James “J.D.” Newsom as Executive Director. Born and raised in Midland, J.D. grew up surfing the Monahans Sandhills, swimming at Balmorhea, camping at the Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch, and hiking through Big Bend National Park. “J.D.’s passion for the region, as well as his incredible experience managing non-profits made him an ideal candidate for the job,” said BBCA board member, Matt Lara. Mr. Newsom has…

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Locals ready to fight 430-mile gas pipeline

Locals ready to fight 430-mile gas pipeline

  • December 7, 2018
  • News

As Houston-based company Kinder Morgan moves ahead on a proposed 430-mile underground natural gas pipeline that could bisect Hays County, local landowners worry the project could harbor a negative environmental impact. Bill Johnson, owner of the historic Halifax and 6F ranches and whose land could be affected by the project, said he opposes the pipeline as it encroaches on land that has been nearly untouched for generations. “I’m very upset about the idea of them coming to something that’s treasured…

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As we grow, streams and rivers need TLC

As we grow, streams and rivers need TLC

  • December 4, 2018
  • News

There were four of five things going on in town last Thursday that I wanted to attend. Typical night in the busy ’Burg, huh? One of them I had to let pass was a forum at Schreiner University dealing with water pollution sponsored by the Hill Country Alliance. Fortunately, Texas Public Radio recorded and archived the talk, which can be found at www.tpr.org/post/balancing-population-growth-and-healthy-rivers-texas. Ann Rogers Harrison, water quality program leader with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, served as moderator. Panelists…

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Why are Austin’s trees having such a colorful autumn?

Why are Austin’s trees having such a colorful autumn?

  • November 30, 2018
  • News

Austin is known for a lot of things, but fall foliage is not one of them. That is, until this year. Local trees are putting on an incredible color show lately. It seems like it came out of nowhere, but it didn’t. “This is my 24th fall in Austin, and I’ve never seen the tree color as varied and vibrant as it is this year,” Doug Addison wrote to KUT’s ATXplained project, asking: “Why? Or is it my imagination?” It’s…

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Water Forward plan including artificial aquifers, graywater reuse gets council nod

Water Forward plan including artificial aquifers, graywater reuse gets council nod

  • November 29, 2018
  • News

A 100-year water resiliency plan that calls for massive underground reservoirs and reuse of wastewater is now city policy after gaining the approval of the Austin City Council. The plan, dubbed Water Forward, has been in the works since 2014, when years of drought led council members to call for a look at the city’s long-term water future. It proposes creating artificial aquifers that could store billions of gallons of potable water. Crucially for environmentalists, it promotes reusing water from…

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Sen. Campbell files bill to address quarries, concrete plants in Texas Hill Country

Sen. Campbell files bill to address quarries, concrete plants in Texas Hill Country

AUSTIN – State Senator Donna Campbell filed Senate Bill 208 today to extend requirements for setbacks, or buffer zones, around aggregate facilities. If passed, the bill would double the current 440 yard requirement between concrete plants or quarries and existing residences, schools, and churches to 880 yards, or a half mile. The proposed change is the result of multiple discussions with Kendall and Comal County residents after Vulcan Materials proposed expanding their operations in the Hill Country, including opening a…

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State judge sides with Dripping Springs in wastewater permit hearing

State judge sides with Dripping Springs in wastewater permit hearing

  • November 29, 2018
  • News

The city of Dripping Springs will proceed with its wastewater permit application after a state judge sided with the city on all 12 issues raised by Save Our Springs Alliance—an Austin-area environmental nonprofit. The State Office of Administrative Hearings conducted the contested case hearing and concluded that the city’s application for a wastewater permit should be granted, according to a Nov. 26 news release. The ruling concluded that the draft permit: • Contains provisions to protect wildlife in the area…

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Meyer Ranch to add 1,600 homes in rural northwest

Meyer Ranch to add 1,600 homes in rural northwest

  • November 28, 2018
  • News

With projects in Georgetown, Liberty Hill and Round Rock, developers Todd McCullough and Randy Rollo of Randolph Todd Development said they had an interest in expanding to the south end of the Austin-San Antonio corridor. Three years ago the Austin-based developers purchased property at Hwy. 46 and South Cranes Mill Road, nestled northwest of New Braunfels on the cusp of Canyon Lake. The project, Meyer Ranch, takes its name from the previous landowner, and the developers say they intend to…

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Will sewage treatment plants spoil the Hill Country?

Will sewage treatment plants spoil the Hill Country?

  • November 27, 2018
  • News

The picturesque town of Blanco; a planned Christian recreational adventure camp in Bandera County; a Kerr County alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation center hoping to treat more patients; a proposed subdivision in Comal County, just upstream of a state natural area — all these corners of the Hill Country, and others, have proposed building sewage treatment plants. In each case, downstream neighbors have organized, determined to thwart, limit or transform the proposals as they worry that nutrientrich effluent will lead…

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Water symposium addresses the future of flooding in Texas

Water symposium addresses the future of flooding in Texas

  • November 27, 2018
  • News

One month after the destructive flooding of Texas Hill Country rivers led to multiple deaths and tens of millions of dollars in property damage, scientists, regional water management leaders, and academics are still weighing the consequences and the prospect of future severe weather events in Texas. The frequency and severity of weather events ranging from the recent flooding along the Llano, Colorado, Trinity, and Blanco rivers, as well as devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey, have left communities ill-prepared, with experts…

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