The Trailist guide to getting outside during the pandemic

The Trailist guide to getting outside during the pandemic

For obvious reasons, this can’t be a normal Trailist column. I’m sitting here in my apartment, listening to the rain pour down for the third straight day, trying to think of ways to recommend getting outdoors during these tough and ever-changing times. Here’s the paradox: We all have to go outside, for our own physical and mental health. We can’t get our exercise at the gym anymore. And regardless of how nice your home workout set-up might be, I believe you need…

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National parks — your Rx for good health

National parks — your Rx for good health

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, visitation to national parks is surging. As more parks close to protect visitors and staff, we can expect another influx when they reopen. In times of crisis and times of calm, national parks are America’s go-to places. Visitation to national parks in 2019 exceeded 300 million visitors for the fifth consecutive year. Numbers of visitors increased by 2.9 percent last year, making it the third highest to date, with nearly 328 million visitors. Read more from Susan Sherman, Executive…

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Essential Austin nonprofit finding new ways to nourish community amid COVID-19

Essential Austin nonprofit finding new ways to nourish community amid COVID-19

Tune into the Urban Roots Instagram feed and you’ll find a new series of videos featuring executive director Max Elliott teaching viewers how to plant peppers; showcasing his ready crop of kale and the helpful, aphid-eating ladybug larvae that live on the leaves; or interviewing (at a safe distance) local restaurant business leaders. His tone is even and hopeful, a brief lifeline to those of us battling isolation as the COVID-19 outbreak wears on. In 2008, Elliott founded Urban Roots as…

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As Texans are exposed to dangerous pesticides, lawmakers aren’t doing anything

As Texans are exposed to dangerous pesticides, lawmakers aren’t doing anything

In the interim between legislative sessions, Texas lawmakers on the House Agriculture Committee will have an opportunity to examine an important but under-the-radar problem that’s making people sick in farming communities across the state. Then again, their attention might drift. Pesticide drift occurs when crop dusters—pilots or tractor drivers hired by farmers to spray pesticides on fields to kill weeds and bugs—miss the mark and inadvertently deliver a cloud of poison to people, plants, and animals. Since 2013, the Texas…

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Well water tests underway after pipeline crew hits Karst feature

Well water tests underway after pipeline crew hits Karst feature

Discolored water from wells near the Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline is causing distress. Test results on the water, taken where the pipeline is about to cross the Blanco River, are expected soon from a Lower Colorado River Authority laboratory. Once the results are received, David Baker of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) and others opposed to the pipeline’s route through the fragile Texas Hill Country will have a better idea of what their next steps should be. Read more…

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Newly detected moth threatens prickly pear in Texas

Newly detected moth threatens prickly pear in Texas

Texas is now the front line of an ecological battle pitting a devastating invasive moth against the state’s ubiquitous prickly pear cactus. Already, the South American cactus moth has laid waste to the cactus population in Florida, having come ashore there roughly 30 years ago. Now field biologists with the University of Texas have spotted it in South Texas and are rushing to bring the moth population under control. If they can’t, they say, a plant iconic to the Texas frontier…

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Huge feral hogs invading Canada, building ‘pigloos’ as they go

Huge feral hogs invading Canada, building ‘pigloos’ as they go

Feral swine, the offspring of wild boars and domestic pigs, are spreading through Canada into areas where many didn’t think they could survive. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some Canadian farmers imported wild boars from Europe to raise for meat. But as wild boars are wont to do, some of them escaped, either digging under fences or barreling through them. Others were set free once the boar meat market cooled. At first, it didn’t seem like a big…

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Environmental group calls for ‘thorough investigation’ as residents report contaminated water near pipeline construction

Environmental group calls for ‘thorough investigation’ as residents report contaminated water near pipeline construction

The Sierra Club has called for a “thorough investigation” after residents in Blanco County reported brown tap water on Wednesday they believe came from a leak at the Permian Highway Pipeline construction site. On Wednesday afternoon, KVUE received reports Blanco County residents’ tap water had turned brown in the area of Chimney Valley Road near Highway 165. Read more from Jeff Bell, Britny Eubank, and Luis de Leon with KVUE here. 

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Riverdance – Water is too precious for quarries

Riverdance – Water is too precious for quarries

Having nearly exhausted its exploitation of the Guadalupe River quarries from Comfort to Center Point in Kerr County, the sand, gravel and aggregate industry (APOs) is actively pursuing possible sites in the floodplain areas of Kendall County. Largely “under-regulated” by state law, the APO industry finds a rather benign regulatory environment in locations that are unincorporated or sparsely populated. Regrettably, many of the “material rich” locations are waterfront and on private land with absentee ownership. As a result, APO operations…

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department – An important update for our visitors

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department – An important update for our visitors

Our thoughts are with you and our entire Texas family during this uncertain time. Texas State Parks are doing our best to provide a healthy way for you to get outdoors. Our dedicated teams across the state are working diligently to keep these special places open and safe during this difficult time. Most state parks remain open. However, we have made some changes to help protect the health and well-being of our visitors, volunteers and staff. One big change: starting…

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