New Edwards Aquifer facility designed to protect endangered species

New Edwards Aquifer facility designed to protect endangered species

A new facility to research and protect some endangered species that are native to central Texas opened Thursday. The new Edwards Aquifer habitat conservation plan buildings will house a handful of endangered species that include the San Marcos salamander, the comal springs riffle beetle, the foundation darter, and eve Texas wild rice–a grass native to the San Marcos River. Read more from Matthew Prendergast with KXAN here

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Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Preserve now open to the public

Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Preserve now open to the public

The project the late Gay Ruby Dahlstrom worked for almost a decade over is now complete and open to the public as a nature preserve and conservation easement. Hays County, the Hill Country Conservancy and the Dahlstrom family announced the opening of the Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Preserve. The nature preserve is located in Buda on the Dahlstrom Ranch spanning 384 acres of undeveloped land. Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said the county fully supported the project and invested more than…

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Letter to the Editor, the challenges of growth

Letter to the Editor, the challenges of growth

by Ernie Witter, New Braunfels, TX, with the Comal Country Conservation Alliance Letter to the Editor of the Herald-Zietung Published June 11, 2019 Recent articles in the Herald-Zietung pointed out the continued growth of New Braunfels. As the second fastest growing city by percentage in the nation, New Braunfels welcomes about 15 new people each day—that’s about 5,500 new residents per year. Providing schools, libraries, parks, medical facilities, police, firefighters, and other services that our growing population will need is…

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Letter to the Editor, Legislature approves funding for parks

Letter to the Editor, Legislature approves funding for parks

by Jensie Madden, Comal County, TX, with the Comal County Conservation Alliance Letter to the Editor of New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Published June 11, 2019 As the 86th session of the Texas Legislature draws to a close, I am celebrating the passage of legislation to allow Texans to vote in support of state parks. Thanks to the co-sponsorship of Senator Donna Campbell and Representative Kyle Biedermann along with many other legislators, a joint resolution will allow for the placement of a…

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Unpave the parking lot and create paradise: A story of Headwaters at the Comal River

Unpave the parking lot and create paradise: A story of Headwaters at the Comal River

Remember the Joni Mitchell song “They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot”?  Well, imagine you are on the Governing Board of the New Braunfels Utility and the staff proposes a plan to parcel off sections of a valuable 16 acres tract of land – once the fleet, facility and operations center for the growing utility – for development.  The mostly asphalt-paved property could bring in a significant amount of short-term funding redeveloped for commercial purposes, however, it also…

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Hill Country Alliance gathers concerned citizens

Hill Country Alliance gathers concerned citizens

A get-together introducing the resources of the Hill Country Alliance to concerned area citizens was led by the HCA’s executive director Katherine Romans who discussed Hill Country conservation issues included multiple presentations along with audience participation and questions. Future meetings are in the works. Speaking before an audience numbering dozens of area residents Thursday, Katherine Romans, executive director of the Hill Country Alliance, offered her agency’s assistance along with cautionary reasons for guarding natural resources. Romans stated that between 2010…

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Bat-killing fungus detected in 21 Texas counties and in Bracken Cave, north of San Antonio

Bat-killing fungus detected in 21 Texas counties and in Bracken Cave, north of San Antonio

A fungus that kills hibernating bats has spread and is now detected in 21 Texas counties, including Bexar, and Comal County’s Bracken Cave, which houses the world’s largest colony of Mexican free-tailed bats. That’s double what it was in previous years, said Jonah Evans, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department state mammalogist. The fungus causes what’s known as “white nose syndrome” and has been deadly for millions of bats in eastern parts of the U.S., where some species have been…

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The flight of the Texas fireflies

The flight of the Texas fireflies

In a state with more than its share of biting, stinging, and creeping and crawling insects and arachnids with little or no charm to any but their own species, fireflies (or lightning bugs as they are variously known here) have long enjoyed a special place in our hearts, that rarest of varmints—a charismatic insect. To those of us who grew up in suburbia or out in the country in recent decades (or those who grew up in big cities long…

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One man’s half-century project to heal a Hill Country landscape created a legacy reaching far beyond his fenceline

One man’s half-century project to heal a Hill Country landscape created a legacy reaching far beyond his fenceline

In 1969, a San Antonio fried-chicken tycoon was struck by a life-changing idea: He would find, buy, and heal “the sorriest piece of land in the Hill Country.” Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Bamberger Ranch Preserve sprawls across 5,500 acres of grassy hills and wildflower meadows in Blanco County. When visitors arrive May 5 for the annual family day and picnic, they will repeatedly drive across a perennial stream that cascades through a series of waterfalls and deep pools.…

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Centuries-old irrigation system shows how to manage scarce water

Centuries-old irrigation system shows how to manage scarce water

It’s spring again, the time of year—for the 300th time in some instances—when New Mexico communities come together to clean the acequias, irrigation channels that carry snowmelt from the mountains to newly tilled farm fields. Each annual cleaning is one more demonstration that at least here, in these close-knit communities arrayed across arid and rugged rangeland, it’s possible for people to share scarce resources to achieve a common goal—in this case, making sure everyone in the group has enough water.…

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