U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves EARIP Habitat Conservation Plan

“Approval of the EARIP’s HCP marks a significant conservation achievement for the Edwards Aquifer Region,” stated Southwest Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle. “The organizations and individuals involved in the development of the HCP clearly demonstrated that it is possible to come together and develop a consensus based solution to a very complex water issue in Texas.” Read More

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2012 Public Lands News

November 21, 2012 Blue Hole Regional Park continues to win awards! The Texas Municipal League (“TML”) has presented the City of Wimberley with the 2012 Municipal Excellence Award for Public Works for cities of less than 25,000 population. The award recognizes the City for the unique design and development of the Blue Hole Regional Park. “The Park protects sacred Hill Country flora and fauna, water quality, and land forms through sustainable programming and design, native landscape restoration and habitat protection,”…

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2012 Native Landscape News

October 15, 2012 Chasing Monarchs on the Llano River with Dr. Chip Taylor, Champion of Monarch Butterflies Monarch Watch founder Dr. Chip Taylor visits ranch along the Llano River in the Texas Hill Country. His prescription: cultivate seeds, plugs and plants of more native milkweed species through a Texas version of Bring Back the Monarchs, an innovative prairie restoration program that NPSOT is importing from Kansas. Why the Texas focus? ”It’s the most important state. Spring conditions in Texas determine…

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2012 Local/Sustainable Agriculture News

September 20, 2012 Farm to Table Caucus Advances Local Food Movement On a mission to advance the local food movement, a Democrat from Austin is finding common ground with Republicans and rural Texans. Read more from Statesman.com. May 19, 2012 Urban farmers fight to be treated like their country cousins A major challenge facing city farms in the Austin area centers on property tax rates that are much higher than those at traditional farms and ranches in more remote parts…

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2012 Land Stewardship News

December 9, 2012 Historic Maverick Ranch threatened again The Maverick Ranch-Fromme Farm (MkR-FF), is national landmark and endangered species wildlife refuge located in Northwest Bexar County. Landowners working with their community have withstood five eminent domain fights in order to retain this rare and sensitive open space. They need support Wednesday, Dec 12 as San Antonio considers adjacent dense development. Incentivizing ranch land protection will not be effective unless we get serious about dealing with encroaching development. Learn More November…

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2012 Habitat Conservation News

August 18, 2012 New EAA website, video explain Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan A new website and video developed by the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) help explain the purpose and goals of the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan (EAHCP), which is currently under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The website www.eahcp.org went live August 3, 2012, and features helpful background information on the development of the EAHCP, its history, mission and goals, including a new informational…

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2012 Conservation Easement News

November 7, 2012 Austin commits another $30 million for Land Conservation! Hill Country voters keep on proving they value open space and land conservation. Yesterday, Austin passed another bond election that includes $30 million to buy land or easements in environmentally fragile areas to protect those areas from development. “I think the bonds passing reflects Austin’s determination to have a high quality of life,” said George Cofer, executive director of the Hill Country Conservancy. “The voters of this town have…

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“This Riparian stuff is not Rocket Science…”

“The water challenges of Texas will never be resolved until more people understand how creeks and rivers work, including the vital role of voluntary land stewardship, which helps sustain flows and maintain water quality. Landowners, policy makers, agencies, conservation and agricultural organizations all need to work together with greater cooperation to help sustain, maintain and restore the most precious and valuable natural resources that we have.”Read and share Steve Nelle’s Riparian notes.

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The greatest grassland myth of the Texas Hill Country

Myths and misperceptions are common in the realm of nature and natural resource management. Some myths are harmless folklore and not really worth much debate. Other myths are more significant since they can affect natural resource decisions and influence public policy. One of the most oft repeated myths involves the historic landscape vegetation of the Hill Country…“The Hill Country was once vast open grassland with only scattered brush and trees.”Read full Texas Wildlife Magazine article.

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