State parks a boon to Texas economy according to new report

State parks a boon to Texas economy according to new report

Parks generated nearly $900 million in sales in 2018 AUSTIN — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation today released a new report about the strong and growing economic role state parks have on the Texas economy. The research showed the parks generated more than $891 million in sales activity, had a $240 million impact on the incomes of Texas residents, and supported an estimated 6,081 jobs throughout the state in 2018. The real power in this report is the impact…

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State lawmakers aim to lock in funding for Texas parks, historic sites

State lawmakers aim to lock in funding for Texas parks, historic sites

For nearly a decade, the Texas parks department has hoped to turn a 4,400-acre swath of pristine forest in North Texas into what some hope could be the “metroplex’s playground.” About 80 miles west of downtown Fort Worth, the already-named Palo Pinto Mountains State Park — with a scenic ridge overlooking a lake and more-than-ample space for camping — promises to be a huge recreational draw. But the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has struggled to secure funding from the…

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Devils River SNA designated as first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in Texas, sixth in world

Devils River SNA designated as first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in Texas, sixth in world

DEL RIO– Devils River State Natural Area has been designated an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), making it the only Dark Sky Sanctuary in Texas. As the sixth International Dark Sky Sanctuary to receive the title, Devils River SNA is recognized as a one of the darkest and most ecologically fragile sites in the world. “We cannot be more thrilled about Devils River SNA’s designation as the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in Texas,” says…

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Kolkhurst, Cyrier file bills to constitutionally dedicate funds for state and local parks

Kolkhurst, Cyrier file bills to constitutionally dedicate funds for state and local parks

AUSTIN – At a press conference at the Texas Capitol, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) and State Representative John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) today announced that they have filed companion legislation (SB 526 and HB 1214) to constitutionally dedicate revenue from the Sporting Good Sales Tax (SGST) to fund the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “As our state population grows, we must promote and protect our public parks and state historic sites. We can all agree that these special places are vital to our economy and to our Texas heritage,…

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Is Texas’ overcrowded, underfunded state parks system being loved to death?

Is Texas’ overcrowded, underfunded state parks system being loved to death?

More people are enjoying Texas’ 95 state parks than ever. In the 2017 fiscal year, there were 10 million visitors, a 20 percent increase over 2012. Visitation at some destinations has skyrocketed. For example, the number of visitors to McKinney Falls, a small park on Onion Creek in far southeast Austin, nearly doubled in the last decade, jumping from 128,000 in 2008 to 319,000 in 2017. “State parks are the No. 1 tourist attraction in Texas,” said John Crompton, a…

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Texas parks department, advocates pushing Congress to reauthorize key conservation fund

Texas parks department, advocates pushing Congress to reauthorize key conservation fund

The chief of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says the absence of the 54-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund is a “substantial loss” for state parks and natural areas. With Congress set to adjourn next week, parks advocates are pushing for lawmakers to revive a half-century-old program that has pumped more than a half-billion dollars into Texas’ parks and natural areas. Congress let the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) expire on Sept. 30. The fund — established in…

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We have to save the planet. So I’m donating $1 billion.

We have to save the planet. So I’m donating $1 billion.

WILSON, Wyo. — Plant and animal species are estimated to be disappearing at a rate 1,000 times faster than they were before humans arrived on the scene. Climate change is upending natural systems across the planet. Forests, fisheries and drinking water supplies are imperiled as extractive industries chew further into the wild. But there is another, encouraging side to this depressing story: how a simple idea, born in the United States in the 19th century and now racing around the…

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Seeking America’s Quietest Spots: The Quest for Silence in a Loud World

Seeking America’s Quietest Spots: The Quest for Silence in a Loud World

  • October 2, 2018
  • News

The hiker trudged up a logging road and into a valley, tracing a route that seemed unremarkable. There were no sweeping views of the mountains that towered nearby. There was no summit to scale. Yet he stopped suddenly, jubilant, after about four miles of walking. He had found exactly what he was searching for: quiet. “Let’s see,” said the hiker, Dennis Follensbee, “how we experience three minutes of silence.” In these loud times — with political foes yelling on television,…

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Bacterial Pollution makes San Antonio creeks and rivers not swimmable

Bacterial Pollution makes San Antonio creeks and rivers not swimmable

  • September 5, 2018
  • News

In early May, San Pedro Creek Culture Park opened with an outdoor festival that marked the transformation of a former concrete-lined channel to a public space with murals and fountains. Visitors, including children, splashed in the creek in the new Plaza de Fundación, which commemorated San Antonio’s founding on the banks of the crystal-clear creek in 1718. Construction costs for this first phase of the creek’s restoration reached $57.3 million…Read more on The Rivard Report

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Honey Creek, a pristine Hill Country stream, could soon see treated sewage

Honey Creek, a pristine Hill Country stream, could soon see treated sewage

  • August 22, 2018
  • News

Developers planning a subdivision of more than 2,300 homes in Comal County want to build a sewage treatment plant to discharge into one of the most pristine, spring-fed streams left in the Hill Country. According to a permit application filed with state environmental regulators, up to an average of 500,000 gallons of treated sewage effluent per day could be headed for Honey Creek, which flows through Honey Creek State Natural Area on its way to the Guadalupe River….Read more on The Rivard Report

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