Rep Hurd, Three Other Reps Introduce Bill to Help Fund National Park Repairs

Rep Hurd, Three Other Reps Introduce Bill to Help Fund National Park Repairs

Monday, Representatives Will Hurd (R-TX), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Dave Reichert (R-WA), and Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) introduced a bipartisan bill to jump start overdue maintenance projects in national parks. The National Park Service Legacy Act would provide investments that would go toward reducing the more than $11 billion backlog the National Park Service faces to repair roads, visitor facilities, trails, and other park structures. Similar legislation was previously introduced by Senators Warner (D-VA) and Portman (R-OH). The act would address the…

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Texas parks boosters approach lawmakers once again for more money

Texas parks boosters approach lawmakers once again for more money

Two years ago, George Bristol, perhaps Texas’ chief booster for state parks, thought he had scored a coup when lawmakers passed a measure that appeared to ensure that nearly all the tax revenue raised through the sale of tennis rackets, soccer balls, kayaks and other sporting goods would go to the state Parks and Wildlife Department. In theory, the Legislature had long declared that money should go to parks, but lawmakers had been siphoning much of that money for other uses, including…

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TPWD launches new “Texas Rivers” Conservation License Plate

Texans can help the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department keep the state’s rivers healthy and flowing through their purchase of the new Texas Rivers conservation license plate, available now at www.ConservationPlate.org/Rivers. “The new plate design features a Texas river cascading over boulders and past cypress trees while gently carrying a kayaker downstream past a fly fisherman casting into a yellow sunset,” said Janis Johnson, the Conservation License Plate program manager at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We expect this…

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TPWD Announces New Paddler Camp Sites on Iconic Devils River

TPWD Announces New Paddler Camp Sites on Iconic Devils River

  • February 28, 2017
  • News

The Devils River is one of the premier paddling and fishing destinations in Texas, drawing outdoor enthusiasts each year to enjoy the preserved natural beauty, excellent sport fishery, and native wildlife along its clear waters. But the river is not for the faint of heart. “Due to the remote location of the Devils River, safe, reliable, and legal camp sites on the river are in short supply,” said Joe Joplin, Devils River State Natural Area superintendent. “The average paddler doesn’t…

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At Davis Mountains Preserve, explore a ‘sky island’

At Davis Mountains Preserve, explore a ‘sky island’

  “You don’t need an understanding of biodiversity or ecosystems to be struck by how unique the Davis Mountains are when you drive into them,” says Laura Huffman, State Director of the Nature Conservancy in Texas. A few years after the purchase of that first chunk of preserve land, the Nature Conservancy established the nearly 5,000-acre Madera Canyon Preserve a few miles away. Then, in 2004, it bought the 10,000-acre strip of land that separated the parcels, creating a contiguous…

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Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge adds 520-acre property

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge adds 520-acre property

  • December 5, 2016
  • News

The Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge grew by 520 acres this week with the addition of a coveted piece of Hill Country land known as Peaceful Springs. The parcel, south of Liberty Hill about 45 miles northwest of downtown Austin, features rolling hills, steep limestone canyons, freshwater springs and an open oak savanna. It offers habitat for two endangered songbirds, the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo, and lies above part of the Edwards Aquifer, which provides drinking water to…

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Feeling the Burn in Big Bend

Feeling the Burn in Big Bend

“It’s a place of delicate balance between fiercely competing plants, many living at the edge of their geographic ranges and tolerances for temperature and aridity. It’s an ecosystem on a knife edge, dependent on regular rains and steady temperatures. So in 2011, when drought devastated vast regions of Texas, the results in the Chisos were, even by that year’s standard, particularly dire.” Asher Elbein discusses the long-term effects of the 2011 drought on Big Bend’s unique sky islands in this…

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Lands that I love

Lands that I love

Our streams, woods, grasslands, and lakes are at greater risk than at any time in our history, but the stories of three places—a ranch in the Hill Country, a forest in East Texas, and a prairie outside Fort Worth—prove that ordinary people can find inventive ways to protect our state’s most treasured resources. Check out this great article by Andy Sansom published in the January 2010 issue of Texas Monthly. Lands that I love by Andy Sansom Texas Monthly January,…

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Bexar County to Consider $1.2 Million for Confluence Park

Bexar County to Consider $1.2 Million for Confluence Park

Bexar County Commissioner Sergio “Chico” Rodriguez is lobbying his colleagues on the Commissioners Court to include $1.2 million in next year’s County budget for Confluence Park, a “living classroom” that broke ground Wednesday morning in his Southside precinct on the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River. “It might be coming,” Rodriguez told the large crowd gathered on the empty lot at 310 W. Mitchell St. where the $10 million, three-acre park will be built. “We’re working on another vote.” The Commission…

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New documentary highlights all 16 National Park Service sites in Texas

New documentary highlights all 16 National Park Service sites in Texas

  • April 25, 2016
  • News

Think of national parks in Texas and you probably envision the sprawling skies, cactus-covered canyons and steep mountains of Big Bend National Park. But the National Park Service’s holdings in our state go far beyond West Texas, and a new 60-minute documentary, set to air at 7 p.m. Tuesday on KLRU-TV, highlights them, too. “The National Parks of Texas: In Contact With Beauty” reminds Texans, as we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service this year, that we’ve…

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