Land conservation seminar explores options

Land conservation seminar explores options

  • November 12, 2017
  • News

Will Wright | The Herald-Zeitung | Comal County’s open spaces are quickly disappearing, and about 100 regional residents seeking to preserve them attended a seminar that outlined available options for public and private land conservation on Wednesday at McKenna Events Center. The League of Women Voters-Comal Area and Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, dedicated to preserving the Edwards and Trinity aquifers and their watersheds, sponsored the event, titled “Conserving Land in Comal County – What Are the Options?” Several speakers reviewed current…

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San Marcos City Council Votes To Enter Lease-Purchase Agreement

San Marcos City Council Votes To Enter Lease-Purchase Agreement

The San Marcos City Council voted on Wednesday to enter a lease-purchase agreement with the Trust for Public Land to purchase 102 acres of undeveloped land. The property is located near Country Estates and is currently owned by Texas State University. The lease-purchase agreement will break up the $1,270,000 price tag into three payments. The city will make three payments of $423,333 to purchase the property. According to the agenda, the property is in an environmentally sensitive area; runoff from…

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National Parks Struggle With a Mounting Crisis: Too Many Visitors

National Parks Struggle With a Mounting Crisis: Too Many Visitors

  • November 9, 2017
  • News

The rocky shorelines, shifting deserts and winding canyons of the country’s 59 national parks have been hallmarks of American vacations for generations. But the number of park visitors has reached an unprecedented level, leaving many tourists frustrated and many environmentalists concerned about the toll of overcrowding. In 2016, the National Park Service tracked a record 331 million visits, and after a busy summer, the system is likely to surpass that number this year. In August alone, some 40 million people…

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Texas parks won’t get promised funds

Texas parks won’t get promised funds

  • June 20, 2017
  • News

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department won’t see $36 million in promised state money over the next two years even as the agency grapples with millions of dollars in backlogged park maintenance. In 2015, state lawmakers passed a law to dedicate 94 percent of sporting goods tax money to the state parks department, but that portion has fallen to 83 percent — or $278 million — as the state has siphoned money for other uses. Another law has given lawmakers…

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State officials close to deal to expand Pedernales Falls State Park

State officials close to deal to expand Pedernales Falls State Park

A deal meant to protect the views in a popular Hill Country state park appears to be near completion, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials and a landowner said Thursday. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will buy, at no more than half the market rate, 200 acres of private property on a bluff opposite Pedernales Falls State Park; landowner Mike Maples also will voluntarily mark an additional 70 acres as off-limits to development. In total, roughly 3,200 feet of…

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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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