Blanco River named 2018 “Water To Watch” by National Fish Habitat Partnership

The Blanco River is one of the primary river networks that Central Texas communities depend upon for drinking water, flood abatement, agricultural production and recreation. Thanks to collaborative conservation work conducted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), landowners and other local partners, the Blanco River was named one of 20 “Waters to Watch” by the National Fish Habitat Partnership in 2018. The “Waters to Watch” are voluntary, locally-driven projects representing some of the top conservation activities in progress implemented by…

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Monarch Observers Expect Largest Migration in a Decade

Monarch Observers Expect Largest Migration in a Decade

Monarch butterflies are heading to San Antonio in a year that could claim the largest migration in a decade. Based on robust activity in the monarchs’ primary Midwestern breeding grounds, Monarch Watch founder and expert Chip Taylor predicted “the migration should be the strongest since 2008.” Taylor shared the promising outlook in a recent population update on the monarch butterfly conservation organization’s blog. Read more from the Rivard Report.

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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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Lake Austin fish habitat enhanced by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, local partners

Lake Austin fish habitat enhanced by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, local partners

  • September 25, 2018
  • News

AUSTIN – Lake Austin, once considered to be one of the top trophy bass fishing destinations in the nation, has experienced a decline in natural fish habitat in recent years due to efforts to control nuisance aquatic vegetation. Without plentiful habitat it can be a challenge for anglers to target sport fish that seek cover in vegetation, like largemouth bass. In an effort to restore balance to the reservoir and provide the habitat that sport fish need to thrive, Texas Parks…

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Hill Country Photo Contest Winners Announced

Hill Country Photo Contest Winners Announced

  • August 29, 2018
  • News

The Texas Hill Country is a unique region filled with diverse wildlife, clear springs, sprawling rural landscapes, historic towns, and some of the starriest night skies in the country. Each year the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) holds a photo contest encouraging photographers to capture the Texas Hill Country they would like to protect forever. HCA received over 500 entries to the 2018 photo contest from amateur and professional photographers alike. Submissions, ranging from a bolt of lightning cutting across a…

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Texas deer industry to bring concerns over chronic wasting disease to Legislature

Texas deer industry to bring concerns over chronic wasting disease to Legislature

For some Texans, there’s big money in deer. Breeding and raising whitetail deer, running deer hunts on ranches, it’s all part of a multibillion-dollar industry. But since 2015, deer breeders and the state have been locked in an old-fashioned standoff. Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has restricted the movement of this deer population in an effort to contain chronic wasting disease. Meanwhile, the Texas deer industry says this hurts its livelihood, and it plans to push lawmakers to make changes during…

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Offers Exceptional Opportunity to Help Wildlife, Business, and Texans in the Hill Country

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Offers Exceptional Opportunity to Help Wildlife, Business, and Texans in the Hill Country

With fish and wildlife populations under decline throughout the country, Hill Country Texans are hailing a new opportunity to reverse this trend.  The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, H.R. 4647 in the U.S. House of Representatives, would provide $1.3 billion annually from existing federal revenues for state-led projects to improve and restore fish and wildlife habitats, without any increase in taxes. This federal legislation represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide crucial conservation funding, increase regulatory certainty for business and industries, support…

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Hill Country Bat Cave Closure Raises Questions of Pesticide Safety

Hill Country Bat Cave Closure Raises Questions of Pesticide Safety

A State investigation is underway at a bat cave near Mason, Texas, after the spraying of pesticides by the neighboring exotic game ranch wafted onto the nature preserve, threatening harm to visitors and the 1.6 million Mexican free-tailed bats that visit there each summer. While the game ranch’s manager has acknowledged and pledged to correct what he called “a mistake,” larger implications about the pesticide’s effect on the bats remain unclear…Read more on The Rivard Report

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Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act

Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act, which for 45 years has safeguarded fragile wildlife while blocking ranching, logging and oil drilling on protected habitats, is coming under attack from lawmakers, the White House and industry on a scale not seen in decades, driven partly by fears that the Republicans will lose ground in November’s midterm elections. In the past two weeks, more than two dozen pieces of legislation, policy initiatives and amendments designed to weaken the law have been either introduced or…

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Hill Country browse

Hill Country browse

The Texas Hill Country has the highest density of shrub-eating animals in the United States. Texas is home to about 4 million white-tailed deer, and about half of them live in the Hill Country and Edwards Plateau. In addition, Texas is home to more than 2 million goats, sheep and exotics, and the majority of these live in the Hill Country. These animals depend on browse, the leaves and tender twigs of woody plants, as an important part of their…

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