Is it okay to visit Texas Parks during the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Is it okay to visit Texas Parks during the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Earlier this month, I went shopping at H-E-B and bought more food than I needed. But I wasn’t stocking up my bunker; I was buying supplies for a camping trip at Big Bend National Park. Back then—a whole couple of weeks ago—the new coronavirus still felt relatively abstract. I was planning to spend spring break with my boyfriend, a teacher, under the West Texas stars, hiking along the Rio Grande, and climbing the classic South Rim trail to gaze at…

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No flights cancelled for birds or butterflies

No flights cancelled for birds or butterflies

South Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country are in the central flyway for migratory birds flying north for spring and summer breeding, according to Bexar Audubon Society (BAS) in San Antonio, which is officially the local National Audubon Society (NAS) chapter for Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina, Bandera and Wilson counties. “While the world’s thoughts this Spring turn to social isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, colorful warblers, bright red tanagers, orange orioles, and other avian gems will still be…

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Historically high numbers of Americans approve of hunting

Historically high numbers of Americans approve of hunting

The vast majority of Americans approve of hunting according to Responsive Management, an internationally recognized survey research firm in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues. A recent survey in conjunction with the National Shooting Sports Foundation revealed the current approval rating of hunting by Americans 18 years of age and older is the highest it’s been since Responsive Management began monitoring approval rates in 1995. During the past 25 years, overall approval of hunting has steadily grown from 73 to…

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Eastern monarch butterfly population plunges below extinction threshold

Eastern monarch butterfly population plunges below extinction threshold

The yearly count of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico, released today, shows a decrease of 53% from last year’s count and is well below the threshold at which government scientists predict the migration could collapse. Scientists estimate that 6 hectares—about 15 acres—is the extinction threshold for the migratory butterflies’ survival in North America. The latest count, conducted by World Wildlife Fund Mexico, found overwintering monarchs occupying just 2.83 hectares, or 7 acres. Read more from Tierra Curry, of the Center for…

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

Our natural world provides innumerable benefits to human health and economic prosperity. As wildlife and their habitats disappear, these benefits are compromised. Nationwide, experts have identified more than 12,000 Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including over 1,300 here in Texas. The majority of these are at-risk fish and wildlife — like the Texas horned lizard, Pronghorn, and American bumblebee. Unfortunately, America lacks a dedicated funding stream to conserve vulnerable fish and wildlife. We are in danger of losing the ecological…

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NRCS announces 2020 sign-up available for partnership led conservation program

NRCS announces 2020 sign-up available for partnership led conservation program

Producers should visit their local USDA service center before the first application pool closes on April 3, 2020, to apply for this opportunity. If funding permits, a second application pool will close May 15, 2020. If already a USDA client, a producer can submit applications online via Conservation Client Gateway. The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas is accepting applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) as part of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Three RCPP projects…

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Chronic Wasting Disease discovered at deer breeding facility in Kimble County

Chronic Wasting Disease discovered at deer breeding facility in Kimble County

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been discovered in a 5 ½-year-old white-tailed deer in a Kimble County deer breeding facility, marking the first positive detection of the disease in the county. The tissue samples submitted by the breeding facility as part of routine deer mortality surveillance revealed the presence of CWD during testing at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) in College Station Feb. 6. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings on Wednesday,…

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Invasive tilapia are taking over Texas waters, including two San Antonio lakes

Invasive tilapia are taking over Texas waters, including two San Antonio lakes

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking anyone who reels in tilapia at two San Antonio lakes to not return it to the water. There is apparently a lot of tilapia, a non-native species of fish that have been taking over freshwater lakes and rivers in Texas, including Calaveras and Brauning Lakes in San Antonio. “If you catch some, don’t release them back into the lake. Eat them!” TPWD said in a Facebook post. Read more from Priscilla Aguirre…

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WVWA’s response to Judge Pittman’s ruling on the PHP

WVWA’s response to Judge Pittman’s ruling on the PHP

The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association has been a part of the fight against the Permian Highway Pipeline since we first heard about the project in October of 2018 (www.SaveTheHillCountry.org). We have been working to rally our communities across the Hill Country and disseminate scientific reports and concerns about the many threats that the Permian Highway Pipeline will pose to our ecologically sensitive region. WVWA is disappointed by Judge Pitman’s ruling to deny the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and does not…

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Hill Country pipeline opponents dealt setback

Hill Country pipeline opponents dealt setback

Opponents of a controversial natural gas pipeline through the picturesque Texas Hill Country lost a legal battle but vow to continue their fight against Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan. A U.S. district court judge in Austin on Friday rejected a request for a temporary restraining order that would have halted the $2 billion natural gas Permian Highway Pipeline. The pipeline is being built through the habitat of the golden-cheeked warbler, an endangered songbird, and over parts of the Edwards Aquifer,…

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