The Hill Country Land Trust video: Managing Cedar

The Hill Country Land Trust video: Managing Cedar

The Hill Country Land Trust has released their second video in a series of videos on land management topics. This video takes a look at how best to utilize and control Ashe Juniper (Cedar trees). Many landowners are concerned about juniper’s ability to overwhelm their property, but instead of clear-cutting and total elimination, viewers are invited to consider a different approach to managing this plant.

Read More
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…

Read More
Junction’s water issues

Junction’s water issues

  • September 17, 2016
  • News

The Hill Country Alliance hopes to be part of the solution for how our rural communities can solve complicated problems like the one that occurred in Junction last month. On August 26th, the City of Junction Water System issued a Boil Water Notice to all of its customers because of a failure in the system. On August 28th, the city lost its ability to distribute water to customers at all. Junction was without water, negatively impacting local businesses, schools, health…

Read More
Dripping Springs plans effluent reuse but wants discharge permit

Dripping Springs plans effluent reuse but wants discharge permit

  • September 16, 2016
  • News

The city of Dripping Springs, facing an array of opponents to its plan to discharge nearly 1 million gallons per day of treated effluent into Onion Creek, has come up with a proposal to reuse the treated wastewater and is asking the opponents to help pay for the plan. If the opponents agree, landowners and governmental entities such as the city of Austin will help Dripping Springs pay for an irrigation system at developments within Dripping Springs and its extraterritorial…

Read More
Women landowner, wildlife stewardship conference set Oct. 3-4

Women landowner, wildlife stewardship conference set Oct. 3-4

Women landowner numbers are growing. Simultaneously, interest in wildlife operations is increasing. An upcoming two-day conference will bring the two together in the Edwards Plateau region. “Women in Wildlife Conservation – Resources to Set a Stewardship Path,” hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, will take place Oct. 3-4 at the Inn on Barons Creek in Fredericksburg. The conference, funded by the Ruth and Eskel Bennett Trust, is an effort to reach women landowners interested in enhancing the wildlife…

Read More
RIP Lone Star Rail

RIP Lone Star Rail

  • September 15, 2016
  • News

After months of fighting for its relevancy with politicians, bureaucrats and drivers on I-35, Lone Star Rail has passed away. It was 13. Throughout its lifetime, Lone Star Rail showed glimmers of promise, tantalizing Texans from San Antonio to Austin with the prospect of high-speed rail linking these two sister cities. The thought of zipping along I-35, free of bumper-to-bumper traffic and the snarling rumble of freight trucks, sipping an iced coffee while looking at Facebook under the pretense of…

Read More
How Micro-Flora & Fauna Contribute To Water Quality

How Micro-Flora & Fauna Contribute To Water Quality

  • September 14, 2016
  • News

They may be small, but micro flora and fauna play a significant role in the ecosystem of Texas waterways. At the Texas Water Symposium on Thursday, September 1 in Kerrville, a panel of educators, researchers and ecologists shared their insights on the impact of human development on these small creatures, and explained their role in keeping our rivers and streams healthy. In the audio, you’ll learn in detail: Why our waters aren’t murky with fish poop. (Hint: small microorganisms help…

Read More
Cook: The lure and challenge of the Texas Hill Country

Cook: The lure and challenge of the Texas Hill Country

  • September 9, 2016
  • News

Our Texas Hill Country lifestyle: dark quiet night skies filled with stars, the privacy afforded by having some space between you and your neighbors, less worry about crime and air pollution, and just a slower pace all the way around. These are some of the reasons people have moved here for generations and stayed to raise families, start businesses and hunker down for the long haul. People who move here often do so at the expense of making as much…

Read More
HCA Director’s Notes: September 2016

HCA Director’s Notes: September 2016

  • September 7, 2016
  • News

The first two months of my official tenure as Executive Director at HCA have gone by in a blur. The outpouring of support from you—our readers, partners, media and friends—means so much to all of us at HCA. It is your work, care and contribution that make everything we do possible. In fact, HCA received some fun media attention recently—check out this month’s Austin Monthly profile of the “Seven People Keeping Austin Green”—featuring yours truly as the “Hill Country Heroine.”…

Read More
Texas experiences wettest August in 100 years

Texas experiences wettest August in 100 years

  • September 7, 2016
  • News

If you think August was a wet month in Texas, pick up your prize.  Preliminary totals indicate that August averaged about 5.69 inches of rain statewide, in a tie with 1914 for the wettest August on record, according to figures from the State Climatologist office at Texas A&M University. John Nielsen-Gammon, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M who also serves as State Climatologist, says the wet month was due to an atmospheric wind pattern that pumped lots of deep,…

Read More