U.S.-Mexico Teamwork Where the Rio Grande is but a Ribbon

U.S.-Mexico Teamwork Where the Rio Grande is but a Ribbon

  • April 29, 2016
  • News

“Los Diablos are a team of Mexican firefighters who are part of a group of Mexicans and Americans including firefighters, conservationists and park rangers. They travel along the most desolate stretches of the river not to put out fires, but to set them in a controlled burn meticulously planned to kill giant cane, a tall bamboo-style invasive grass that grows in dense patches on both sides of the river. The cane chokes and helps narrow the flow of the Rio…

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Call for school grant applications ends May 2

Call for school grant applications ends May 2

  • April 27, 2016
  • News

For the sixth consecutive year, the Hill Country Alliance’s Rainwater Revival offers funds to help students learn about rainwater catchment and water conservation. As Texas Hill Country residents and businesses look for ways to conserve water, HCA’s Rainwater Revival grants lend a helping hand to schools throughout the 17-county region. HCA is now taking applications through May 2 from schools that want to implement or enhance rainwater collection and water conservation programs on their campuses. “From funds received at Rainwater…

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Texas Landowners Earn Lone Star Land Steward Awards for Conservation Efforts

Texas Landowners Earn Lone Star Land Steward Awards for Conservation Efforts

Every year TPWD honors landowners from across the state with the Lone Star Land Steward Award for their contributions to natural resource conservation and management. This year seven winners, including long-time HCA Friends Steve Nelle and the Winklers at Winkler Ranch in Blanco County, as some of the best examples of sound habitat management. On May 19 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, these seven land stewards will be recognized during the annual banquet, where the prestigious Leopold Conservation…

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Highway 290 pipeline may be doing more harm than good, study suggests

Highway 290 pipeline may be doing more harm than good, study suggests

The Highway 290 pipeline, which was intended to alleviate groundwater usage in Hays County, may be doing otherwise according to a recent study. The study, conducted by the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and published by hydrologist Douglas Wierman, showcases results which indicate the pipeline may in fact be further contributing to the problem it was created to solve. Instigated during early Fall 2015, the study was designed with the intention of identifying and analyzing ways in which…

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Livin’ life by the drop: Rainwater systems flourish in Texas

Livin’ life by the drop: Rainwater systems flourish in Texas

  • April 25, 2016
  • News

The use of rainwater for drinking, irrigation and conservation has been a growing trend for decades, said Alan Rossing, owner of Lakota Water Company. When he started his rainwater business in 2000, Hays County had more rainwater related businesses than the rest of the United States, Rossing said. “Now it’s to the point where we are booked 12 months in advance,” Rossing said. “The whole green movement really helped build momentum.” He said there are now about 1,600 rainwater businesses…

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Alcoa Inc. puts massive Texas land holdings, water rights on market for $250M

New York-based metals manufacturer Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) has put its Texas land holdings on the market for $250 million, which include a vast array of water rights that could be the biggest known water rights deal struck of its kind in the Lone Star state. The property — known as Sandow Lakes Ranch — totals nearly 33,800 acres of land that sits about 45 miles east of downtown Austin and, if sold, could be the biggest of its kind…

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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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Kerr County honored for exhibit hall’s rain-catching system

Kerr County honored for exhibit hall’s rain-catching system

  • April 22, 2016
  • News

The award-winning elements of the Hill Country Youth Event Center aren’t discernible to motorists passing the site on Texas 27, where a $3.7 million exhibit hall was added last year. The accolades flow from rain gutters along the edges of the new 72,000-square-foot hall, which lead to pipes that carry precipitation to two huge storage tanks out back. “By harvesting the rainwater, localized flooding, erosion, and runoff into the Guadalupe River are reduced,” the Texas Water Development Board noted in…

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Celebrating the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan

Celebrating the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan

On May 6, local biologists will lead guided hikes through the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the program that created the project—the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan. In 1996, Travis County became the first area in the U.S. to offer developers a streamlined method to build in areas housing endangered species habitats, BCCP Coordinating Committee Secretary Sherri Kuhl said. In 2016, 739 areas or entities are participating in the program, said Adam Zerrenner, field supervisor for…

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How Austin-San Antonio commuter rail backers plan to get back on track

How Austin-San Antonio commuter rail backers plan to get back on track

  • April 20, 2016
  • News

Reports of the death of commuter rail between Austin and San Antonio have been greatly exaggerated, according to officials with the Lone Star Rail District. At a meeting Friday in San Marcos, the Lone Star Rail board unveiled new options for a potential route and approved a measure moving forward with a needed environmental impact study. The meeting, held in a classic car museum, attracted about 30 people. Political and business leaders from Austin, San Marcos and San Antonio were…

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