Hays County plans to transform El Rancho Cima into public park along Blanco River

Hays County plans to transform El Rancho Cima into public park along Blanco River

HAYS COUNTY, Texas — It’s something many Wimberley residents have been aching for: a public park with waterfront access. Hays County has the ability to secure 533 acres of El Rancho Cima El Rancho Cima is a nearly 2,400 acre property County might use land for public park Now, that dream could finally come to fruition. Hays County has the ability to secure 533 acres of El Rancho Cima, with land on both sides of the Blanco River. This purchase would give the public…

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Study shows declining water levels in Trinity aquifer; local leaders urge creation of groundwater conservation district

Study shows declining water levels in Trinity aquifer; local leaders urge creation of groundwater conservation district

Homestead resident John Colman’s nearly 1.5-acre property near Bee Cave runs on well water and has since he and his wife brought the property in 2010. The well system is used for everyday uses including drinking water, washing, topping off the pool and irrigation. Last year, after the land’s original well met the end of its life, the Colmans had to install a new well on the property, and what he learned in the process about the importance of groundwater…

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East Bay water district considers buying giant cattle ranch that straddles four counties

East Bay water district considers buying giant cattle ranch that straddles four counties

The Alameda County Water District is considering shelling out $72 million for a fourth-generation, 50,500-acre cattle ranch — touted as the largest potential land sale in the state — to preserve water quality, officials say. Much of the property lies in watersheds that feed into critical water supply facilities for millions of Bay Area residents, including Lake Del Valle, Calaveras Reservoir and Alameda Creek. While no final decisions have been made, district officials and experts say the rare opportunity to…

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Prop. 5 aims to give parks all across the state a boost

Prop. 5 aims to give parks all across the state a boost

State parks and historic sites that are suffering from neglect, deferred maintenance and overuse — including a natural area near San Antonio that regularly draws a long line of cars — would benefit if Proposition 5 on the Nov. 5 ballot wins voter approval. “We’re reached a point of crisis here with collapsing infrastructure, parks being closed, being loved to death,” said David Yeates, CEO of the Texas Wildlife Association, representing about 9,000 wildlife stewards, property owners and hunters. Yeates…

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Austin joins legal fight against Permian Highway Pipeline

Austin joins legal fight against Permian Highway Pipeline

The city of Austin is signaling it intends to sue Kinder Morgan, the company behind the proposed Permian Highway Pipeline — a 430-mile natural gas line that has provoked major opposition in the Texas Hill Country. In filing its Notice of Intent to sue, Austin joins opposition already being mounted by San Marcos, Kyle, the Barton Springs Aquifer Conservation District and a property-owner group called the TREAD Coalition. The pipeline has already been the subject of suits and counter suits. In June,…

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Parks essential for health and wealth

Parks essential for health and wealth

In 1992, when we decided to relocate the corporate headquarters of AT&T to Texas, we did so for a number of reasons: the Texas business climate and the growth of economic opportunity; the work ethic of the Texas workforce; and the quality of life in Texas. State and local parks were an important part of our consideration. State and local parks are essential to providing outdoor experiences to an increasingly urban state. They help preserve our Texas heritage, culture and…

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City reaches milestone for cave site restoration

City reaches milestone for cave site restoration

City staff members have completed a draft land management plan to protect the city’s natural resources at the William H. Russell Karst Preserve, the 191-acre Southwest Austin site previously known as the Blowing Sink Research Management Area. The natural features of the land, which was formerly used as a livestock ranch, have been subject to decades of abuse, posing a threat to the Edwards Aquifer as well as several vulnerable wildlife species. Serving as a formal agreement among Austin Water, the Parks…

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Conservation easements like on Cherry Springs Ranch push back against development

Conservation easements like on Cherry Springs Ranch push back against development

“It’s huge,” said Frank Davis, the Hill Country Conservancy’s chief conservation officer. He’s referring to the recent conservation easement on the 1,038-acre Cherry Springs Ranch in Spicewood. “Spicewood is right in the path of future development, and Cherry Springs Ranch, it’s pristine Hill Country land,” Davis said. “It’s something hard to find as we keep developing out to the west (of Austin). Straddling the Burnet-Blanco county line, Cherry Springs Ranch has a range of landscapes, including lush, vegetated grottoes. Seventy-seven…

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‘History is being made’: Plans to turn former Boy Scout property into public park along Blanco River in Hays County

‘History is being made’: Plans to turn former Boy Scout property into public park along Blanco River in Hays County

WIMBERLEY, Texas — More than 2,000 acres of land with Blanco River waterfront property has been closed off to the public for decades. The Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts owned the “El Rancho Cima” land for 60 years. But now, thanks to an opportunity for Hays County to purchase a piece of that land, 533 acres could be open to the public for hiking, biking and swimming. The land, off of FM 32 just outside Wimberley, includes more than a mile…

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8th Annual Hill Country Alliance Leadership Summit Celebrates Conservation in the Heart of Texas

8th Annual Hill Country Alliance Leadership Summit Celebrates Conservation in the Heart of Texas

(October 7, 2019) —On Thursday, September 26th, conservation leaders from across the Texas Hill Country met at Camp Lucy in Dripping Springs for the Hill Country Alliance’s Annual Leadership Summit. The event theme, Conservation in the Heart of Texas, brought together more than 190 participants from across the region to celebrate conservation successes across Central Texas and to learn about emerging opportunities for protecting our land, water, and community resources. The day began with a welcome from HCA Board Vice President…

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