EPA Releases EnviroAtlas Ecosystem Mapping Tool

May 27, 2014 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released EnviroAtlas, a web-based interactive tool that integrates over 300 separate data layers, helps decision makers understand the implications of planning and policy decisions on our fragile ecosystems and the communities who depend on goods and services from these ecosystems. EnviroAtlas is designed for people from all levels of government, professionals, researchers, educators, non-governmental organizations, and anyone interested in considering the benefits or impacts of a decision, such…

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Lawn alternatives gain popularity but ‘carpet grass’ remains norm

By Elena Tucker, Features Writer The Boerne Star Part one of a two-part series At a glance, Boerne shows up as an emerald dot on a NASA map of lawns. The area’s cultivated green St. Augustine or “carpet” grass also figures as a fraction of Duke University data in which 40.5 million acres are said to be covered by lawns across the nation. That’s at a cost of $30 billion annually to grounds owners and homeowners who put more than…

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Support for Low Impact Development

May 27, 2014 Central Texas Land/Water Sustainability Forum. No one doubts that conventional land development impacts our creeks and lakes. Urban land development with buildings, roads, and other impervious surfaces allow less rain to soak into the ground, so the volume of runoff increases while base flow in creeks decreases. Also, urban land uses frequently incorporate rapid drainage of stormwater, and this efficient drainage can contribute to a higher peak flow downstream from a developed site. The problems produced by…

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Western Hill Country Ranch honored by TPWD

Congratulations to Ruthie and Johnnie Russell for being recognized by TPWD as a Lone Star Land Steward. The Russell’s chose to enact a conservation easement on their property because of growing pressure of land fragmentation. “Ranchettes make it difficult to conserve land on the scale necessary to keep habitat intact and ecological systems functioning” Ruthie said. Read more from the Texas Agricultural Land Trust and enjoy a great video about the Sycamore Ranch here.

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Environmental and economic protection through water supply development

May 22, 2014 Tom Hegemier, Central Texas Land Water Sustainability Forum  Recent rainfall in Austin delivered more water to the Gulf, but little to lakes Travis and Buchanan, the area’s water supply reservoirs. With near average rainfall the last two years and the lakes continuing to fall, a historic flood or an extremely wet year is necessary to replenish central Texas water supplies and avoid the unthinkable. Ongoing dry conditions could force LCRA in July to declare a new drought…

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Electric Project Open House Draws Large Crowd

*MAY 27 UPDATE: Top 10 FAQs on transmission line routing cases before the PUC LCRA is requesting input using its Project Questionnaire. Persons wishing to offer input regarding the project are encouraged to compete and return the form by May 30, 2014, as requested by LCRA. If you miss this deadline imposed by LCRA during this “study” period, you can still submit the Project Questionnaire. At the May 15, 2014, open house in Stonewall, LCRA stated that is would file…

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Seeing Stars in Dripping Springs

As Texas booms, the state is less and less able to brag that the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas. In the big cities and the sprawling suburbs, and even in Far West Texas near the McDonald Observatory, light pollution is increasingly limiting our ability to enjoy the night sky. But the Hill Country town of Dripping Springs is showing that the starry skies can be preserved or restored even as the state…

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Comfort Heritage Foundation Recognizes David K. Langford

Comfort Heritage Foundation Recognizes David K. Langford for His Local Stewardship and the Book, Hillingdon Ranch: Four Season, Six Generations May 20, 2014 Comfort, TX – The Comfort Heritage Foundation announced the nominations for their annual awards for outstanding contributions to the preservation of the heritage and culture of Comfort. The mission of the Comfort Heritage Foundation is to preserve and restore the cultural and physical history and heritage of the community. Six nominations were received for what has become one…

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Awarded Grant to Support Landowners in the Pedernales River Watershed

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) was recently awarded $100,000 in grants to protect the Texas state fish, Guadalupe Bass, in the Pedernales River basin. TPWD will be working with the Hill Country Alliance to identify willing landowners for habitat conservation work within the Pedernales catchment- an area totaling more than 800,000 acres in the heart of the Hill Country. Funds will be available on a competitive basis for cost-share projects, and will benefit the whole health of the…

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