2018 election results: Austin shoots down Props J and K, approves $925 million in bonds

2018 election results: Austin shoots down Props J and K, approves $925 million in bonds

A huge victory for local land conservation came out of yesterday’s election: $184 million for flood mitigation, $72 million of which will be used for open space protection around Austin.“Proposition D passed with 84% of the vote, the largest approval percentage of all of the items on the ballot. What a terrific community nod for land protection! Clearly conservation is a high priority for the people of Austin.” – Ted Siff, Austin Together PAC Read more about each proposition from…

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Texas Water Symposium will explore extreme flooding in the Lone Star state

Texas Water Symposium will explore extreme flooding in the Lone Star state

  • November 7, 2018
  • News

The next recording of the Texas Water Symposium is planned for 7pm on Thursday, November 15th with a conversation about how man-made infrastructure can influence flooding in Hill Country creeks and rivers. The program, titled The future of flooding in Texas: How do we protect life and property in the face of extreme weather events?  will be held at the Texas State University Teaching Theater in San Marcos, Texas. Texas Water Symposium radio broadcast recordings are free and open to…

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November Director’s Notes: Giving Thanks

November Director’s Notes: Giving Thanks

November marks a time to give thanks, and to take the opportunity to step back from the many demands of our daily lives to reflect on all we have to be grateful for. It is also a great time to recognize our growing family within the Hill Country community. It seems that every day there is a new challenge to be met in our region—a new proposed quarry, concrete batch plant, wastewater discharge permit or industrial operation that threatens our…

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LCRA dinged for hiring practices and lack of transparency

LCRA dinged for hiring practices and lack of transparency

  • November 5, 2018
  • News

Even as the Lower Colorado River Authority, the utility that supplies water to more than a million Central Texans, is a “sophisticated, well-functioning organization,” it lacks transparency and should hire more women and people of color, according to a state report released Thursday. As the LCRA seeks new water supplies to satisfy the thirst of a booming region, the Sunset Advisory Commission staff report said the river authority’s “approach to public engagement is inconsistent and often reactive,” often leading to…

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We have to save the planet. So I’m donating $1 billion.

We have to save the planet. So I’m donating $1 billion.

WILSON, Wyo. — Plant and animal species are estimated to be disappearing at a rate 1,000 times faster than they were before humans arrived on the scene. Climate change is upending natural systems across the planet. Forests, fisheries and drinking water supplies are imperiled as extractive industries chew further into the wild. But there is another, encouraging side to this depressing story: how a simple idea, born in the United States in the 19th century and now racing around the…

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TPWD addresses concerns about fish, aquatic habitat after heavy flooding in Central Texas

TPWD addresses concerns about fish, aquatic habitat after heavy flooding in Central Texas

AUSTIN – As flood waters recede in the Llano, Colorado, Pedernales and other central Texas rivers, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists are fielding questions from anglers and other members of the public concerning the impacts of flooding on fish populations. Although TPWD biologists do not expect to see a negative impact on fish populations in these rivers as a direct result of the flooding, the long-term outlook depends on how riverside landowners and communities respond to the aftermath…

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Land for water

Land for water

The city is asking voters to send more money to a little-known program that protects Barton Springs. On a warm August morning, I stand in the dry bed of Onion Creek in Hays County and watch as Kevin Thuesen lowers himself into a hole in the earth. I pay attention when he stresses having three points of contact at all times because I’ll soon be following him into this small cave. Thuesen, a land manager for Austin Water Utility who…

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Hill Country Alliance hosting Nov. 3 workshop on management of riparian areas

Hill Country Alliance hosting Nov. 3 workshop on management of riparian areas

  • October 31, 2018
  • News

The riparian areas, those slices of land alongside creeks and rivers, make up a very small percentage of the total land mass, yet they play a crucial role in the environment and land health. The problem is many landowners with creeks, or even lakes, on or bordering their properties don’t quite know the best way to manage these areas. “Even though it’s a small percentage of the land, when managed properly, these areas do a lot of good for us,”…

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New Mexico blazing a dark sky trail

New Mexico blazing a dark sky trail

  • October 31, 2018
  • News

While New Mexico has long been a destination for dark sky enthusiasts, there had been no organized effort to promote dark sky tourism until the state’s Tourism Department got involved. On a visit to Capulin Volcano National Monument in the fall of 2017, staff members from the New Mexico Tourism Department learned about the dark sky programs there and why dark skies are important. This experience “kicked us into action,” according to David Griscom, who spearheaded the project as Tourism…

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Private well water screening set for Nov. 6 in Llano

Private well water screening set for Nov. 6 in Llano

LLANO —The Texas Well Owner Network is hosting a water well screening Nov. 6 in Llano to give area residents the opportunity to have their well water screened. The screening will be from 8:30–10 a.m. Nov. 6 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Llano County, 1447 E. State Highway 71, Unit E. It is presented by AgriLife Extension and Texas Water Resources Institute in partnership with the AgriLife Extension office in Llano County. A meeting explaining screening results and…

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