Central Texas farmers survive selling directly to customers

Central Texas farmers survive selling directly to customers

Central Texas farmers are adjusting to the new reality and in some cases thriving at farmers markets from Cedar Park to Southwest Austin. Even with strict access requirements and cones to keep customers 6 feet apart, sales are high, albeit with fewer customers who are buying more than they did before. “Our farmers and ranchers are doing pretty well,” said Evan Driscoll, interim executive director of the Texas Farmers Market, with locations at Lakeline Mall and Mueller, citing a surge…

Read More

NRCS invests more than $1.1 million in partner-driven Comanche Springs project in West Texas

USDA’s Natural Resources Service (NRCS) today announced that it is investing $1.1 million in Texas for a partner-driven conservation project through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS will leverage nearly $1.6 million in partner contributions over the next five years. “With the first RCPP awards under the 2018 Farm Bill, we are excited to see quality conservation being implemented to help restore spring flow to one of the most historical springs of Texas,” said Drenda Williams, NRCS acting state…

Read More
As a billion birds fly through Texas, they find a landscape quiet and still

As a billion birds fly through Texas, they find a landscape quiet and still

Once the stay-at-home orders were in place and the sounds of traffic and business dimmed, the birds seemed louder. There seemed to be more of them. It’s not clear if birds have really raised their volume (more on that in a bit), but there are more in Texas these days. The state is in the middle of peak bird migration, a two-week period when around a billion birds fly through. And, scientists say, this year will provide a unique natural experiment to…

Read More
Supporting local Hill Country producers

Supporting local Hill Country producers

During these unprecedented times, it’s especially important to support and invest in our local communities. One way to do this is with our food choices. You can help local businesses bounce back from economic downturns and invest in the overall resiliency of your community by buying from Hill Country farmers and producers.  Farmers’ Markets often meet weekly – typically outdoors – and are a great way to be exposed to your region’s local producers. Food cooperatives (often just called co-ops)…

Read More
Hill Country Alliance Board Member: A view from the Hill Country

Hill Country Alliance Board Member: A view from the Hill Country

The world has changed. In the span of 90 days, an unlikely viral emissary from Mother Nature has issued forth from a market in Wuhan, China and spread across the globe with dizzying speed and crushing effect. Who could have thought such a tiny, invisible strand of RNA with a flimsy protein coat arranged in a crown-like array, quite pretty on electron microscopy, could wreak so much havoc? We are now finding out. There is currently a concerted worldwide effort…

Read More
KXAN investigation uncovers safety concerns over pipes used in Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline

KXAN investigation uncovers safety concerns over pipes used in Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline

A tip led us to a storage yard holding hundreds of pipeline segments in Blanco. The segments will become the Permian Highway Pipeline. The group fighting the pipeline is concerned the anti-corrosion coating on the pipes has been outside, uncovered for far too long. Kinder Morgan — the pipeline owner — tells KXAN its handling of the pipeline construction will “meet or exceed state and federal requirements.” Our investigation found there are no regulations to determine how long is too…

Read More
Supreme Court gives environmentalists partial water law win

Supreme Court gives environmentalists partial water law win

The U.S. Supreme Court gave environmentalists a partial win on the scope of the Clean Water Act, ruling that the law applies to some pollution discharges that don’t go directly into a major body of water. The 6-3 decision Thursday told a federal appeals court to reconsider its conclusion that a Hawaii water-treatment facility violated the law with wastewater discharges that travel underground a half mile to the Pacific Ocean. But the high court majority set a standard that will…

Read More
Speak now please! Together we can save our Hill Country future, not pave it!

Speak now please! Together we can save our Hill Country future, not pave it!

The next Hays County Commissioners’ Court meeting is TUESDAY, April 28th at 9:00 AM – please contact the following elected officials in advance to state your views! judge.becerra@co.hays.tx.us (512) 393-2205; mark.jones@co.hays.tx.us (512) 262-2091; jhughson@sanmarcostx.gov (512) 393-8091; debbiei@co.hays.tx.us (512) 393-2243; lon.shell@co.hays.tx.us (512) 847-3159; walt.smith@co.hays.tx.us (512) 858-7268 You can also send a message to the entire 23 member CAMPO board by clicking here.  It’s truly amazing how much our Hill Country community of Hays, Blanco and Gillespie counties have come together to oppose Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway pipeline. Uniting against this existential, external threat has…

Read More
Permission revoked by County for pipeline to cross under roadways

Permission revoked by County for pipeline to cross under roadways

The commissioners court on Tuesday voted to revoke permission for the energy giant to cross any roads in the county. The unanimous vote came after a lengthy executive session and the motion was made by Pct. 3 Commissioner Lon Shell. It was in Shell’s precinct that contractors on the Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) hit a karst feature on March 28 while attempting a horizontal bore under the Blanco River. That resulted in the spillage of thousands of gallons of drilling…

Read More
State and regional flood planning: the future of flood resilience in Texas

State and regional flood planning: the future of flood resilience in Texas

Starting in 2020, Texas stakeholders will have the opportunity to determine the best flood mitigation strategies for their region through a process called “flood planning.” Regional Flood Planning Groups (RFPG) will lead this effort, as prescribed by Senate Bill 8 which was passed by Texas Legislature in 2019. Flood planning regions will correspond with 15 major Texas rivers and coastal basins delineated by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Based on the current draft rules, each RFPG will be composed…

Read More