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Bringing back the Milky Way

Learn now to save energy and money by using “Better Lights for Starry Nights” (April 30, 2014) A dark night sky full of big bright stars is important here in the Hill Country, just like clean rivers, scenic vistas and natural landscapes. Little by little, light-by-light, the magical mystery of the Texas night sky is diminishing. But it’s not too late to reverse this trend. Directing lights downward, shielding and turning them off when not needed makes make a big…

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CASE CLOSED: Disappointment for Hill Country Aquifer Protection

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) recently halted a process that could have created groundwater conservation districts (GCDs) in some of the fasted growing areas of the Hill Country. TCEQ Executive Director Richard Hyde successfully petitioned the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) with a motion to dismiss the case that had been underway since 2010 to create GCDs in Western Travis and Western Comal counties. The request was granted January 27, 2014, and the case is now closed.…

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Hays County makes pitch for agency to secure, divvy up water

When it comes to water, Hays County’s cup overfloweth. That’s why county commissioners Monday pitched the idea of a regional corporation of governments that would reserve and divvy up water — a job that now mainly falls to individual cities or utility districts — to their counterparts in Travis and Williamson counties. Read more from the Austin American Statesman.

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PEC Candidate Forum April 24th in Johnson City

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) is hosting a candidates forum for two board of director seats up for election this year. The meeting will be held 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at PEC Headquarters, 201 S. Ave. F in Johnson City. The event will also include discussion of a ballot referendum on whether to switch to single-member district elections for board directors. Learn more about the candidates from the San Marcos Mercury. Learn more about theprocess and forum from the…

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TWDB opens SWIFT for public comment

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has opened their State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) rules making process for public comment. Participation in the rules making process is critical to ensure that the intentions of the State Legislature are carried out in the long-term administration of the State’s SWIFT funds. The HCA has submitted a list of recommendations to the TWDB that will help ensure spring and stream-flow sustainability in the Hill Country.

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Join HCA at Upcoming Bennett Trust Education Program: Protecting the Legacy of the Edwards Plateau

The Bennett Trust will host its first ever land stewardship and education conference April 23-25 in Kerrville. Wyman Meinzer, state photographer of Texas, will deliver the keynote address on the history and legacy of the Edwards Plateau. Attendees will also have the opportunity to visit local ranches, vineyards and orchards to learn more about sustainable practices in horticulture, forage production and wildlife management. Learn More

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Common Misperceptions Regarding Land and Wildlife Management in Central Texas

The statements below in Bold are common misperceptions followed by a brief explanation of clarification. Mesquite is not native to Texas; it invaded from Mexico. Mesquite is a native tree and has been here for thousands of years. The density of mesquite has increased on many areas for a variety of reasons. Cedar (juniper) is not native to Texas; it is an invader. Ashe juniper (cedar) is native to the region and was present in very large amounts in the…

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City Wastewater Discharge May Threaten Clear-running Creeks and Water Wells

by Vicki Wolf (April 17, 2014) Some water experts believe Hill Country clear-running creeks and streams may soon be a thing of the past if cities are permitted to discharge treated wastewater directly into creeks such as Onion Creek. Water wells may also become contaminated. The sprawling Belterra subdivision was the first entity to be permitted for wastewater discharges into a contributing zone of the Barton Springs part of the Edwards Aquifer. Almost a decade ago, Belterra received a permit…

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To Deal With Drought, Texas Needs to Manage Growth

“With the exception of the lower Rio Grande Valley and small parts of Far West Texas, much of the state has received less than 50 percent of normal rainfall,” reads TWDB’s most recent report. “This doesn’t bode well for the next six months. A dry winter generally portends a dry spring and summer.”More from Nextcity.org.

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Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers

Join us for a Webinar on April 30 Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/832319351 "Keeping Rivers Flowing: Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers" is a free three-part webinar series designed to inform interested persons about strategies to ensure the future health of Texas' rivers, bays and estuaries. Drawing on practical experience from here in Texas and around the world, speakers will discuss innovative approaches for ensuring that rivers, bays and estuaries continue to get the…

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