Native fish and wildlife belong to all Texans

Native fish and wildlife belong to all Texans

  • December 13, 2016
  • News

Texas is known for its vast land and abundant wildlife and fish, resources available for all to enjoy through hunting, fishing or wildlife viewing. Conservation of these resources for future generations results from a uniquely North American approach viewed as the most successful conservation program in the world. This program is called the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, and its cornerstone is the Public Trust Doctrine. The Public Trust Doctrine means wildlife belongs to all citizens, and its management…

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Were hundreds of endangered salamanders stolen from a San Marcos lab?

Were hundreds of endangered salamanders stolen from a San Marcos lab?

  • December 10, 2016
  • News

Between 250 and 300 endangered salamanders disappeared from the San Marcos Aquatic Resources Center during the Thanksgiving holiday, baffling biologists and leaving them scrambling to replace backup populations kept on hand in case of a die-off in the wild. The facility didn’t house any of Austin’s famous Barton Springs salamanders, but researchers in Austin, where a small population lives in captivity, say they’re now on heightened alert. The missing stock included mostly Texas blind salamanders, pale, 3- to 4-inch amphibians…

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Urban sprawl encroaching on San Antonio’s untouched natural areas

Urban sprawl encroaching on San Antonio’s untouched natural areas

  • December 6, 2016
  • News

Thomas Hille follows a simple rule when he jogs along the winding trails of Friedrich Wilderness Park, an oasis of untouched land near the busy Interstate 10 corridor on the far Northwest Side. “If you always turn left, you never get lost,” Hille said with a laugh as he prepared for an early morning trail run at the park’s entrance. “Go with me!” Hille, a criminal defense lawyer and fitness buff, set off at a brisk pace into the quiet…

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Public trust doctrine at center of fight against privatization

Public trust doctrine at center of fight against privatization

  • December 5, 2016
  • News

  By Colleen Schreiber, Livestock Weekly The Texas Foundation for Conservation, a new nonprofit, is joining the fight to protect Texas fish and wildlife for future generations. Opposed to privatization of wildlife, the group applauds the founders of the North American model for wildlife conservation but endorses the public trust doctrine which establishes a trustee relationship obligating government to hold and manage fish and wildlife for the benefit of all Texans, present and future. “Those who love Texas fish and…

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Workman: The future of water in Texas

Workman: The future of water in Texas

  • December 5, 2016
  • News

During the recent drought, my office heard constantly from people concerned about the lack of water in our lakes. But now that the lakes are full and people are enjoying their boats and beautiful sunsets, a lot of people seem to be under the impression that we are out of the woods. I don’t think we are. There is no doubt we have been given a reprieve, but there is no way to know how long that may last. Now…

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Can you water your landscape less and still have thriving plants?

Can you water your landscape less and still have thriving plants?

What if there was a way to irrigate less but still have good-looking landscapes? Thanks to research results recently published by the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) and the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), homeowners and landscapers can now learn exactly how little water is needed by popular Central Texas ornamental plants to not only survive but thrive. The drought survivability study, conducted in San Antonio throughout 2015, found that many ornamental plants popular in Central Texas…

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If these walls could talk

If these walls could talk

  • December 5, 2016
  • News

The pictographs of the Pecos River have lasted millennia in a tempestuous desert, surviving mostly in silence. Now an archaeologist has cracked the code — and they can begin to speak again. September 12, 2012, was a long day, but a good one. For Carolyn Boyd it started with a 30-minute drive from her home in Comstock to a 265-acre preserve, where she convened with fellow archaeologists Mark Willis and Amanda Castaneda and left the road behind. From there it…

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Plans withdrawn for 11-story Spicewood Springs hotel

Plans withdrawn for 11-story Spicewood Springs hotel

  • December 5, 2016
  • News

An application to build a controversial 11-story hotel on Spicewood Springs Road has been temporarily withdrawn, according to an Austin city councilwoman. In an email message to her constituents, Sheri Gallo, who represents District 10, said developer David Kahn made the decision a day after meeting with Gallo and her senior policy advisor. Plans for the hotel, which would have been located at 6315 Spicewood Springs Road, near Yaupon Lane, had alarmed many nearby residents who were concerned about traffic…

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Crazy ants are the new fire ants (and possibly worse)

Crazy ants are the new fire ants (and possibly worse)

  • December 5, 2016
  • News

The big problem in Texas: no local species appears to beat crazy ants. Hoping to underscore his point about a new pestilence that has arrived in Central Texas, ant researcher Edward LeBrun pointed to a Mason jar in his office. The jar looked like it was filled with blackberry jam. But it was actually filled, top to bottom, with ants, roughly 181,000 of them. More specifically, tawny crazy ants — a bug causing such a problem that it has supplanted…

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Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge adds 520-acre property

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge adds 520-acre property

  • December 5, 2016
  • News

The Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge grew by 520 acres this week with the addition of a coveted piece of Hill Country land known as Peaceful Springs. The parcel, south of Liberty Hill about 45 miles northwest of downtown Austin, features rolling hills, steep limestone canyons, freshwater springs and an open oak savanna. It offers habitat for two endangered songbirds, the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo, and lies above part of the Edwards Aquifer, which provides drinking water to…

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