Volunteers Work to Protect Native Trees Along South Llano River

Volunteers Work to Protect Native Trees Along South Llano River

On Sunday, July 9th, volunteers from the Texas Master Naturalist Program joined staff from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Llano River Watershed Alliance, Hill Country Alliance, and Texas Tech University Field Station at the South Llano River State Park in Junction. The team worked together to identify native tree saplings and install caging around them, to protect them from deer and other browsing animals. Native trees provide important values for humans, wildlife, and livestock. Scientists, land managers and river…

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Gregg Ranch First Corporate Supporter of Hill Country Beautification Project

Gregg Ranch First Corporate Supporter of Hill Country Beautification Project

The Gregg Ranch development leads the way as the first major corporate sponsor of the Gateway to the Hill Country Beautification Project. Located at US Highway 281 and Texas Highway 71, the Project will feature native Texas wildflowers on 56 acres of grassy median, easements and clover leaf sections of the highway right-of-way. The Hill Country beautification project is being spearheaded by Citizens of Scenic Texas Highways, Central Texas (CSTH), a non-profit organization of volunteers. “We are very excited to add Gregg Ranch to the…

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Johnson City Library Program Teaches Residents How They Can Protect Rivers and Streams

Johnson City Library Program Teaches Residents How They Can Protect Rivers and Streams

  • July 13, 2017
  • News

Residents can do their part to protect local rivers and streams with simple tasks, even if they don’t live near water. That’s the message Daniel Oppenheimer, land manager of the Hill Country Alliance, will be presenting during his talk “Restoring Creekside Habitat by Controlling Invasive Species; Invasive Plants of the Pedernales River Basin” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, at the Johnson City Library, 501 Nugent Ave. Refreshments will be served during the free program. Oppenheimer said he’ll emphasize planting…

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July 2017 Director’s Notes: Hill Country Summers

July 2017 Director’s Notes: Hill Country Summers

  • July 12, 2017
  • News

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending a ranch wedding along the Nueces River in Uvalde. Nothing says ‘Hill Country’ like looking out across a pasture to watch the full moon rise over a distant hill, just as a band strikes up the first lines of a classic two-step, and the smell of smoked brisket wafts along the evening breeze. Sitting between a Texas legislator and a rodeo cowboy at dinner that night, listening to stories of the ranches,…

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Hill Country Dark Skies

Hill Country Dark Skies

  • July 10, 2017
  • News

“You don’t have to tell me about it.” This was the start of a conversation with a prominent Fredericksburg resident. “My neighbor has two floodlights on his garage that light up my windows all night.” Another well-established Fredericksburg businessman said it this way: “If I wanted to light up my house all night I would have done it myself.” His house, where he raised his children and lives in his retirement years, is next to a convenience store on Main Street with…

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Trump taps Susan Combs for Interior Department post

Trump taps Susan Combs for Interior Department post

  • July 10, 2017
  • News

Former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs is joining the Trump administration as an assistant secretary of the interior for policy, management and budget. The nomination of Combs — subject to U.S. Senate confirmation — was announced by the White House Monday evening. If confirmed, she will serve under Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former congressman from Montana… Read more from Statesman.com

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Towns sell their public water systems — and come to regret it

Towns sell their public water systems — and come to regret it

This hard-luck town just south of Chicago is weighing a decision confronting many small and midsize cities with shrinking populations and chronic budget deficits: whether to sell the public water system to a for-profit corporation. Lake Station desperately needs the cash. Once solidly middle-class, the town of 12,000 has suffered from cutbacks at nearby steel mills, statewide caps on property taxes, and debt incurred to build a pricey new City Hall. Selling the water system would erase $11 million in utility…

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Heavy sprinkler use causes boil advisory in neighborhood near New Braunfels

Heavy sprinkler use causes boil advisory in neighborhood near New Braunfels

Residents of a gated community northwest of New Braunfels are under a boil water notice because of heavy sprinkler use, according to New Braunfels Utilities. People in the Copper Ridge subdivision off of Texas 46 must boil water until further notice before drinking, bathing or brushing teeth to kill harmful bacteria until further notice, NBU said in a news release Friday. The utility blamed “excessive irrigation” for a “critical drop in water pressure.” NBU is also banning irrigation for 72…

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Owners of 100-year-old farm worry about new highway route

Owners of 100-year-old farm worry about new highway route

The Texas Department of Transportation has recommended a new route for State Highway 29 in Williamson County after a two year study. After studying an area surrounding the current route from Southwestern Boulevard to SH 95, TxDOT said the area often floods, there are too many sharp curves and there is a high traffic volume on the two-lane road. Department officials release a proposed new route which would run just north of the current road… Read more from KHOU

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Hill Top Cafe targeted by TCEQ

Hill Top Cafe targeted by TCEQ

The Hill Top Café, the popular eatery located 10 miles northwest of Fredericksburg, has faced a series of violations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) over the past four years. Johnny Nicholas, who purchased the venue with his late wife, Brenda, 37 years ago, is fighting the current with TCEQ, which states the café is a public water supply that must have a chlorination or reverse-osmosis system in place. “The TCEQ came a few years back, informed him…

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