Kyle officials find temporary fix for failing wastewater plant

Kyle officials said Tuesday that they’ve come up with fixes for the city’s wastewater treatment plant, which experienced a mechanical failure Sunday morning. City staff will install a temporary pump system at the malfunctioning plant this afternoon that will mimic the function of the broken part. Division Manager Jason Biemer said the city hopes to have the pump running by Tuesday night… Read more from Statesman.com

Read More
Wastewater plant issue could lead to partially treated effluent in Plum Creek

Wastewater plant issue could lead to partially treated effluent in Plum Creek

  • November 27, 2017
  • News

Kyle city officials are scrambling to rectify an issue at the city’s wastewater treatment plant that, if left unfixed, could release up to one million gallons per day of partially treated effluent into Plum Creek. The issue took place Sunday when the center well bearing system at the Kyle WWTP 1 suffered “significant component failure,” according to a city press release. According to the city, Plant 1 is approximately 20 years old. The bearing system is the main part of…

Read More
Six oil operators, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation form partnership

Six oil operators, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation form partnership

  • November 27, 2017
  • News

Partnerships and joint ventures are nothing new among Permian Basin oil operators, but a new partnership just announced takes a unique approach. Six companies with significant operations in the Permian Basin – Anadarko Petroleum, Chevron, ExxonMobil’s subsidiary XTO Energy, Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum and Shell Oil are teaming up with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to form the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative to support conservation projects in the region. The initiative is designed to identify significant conservation opportunities to…

Read More
David Yeates: The Massive Urban-Rural Imbalance in Texas

David Yeates: The Massive Urban-Rural Imbalance in Texas

Anyone who has heard me speak publicly on natural resource conservation in Texas knows that I invariably bring the discussion around to the enormous urban/rural imbalance that we find ourselves in here in our great state. Texas is a private property state, given our unique history as an independent republic before joining the United States.  Therefore, the vast majority of our open spaces are held in private ownership. As our state’s economy develops, demographics shift, and agricultural practices become more efficient,…

Read More

Humans at fault for many nuisance species spoiling state’s environment

We should have our hands slapped over some of the things we’ve done in this state by letting plants and animals run wild. Think about it: We now have tens of thousands, probably more, of exotics — axis deer, black bucks, fallows, oryx, etc. — throughout the Hill Country. And while they do offer some income potential for landowners, they also swiftly overwhelm native animals such as whitetails and the habitat on which they live. We have zebra mussels in…

Read More

Our nights are brighter, and brighter

Of course, our night skies are more washed with artificial light than those of our ancestors, but apparently – despite the efforts of groups such as the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) – Earth’s night skies are still getting brighter. A landmark study released November 22, 2017 found both light pollution – and energy consumption by lighting – steadily increasing. The study is based on five years of satellite images. The data show gains of two percent per year in the…

Read More
Want dark? Go to Big Bend Ranch, which just earned dark sky status

Want dark? Go to Big Bend Ranch, which just earned dark sky status

  • November 22, 2017
  • News

When the sun sets on a moonless night at rugged and remote Big Bend Ranch State Park, the night wraps around you like a black velvet cloak. This week, the 315,000-acre park announced its designation as an International Dark Sky Park. Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, with a combined area larger than the state of Rhode Island, now form one of the largest contiguous areas under dark-skies protection in the United States… Read more from…

Read More
Whither the Warbler’s habitat?

Whither the Warbler’s habitat?

Comal County is one of the top 10 fastest-growing counties in the United States, and a loose coalition of concerned residents and activist groups think it is time for residents to start thinking about protecting open space and acquiring park land – “Before it’s too late.” At Land Conservation Options for Comal County, a panel discussion Nov. 8 at the McKenna Events Center in New Braunfels, Katherine Romans, executive director of Hill Country Alliance; Annalisa Peace of Greater Edwards Aquifer…

Read More
Proposed Sports Complex Threatens Dark Skies in River Hills

Proposed Sports Complex Threatens Dark Skies in River Hills

  • November 17, 2017
  • News

A westside sports park project seven years in the making is facing a new wave of resistance from a nearby neighborhood wishing to protect its low-light, star-filled sky. The 12 Fields Foundation, a partnership of West Lake youth sports leagues, has been working since 2010 to secure a site to build facilities for local games and tournaments. On June 2 through their agent, KBGE Engineering, the foundation submitted a site plan for four sports fields and a building at 1100 River Hills Road,…

Read More
Students Work to Enhance Habitat along Comanche Creek

Students Work to Enhance Habitat along Comanche Creek

  • November 17, 2017
  • News

On Tuesday, November 7th, students from Mason High School spent the day along Comanche Creek at Fort Mason City Park. As part of the School District’s Blue-Ribbon Service Day, these five students learned about the importance of creek-side (riparian) systems, and the negative impacts of non-native, invasive plants such as Chinaberry trees. “When riparian areas have a diversity of native grasses, shrubs and trees, they provide people with a variety of values,” said Daniel Oppenheimer, at the Hill Country Alliance.…

Read More