April HCA Director’s Notes

April HCA Director’s Notes

  • April 16, 2018
  • News

April is truly one of the most photogenic time of year for the Hill Country. As the seasons change, it’s wonderful to see new life emerging as nature seems to come alive again in the greening grasses and the pops of color here and there from wildflowers. Photos tell the story of the Hill Country much better than words ever can, which is why HCA began our annual Hill Country Photo Contest 12 years ago to encourage conservation and generate…

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State-Owned Bexar County Ranch at the Center of Latest Warbler Fight

State-Owned Bexar County Ranch at the Center of Latest Warbler Fight

  • April 16, 2018
  • News

Rancho Sierra, a 2,317-acre property northwest of San Antonio, has everything – rugged hills, a ranch house, springs and seeps that form the headwaters of two creeks, and Mount Smith, the tallest point in Bexar County. It also has, according to surveys, an abundance of golden-cheeked warblers, the migratory songbirds that have made headlines for nearly 30 years as a symbol of the tug-of-war between property rights and conservation in the Texas Hill Country. For the State of Texas, which…

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Rare Central Texas songbird to fly off endangered species list

Rare Central Texas songbird to fly off endangered species list

  • April 16, 2018
  • News

The population of the black-capped vireo, a rare Texas songbird, has recovered to such an extent that it will be moved off the endangered species list, U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials are expected to announce today. The lifting of habitat protections for the black-capped vireo, long a buffer against development in Central Texas, is unlikely to open long-restricted areas to construction or road building, given the number of other species that remain protected. Property rights groups had urged the move while…

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Blanco River Flood Mitigation Project San Marcos Community Meeting To Be Held

Blanco River Flood Mitigation Project San Marcos Community Meeting To Be Held

  • April 14, 2018
  • News

City Engineers will host a public meeting on Wednesday, April 18 in Room 2 of the San Marcos Activity Center, 501 E. Hopkins, at 6 p.m. to gather comments on proposed infrastructure projects that are being considered for flood mitigation on the Blanco River. “The goal of the meeting is to listen to citizens’ observations and concerns prior to determining solutions,” said Laurie Moyer, Director of Engineering. “After alternatives are analyzed, a second public meeting will be held to show which…

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Securing Texas’ water future, one lawn at a time

Securing Texas’ water future, one lawn at a time

  • April 12, 2018
  • News

Texas’ frequent and inescapable droughts haven’t seemed to slow its growth. As people flock to our state, it follows that more of our limited water will be used on lawns. Studies have found that homeowners tend to overwater their lawns by two to three times the needed amount, which means much of this water will be wasted. With Texas’ rising growth and increasing uncertainty in our rainfall patterns, it’s clear that we need to be thinking proactively about our water…

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What happens to Texas when water is more valuable than oil?

What happens to Texas when water is more valuable than oil?

Only a state as big as Texas could have to deal with the simultaneous crises of both rampant floods and devastating drought. The destruction of Hurricane Harvey and the massive infrastructure needs that it exposed along the Gulf Coast soaked up most of our attention recently, but vast swaths of the Texas Panhandle suffer from extreme drought, and the northern tip qualifies for the worst possible category: exceptional drought. The problems our state is having with water — too much…

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Can ‘Localism’ Restore Sanity to U.S. Politics?

Can ‘Localism’ Restore Sanity to U.S. Politics?

  • April 11, 2018
  • News

Our mayor is liberal. He drives around town with an Obama ’08 bumper sticker on his car. I am a conservative, pro-life Christian; in 2016, I voted for Evan McMullin for president. But our partisan political differences mean nothing when it comes to caring for this town and making it better. Here at the local level, our interests intertwine: They are practical, achievable, even apolitical. This is localism, a bottom-up, practically oriented way of looking at today’s biggest policy dilemmas.…

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Austin named best place to live in America for second year in a row

Austin named best place to live in America for second year in a row

  • April 10, 2018
  • News

It’s another good day to live in Austin, Texas. Last year, Austin knocked Denver from the No. 1 spot on U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Places to Live in the U.S.” And this year, it didn’t budge. As in years past, the publication ranked the 125 largest cities in the country based on a variety of factors and data. Five indexes were used to compile the list: job market, value, quality of life, desirability and net migration. Cities were graded on each of these indexes…

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PEC District 1 incumbent not running, 3 candidates vying for spot

PEC District 1 incumbent not running, 3 candidates vying for spot

  • April 9, 2018
  • News

As the candidate nomination process for the Pedernales Electric Cooperative board of directors deadline came to a close, the eligible list revealed that the incumbent from District 1 has chosen not to run for re-election. Three challengers will face off for the position instead, officials said. PEC Districts 1, 6, and 7 director positions are up for election in June 2018. District 1 mostly includes parts of Bell, Burnet, Lampasas, Travis, and Williamson counties. District 6 includes parts of Comal,…

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Texas Master Naturalists Hill Country Chapter accepting applications for class of 2018

Texas Master Naturalists Hill Country Chapter accepting applications for class of 2018

  • April 5, 2018
  • News

Texas Master Naturalists (TXMN) is a corps of trained volunteers who provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of the natural resources and natural areas of Texas.  The organization is sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service. The Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist program is announcing the schedule for the 2018 volunteer training class.   The application period runs from April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018.  Class membership…

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