Sporting goods tax could exclusively go to funding Texas parks and historical sites

Sporting goods tax could exclusively go to funding Texas parks and historical sites

Parks around the State of Texas could start receiving some extra money in the fall. In 1993, legislation was passed in order to more adequately fund the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Up to 94 percent of all of the taxes collected from the purchase of sporting goods were to be used to fund local, regional and state parks, with the other six percent of the taxes collected heading to the Texas Historical Commission in order to maintain the State…

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Binational summit on health of the Rio Grande

Binational summit on health of the Rio Grande

Key players in Rio Grande conservation from Mexico and the United States congregated on Friday at the USO Building in Marfa. The binational coalition of scientists, academics, environmental activists and government employees was a rare sight. A gathering of this caliber and with such acute attention on the river hadn’t occurred since a meeting at Sul Ross State University over a decade ago, in 2008. The collaborative meeting occurred one day after the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Water Symposium in Marfa,…

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MoPac construction at Slaughter and La Crosse faces delays over environmental concerns

MoPac construction at Slaughter and La Crosse faces delays over environmental concerns

Construction along a stretch of MoPac Boulevard is facing delays after crews discovered dozens of fissures and holes in the ground along the freeway that help recharge the Edwards Aquifer and Barton Springs. The discovery of 72 so-called karst features has forced the Texas Department of Transportation to redesign the La Crosse Avenue bridge over MoPac (Loop 1) and push its opening to late this year at the earliest. TxDOT has not given a firm timeline on how much of…

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Volunteers: The tip of the spear

Volunteers: The tip of the spear

  • July 26, 2019
  • News

Dear Hill Country Neighbors, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for our Hill Country community after joining the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) family as a volunteer member of the Night Sky team. During my time volunteering with the night skies team, I educated various audiences about night-sky friendly lighting. In doing so, I had the privilege of inspiring others to become advocates and educators for something I was already passionate about (good lighting and starry night skies). After stepping onto the…

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Apache donates $257,000 to McDonald Observatory

Apache donates $257,000 to McDonald Observatory

  • July 25, 2019
  • News

Apache Corp. gifted $257,000 to the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory to help with the prevention of light pollution in dark West Texas skies – which are often used for research. The funds will hire additional staff to create resources for the dark skies programs that allow the observatory to collaborate with city councils, county governments and businesses to promote good lighting solutions, according to a release from the observatory. It also will assist with the funding of educational materials…

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Sedimentation surveys on the Highland Lakes a look into the future of water resources

Sedimentation surveys on the Highland Lakes a look into the future of water resources

  • July 25, 2019
  • News

Nathan Leber is all about finding the dirt on Lake Buchanan and other Texas reservoirs, or, more precisely, the dirt at the bottom. Leber, manager of the TexMesoNet and Hydrosurvey programs for the Texas Water Development Board, is in charge of a crew that’s currently surveying sedimentation in Lake Buchanan. Sedimentation surveys in Texas reservoirs help the state understand how water resources will look 50-100 years into the future. “We provide the data; (state leaders) make the decisions,” Leber said.…

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Kinder Morgan sues Austin suburb over anti-pipeline ordinance

Kinder Morgan sues Austin suburb over anti-pipeline ordinance

  • July 23, 2019
  • News

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan has sued an Austin suburb over the passage of an ordinance that the company alleges aims to keep a proposed natural gas pipeline out of town, disrupting a project already registered with state regulators. In a 22-page lawsuit filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Austin, Kinder Morgan alleges that the City of Kyle overstepped state and federal law when city council members passed a July 2 ordinance regulating the construction of natural gas…

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Plans for treatment plant raise worries about impact on San Marcos River

Plans for treatment plant raise worries about impact on San Marcos River

Huddled into a small 1930s-era high school auditorium, dozens of people this week declared their opposition to letting a yet-to-be-built residential development dump treated wastewater into Dickerson Creek, a tributary of the San Marcos River and a typically dry waterway that feeds private wells in Caldwell County. The proposed Cherryville development, which would have 10,000 homes on a 1,200-acre plot off Texas 80 and Texas 130, requested a permit to dump up to 160,000 gallons of treated wastewater per day…

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Rep. Zwiener’s HB 4158, ‘Hill Country Night Sky Tourism Bill,’ becomes law

Rep. Zwiener’s HB 4158, ‘Hill Country Night Sky Tourism Bill,’ becomes law

Dark Sky cities in the Texas Hill Country can now use their hotel occupancy tax dollars to protect the night sky. Representative Erin Zwiener’s (D-Driftwood) HB 4158 is now law and effective immediately.  HB 4158, the Hill Country Night Sky Tourism bill, gives small cities in Hays and Blanco Counties another important tool to invest in local tourism efforts. This legislation recognizes the importance of dark skies to visitors and residents of the Hill Country and allows communities to use…

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Texas could gain millions in federal funding to help at-risk fish and wildlife

Texas could gain millions in federal funding to help at-risk fish and wildlife

Texas could receive more than $50 million annually to pay for initiatives that support at-risk fish and wildlife populations under a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress. Known as the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), House Resolution 3742 would provide $1.3 billion every year to states and $97.5 million to tribes. The Texas Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife says the funding wouldn’t require new taxes. It would be supported by existing federal revenues. Under the Endangered Species Act, which Congress passed in 1973, species can be listed…

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