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Texas Could Give Landowners More Say In Eminent Domain Negotiations Under Bill Sent To Greg Abbott’s Desk

Texas could give landowners more say in eminent domain negotiations under bill sent to Greg Abbott’s desk

The Texas Legislature approved a bill early Thursday that will revise eminent domain negotiations between landowners and companies — such as railroads, pipeline and utility companies — that are seeking to condemn land, requiring that landowners be given the terms of the contract up front, as well as more information about the eminent domain process. After six years of heated negotiations between groups that represent landowners and the groups that represent big pipeline, utility, railroad, and oil and gas companies,…

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After The Storm: Legislative Solutions To Texas’ Water Infrastructure Emergency

After the storm: Legislative solutions to Texas’ water infrastructure emergency

My Austin apartment has always been drafty, hard to heat when it's cold out, and hard to cool in the summer. But on February 17th, our third day without power, when I ventured into the kitchen for some bread my roommate and I could eat for breakfast, I found ice in our sink and a knot formed in my gut. We were without power, without heat, and, as we soon learned, without clean water as well -- we didn’t even…

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San Pedro Ranch Receives Texas Leopold Conservation Award

San Pedro Ranch receives Texas Leopold Conservation Award

San Pedro Ranch, located near Carrizo Springs, will be awarded the state’s highest honor for private land conservation, and a $10,000 award, at the Lone Star Steward Virtual Awards Banquet on May 27. Anyone can join the livestreamed banquet and can find more information on how to tune in, along with information on other award winners, on the Lone Star Land Steward page of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) website. The ranch is owned by siblings Joseph Fitzsimons…

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Expanding Opportunities For Natural Resource Conservation In Texas

Expanding opportunities for natural resource conservation in Texas

Texas is home to a variety of unique, productive, and biologically thriving landscapes from the Piney Woods in the east to the arid mountain vistas in the west. Each year, these lands are the root of hundreds of thousands of jobs that help generate billions of dollars in revenue to the state economy. Our land resources also provide a wealth and variety of ecological services, including wildlife habitat, flood mitigation, carbon sequestration, and clean water. The same landscapes that so…

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Hays County POSAC Seeking New Project Submissions

Hays County POSAC seeking new project submissions

The Hays County Parks and Open Space Advisory Commission (POSAC), which was created in 2020 and recently restarted, is seeking additional project submissions that would be funded by Proposition A, a Parks & Open Space Bond, approved by voters in the November General Election. Prior to the passing of the bond, POSAC members announced a call for projects which resulted in an initial set of 15 recommended projects to the Hays County Commissioners Court. “The role of POSAC was to establish…

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No Swimming At Hamilton Pool This Summer Due To Falling Rocks From Winter Storm

No swimming at Hamilton Pool this summer due to falling rocks from winter storm

Hamilton Pool, one of the most beautiful watering holes in Central Texas, will not allow swimmers this summer or for the foreseeable future due to falling rocks. Travis County Parks has also closed the section of the trail that runs underneath the overhanging cliff. Parks officials blamed February’s historic winter storm. Read more from Wes Wilson with KXAN here. 

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Outdoors For All: Access To Nature Is A Human Right

Outdoors for all: Access to nature is a human right

A FEW YEARS AGO, pediatrician and clinical scientist Nooshin Razani treated a four-year-old girl whose family had recently fled Yemen and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. The family had received news the night before that members of the father’s family had been killed in a bombing back home. The child was suffering from anxiety. “I was thinking, ‘I have nothing to give to this little girl. What can I give her?'” Razani says. The typical medical response would…

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Texas Groundwater Supplies Are Shrinking, And That’s A Threat To Us All

Texas groundwater supplies are shrinking, and that’s a threat to us all

My great-grandfather founded our family’s Hill Country ranch in 1887. For nearly 100 years, spring water flowed through the seeps and creeks of our land, year-round, and almost without exception. The water began to dry up a little more than 30 years ago as more people dug wells into the Middle Trinity Aquifer. Read more from David K. Langford, former chief executive of the Texas Wildlife Association, in his op-ed with Dallas Morning News here.

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An Epic Monarch Migration Faces New Threats

An epic monarch migration faces new threats

One of nature’s most extraordinary spectacles unfolds in the 10,000-foot-high conifer forests of Michoacán, Mexico. In mid-November, swirling orange-and-black clouds appear in the skies above the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a 139,019-acre sanctuary carved out of the Transvolcanic Belt by the Mexican government in 2008. Millions of butterflies alight on oyamel firs, pines and junipers. As the late-year temperatures dip toward freezing, the beautifully patterned insects fall into a sort of hibernation, after their several-thousand-mile migration. “The area has the…

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How To Poison Feral Hogs (and Only Feral Hogs)

How to poison feral hogs (and only feral hogs)

Early one winter morning in 2020, Kurt VerCauteren discovered a cluster of dead birds in a barren field in northwest Texas. They were small birds, mostly dark-eyed juncos, but also a smattering of white-crowned sparrows. VerCauteren’s team had poisoned them, inadvertently. The clues were clear, the death uncomplicated: The birds had flown in before dawn to scavenge deadly morsels of a contaminated peanut paste, left behind after a sounder of wild hogs had torn through the area in a feeding…

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