RV park planned near Hamilton Pool worries some Austin-area neighbors

RV park planned near Hamilton Pool worries some Austin-area neighbors

  • August 21, 2019
  • News

Just outside of Austin, where the Pedernales River winds lazily through the Hill Country before pouring into the Colorado, a series of parks and preserves showcase and protect large swaths of rugged Texas wilderness. The Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center harbors a 40-foot waterfall with a lush grotto ensconced below, hung with mosses and ferns. And less than a mile away, water races over another cliff to create Hamilton Pool, fed by springs from farther uphill where the Edwards Aquifer spills…

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New Texas nonprofit offers novel approach for preserving coastal lands, combating global warming

New Texas nonprofit offers novel approach for preserving coastal lands, combating global warming

Herff Cornelius and his family have ranched in the Texas Gulf Coast for five generations, four in Matagorda County, but he is struggling to keep the tradition going. Growing up, he was one of nine siblings. Even though he was the only boy, his sisters did as much on the ranch as he did in the kitchen. He and his wife Nancy had two children, but both went off to college and can’t be as involved. Now Cornelius has a…

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Hill Country Commission awards more landowners major damages in pipeline case

Hill Country Commission awards more landowners major damages in pipeline case

  • August 21, 2019
  • News

A court-appointed panel has awarded a total of more than $3 million to four landowners caught up in condemnation proceedings with Kinder Morgan over the proposed Permian Highway Pipeline. The awards, the largest of which was $1.3 million, paint a stark contrast to Kinder Morgan’s own appraisals of these same properties, none of which exceeded $21,000. Kinder Morgan, who did not produce their appraiser at two hearings last week to defend their figure, has previously indicated their opposition to compensating…

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A challenge awaits all of us

A challenge awaits all of us

Ernie Wittwer is a resident of New Braunfels. He is a volunteer for the Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA), believing that the wonderful natural features of the area should be preserved. He is retired after a career in public service. Those of us who live in Comal County face a challenge that will not disappear. How can we live with significant growth while maintaining the things that brought us to the county in the first place? The Comal County Conservation Alliance was formed to…

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Meeting on proposed wastewater plant set

Meeting on proposed wastewater plant set

  • August 20, 2019
  • News

A public meeting has been scheduled for Aug. 26 in Bandera on an application for a wastewater treatment permit for a Christian youth camp planned near Tarpley that has generated enough protests from area property owners and concerned citizens to get the proposed permit changed. Property owners and area resident concerned about Commissioners Creek and Hondo Creek near Tarpley banded together to form a group called the Friends of Hondo Canyon that opposes the proposed wastewater treatment sought by a…

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Hill Country caves reveal secrets to the biology of cave-dwelling animals

Hill Country caves reveal secrets to the biology of cave-dwelling animals

Along U.S. Highway 281 headed north to the Comal County line, drivers can see shopping centers and housing developments that look indistinguishable from suburbia elsewhere in the country. But hundreds of feet below the highway, inside the Edwards Aquifer and some local caves, new species of salamanders, crustaceans, and other creatures are being discovered. Animals that live inside the Edwards aquifer include two species of blind catfishes. A recent report also documents the discovery of several species of crustaceans (shrimp-like…

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After negotiations, energy companies opt against placing wind farms in Val Verde County

After negotiations, energy companies opt against placing wind farms in Val Verde County

VAL VERDE COUNTY, Texas – In the wide-open spaces of Val Verde County lies the Devils River, one of the last pristine, wild rivers in Texas.  Recently, it was at the center of a monthslong negotiation. “Absolutely. It’s a major win for us and for future generations of Texas and for anyone else who cares about the wide-open spaces in our state,” explained Julie Lewey, with the Devils River Conservancy. The group, made up of landowners along the Devils River and…

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Officials advise keeping pets out of Lady Bird Lake

Officials advise keeping pets out of Lady Bird Lake

  • August 16, 2019
  • News

Additional testing has revealed increasing levels of neurotoxins in algae at a greater number of locations. Samples were taken on Monday, August 12, 2019, at Auditorium Shores, at Red Bud Isle and at Barton Creek. Samples at Barton Creek were taken just below the pedestrian bridge over Barton Creek on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. All the samples contained greater amounts of neurotoxins than found the previous week. Red Bud Isle remains closed. The public should…

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Guadalupe lakes to be emptied

Guadalupe lakes to be emptied

  • August 16, 2019
  • News

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority will drain its four remaining lakes on the Guadalupe next month, citing the imminent public danger posed by the decrepit condition of spill gates in its 90-year-old dams. The lakes will be dewatered one by one beginning Sept. 16. Officials expect each lake to take about three days to empty. The process will start with Gonzales on the east, then move west to Meadow, Placid and finally McQueeney, the most populated one. The water level will…

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Kinder Morgan ordered to pay another $2.7 million in Hill Country pipeline dispute

Kinder Morgan ordered to pay another $2.7 million in Hill Country pipeline dispute

  • August 15, 2019
  • News

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan has been ordered to pay another $2.7 million in a widening eminent domain dispute out in the Texas Hill Country. A three-member panel of the Blanco County Special Commissioners ordered Kinder Morgan to pay three landowners more than $2.7 million in order to seize parts of their properties for the company’s proposed Permian Highway Pipeline. Kinder Morgan is seeking to build the $2 billion pipeline to move 2.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per…

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