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Explosive Growth Endangers Unique Wildlife, Critical Waters Of San Marcos River

Explosive growth endangers unique wildlife, critical waters of San Marcos River

The San Marcos River touches hearts in the fastest-growing city of Texas’ fastest-growing county, and threats to it strike a nerve. Its champions warn that rapid development and the crush of new residents could herald a dark fate for the river’s endangered species and for its critical role providing drinking water to nearly 2 million people from San Antonio to Austin. The river draws from the San Marcos Springs and by extension the massive Edwards Aquifer. And as people and…

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Water Company’s Moves Anger Buyers, Landowners, Local Governments

Water company’s moves anger buyers, landowners, local governments

In 2018, Ronnie Urbanczyk signed a contract to purchase water from Texas Water Supply Co., a Boerne company with access to at least 40 water wells that tap into the drought-sensitive Trinity Aquifer just south of the Bexar County line. Three years later, Urbanczyk doesn’t want the water anymore, but that won’t stop Texas Water Supply from holding him to the water contract. The impasse could put an end to plans to turn Urbanczyk’s land into a state park. The…

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Wastewater Threatens Texas Streams

Wastewater threatens Texas streams

Diane Causey is a 75-year-old antique shop manager in Utopia, a tiny town of 277 people located an hour-and-a-half northwest of San Antonio. Her favorite place in town is a swimming hole on the Sabinal River, accessed on land her family owns. This section of the Sabinal, a little-known Texas river fed by springs, is crystal-clear and chilly even in June. Each summer, Causey’s extended family of more than 100 people converge on the swimming hole for their annual family…

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Hill Country Communities Can Pursue Dark Sky Designation Following New State Law

Hill Country communities can pursue Dark Sky designation following new state law

Across the more remote pockets of Hill Country, several communities are looking to attract tourism dollars and increase the quality of life for residents by utilizing a precious, shrinking natural resource—darkness—or rather, the absence of artificial light. With the authorization of a recent state bill, Senate Bill 1090, cities across Texas can again apply for a designation of a Dark Sky Community from the International Dark-Sky Association. In order to attain that title, a town must enact certain restrictive lighting…

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Look Out Napa Valley, Texas Hill Country Named Among Best Wine Regions In U.S.

Look out Napa Valley, Texas Hill Country named among best wine regions in U.S.

Where is the best place to swirl, sniff and sip wine in the United States? If you guessed Napa Valley, you haven’t been paying attention. The popular Northern California destination did not make the top 10 in the 2021 USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards for best wine regions, but the Texas Hill Country did.   Read more about Texas's award-winning wine from Timothy Fanning with San Antonio Express-News here.

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Black Gap Wildlife Management Area Designated As An International Dark Sky Sanctuary

Black Gap Wildlife Management Area designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary

BREWSTER COUNTY – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is proud to announce that Black Gap Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Black Gap WMA is the second TPWD property to receive the Sanctuary designation, joining Devils River State Natural Area – Del Norte Unit which was designated as a Dark Sky Sanctuary in 2019.   Read more from Texas Parks & Wildlife News here.

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Travis County Goes Lights Out For Migratory Birds

Travis County goes Lights Out for migratory birds

Lights Out Texas is a campaign of education, awareness, and action that focuses on turning out lights at night during the spring and fall migrations to help protect the billions of migratory birds that fly over Texas annually. The goal of Lights Out Texas is to reduce migratory bird mortality by increasing statewide participation at the business, local official, municipal, and community levels, as well as collecting and reporting data.   Read more about Light Out Texas in Travis County…

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Young Life Camp To Withdraw Permit For Wastewater Discharge Into Hill Country River

Young Life camp to withdraw permit for wastewater discharge into Hill Country river

People in the Hill Country say they have fought for months to keep the pristine Sabinal River waters clean. Last May, the Young Life camp at LoneHollow Ranch applied for a permit that would have allowed them to discharge up to 60,000 gallons of wastewater a day into the Sabinal River. That may not be happening at all.   Read more from Troy Kless with Kens5 here.

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County To Turn Off Lights In Summer And Fall To Protect Songbirds

County to turn off lights in summer and fall to protect songbirds

The Travis County Commissioners Court passed a resolution Tuesday that will mandate county buildings to turn off all nonessential lights from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. during key migration periods for migrating songbirds. The Lights Off initiative will be in effect annually from March 1-June 15 and from Aug. 15-Nov. 30.   Read more from Seth Smalley with the Austin Monitor here.

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4 Charming Hill Country Spots Named Among Texas’ Best Small Towns By Travel + Leisure

4 charming Hill Country spots named among Texas’ best small towns by Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure magazine has given its seal of approval to four Hill Country communities as being among eight of the best small towns in Texas. In a list published July 28, the magazine lauds Bandera, Dripping Springs, Johnson City, and Wimberley, offering vignettes of the Hill Country towns. Nicknamed the "Cowboy Capital of the World," Bandera “is the perfect place to learn how to be a cowboy,” thanks to the presence of several dude ranches and the area’s historic role in cattle drives.  …

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