Hays County plans to transform El Rancho Cima into public park along Blanco River

Hays County plans to transform El Rancho Cima into public park along Blanco River

HAYS COUNTY, Texas — It’s something many Wimberley residents have been aching for: a public park with waterfront access. Hays County has the ability to secure 533 acres of El Rancho Cima El Rancho Cima is a nearly 2,400 acre property County might use land for public park Now, that dream could finally come to fruition. Hays County has the ability to secure 533 acres of El Rancho Cima, with land on both sides of the Blanco River. This purchase would give the public…

Read More
East Bay water district considers buying giant cattle ranch that straddles four counties

East Bay water district considers buying giant cattle ranch that straddles four counties

The Alameda County Water District is considering shelling out $72 million for a fourth-generation, 50,500-acre cattle ranch — touted as the largest potential land sale in the state — to preserve water quality, officials say. Much of the property lies in watersheds that feed into critical water supply facilities for millions of Bay Area residents, including Lake Del Valle, Calaveras Reservoir and Alameda Creek. While no final decisions have been made, district officials and experts say the rare opportunity to…

Read More
City reaches milestone for cave site restoration

City reaches milestone for cave site restoration

City staff members have completed a draft land management plan to protect the city’s natural resources at the William H. Russell Karst Preserve, the 191-acre Southwest Austin site previously known as the Blowing Sink Research Management Area. The natural features of the land, which was formerly used as a livestock ranch, have been subject to decades of abuse, posing a threat to the Edwards Aquifer as well as several vulnerable wildlife species. Serving as a formal agreement among Austin Water, the Parks…

Read More
Conservation easements like on Cherry Springs Ranch push back against development

Conservation easements like on Cherry Springs Ranch push back against development

“It’s huge,” said Frank Davis, the Hill Country Conservancy’s chief conservation officer. He’s referring to the recent conservation easement on the 1,038-acre Cherry Springs Ranch in Spicewood. “Spicewood is right in the path of future development, and Cherry Springs Ranch, it’s pristine Hill Country land,” Davis said. “It’s something hard to find as we keep developing out to the west (of Austin). Straddling the Burnet-Blanco county line, Cherry Springs Ranch has a range of landscapes, including lush, vegetated grottoes. Seventy-seven…

Read More
‘History is being made’: Plans to turn former Boy Scout property into public park along Blanco River in Hays County

‘History is being made’: Plans to turn former Boy Scout property into public park along Blanco River in Hays County

WIMBERLEY, Texas — More than 2,000 acres of land with Blanco River waterfront property has been closed off to the public for decades. The Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts owned the “El Rancho Cima” land for 60 years. But now, thanks to an opportunity for Hays County to purchase a piece of that land, 533 acres could be open to the public for hiking, biking and swimming. The land, off of FM 32 just outside Wimberley, includes more than a mile…

Read More
San Marcos City Council passes resolution for support of Emerald Crown Trail

San Marcos City Council passes resolution for support of Emerald Crown Trail

The San Marcos City Council voted 7-0 to pass a resolution for support of the Emerald Crown Regional Trail Proposal on Tuesday. The Emerald Crown Trail is a proposed regional trail system that aims to connect Hays County cities and ultimately cities to the North and South. The project was developed through a collaborative effort between members of the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance, Hays County, the City of San Marcos, the City of Kyle, the City of Buda, the Guadalupe-Blanco…

Read More
Sink Creek Project Awarded U.S. Forest Service Grant

Sink Creek Project Awarded U.S. Forest Service Grant

The City of San Marcos will receive a $423,500 grant from the United States Forest Service to fund the land purchase of the Sink Creek Community Forest Tract. This is the first Community Forest and Open Space Program grant awarded to a project in Texas. The City purchased the 102-acre tract through a three-year lease with The Trust for Public Land in 2017 for a total purchase price of $1.27 million. City Council approved the lease-purchase agreement with the expectation…

Read More
Landowners attend workshop on financial, conservation tools: About 90 hear CCCA, Hill Country Alliance speakers

Landowners attend workshop on financial, conservation tools: About 90 hear CCCA, Hill Country Alliance speakers

The Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA) and the Hill Country Alliance co-hosted the workshop, “Saving Family Lands: Tools for Landowners in Comal County” on Feb. 15 at the Anhalt Dance Hall in Spring Branch. The one-day workshop, which highlighted financial and conservation tools available to rural landowners in fast-growing Hill Country counties, attracted 90 attendees. The workshop was designed to provide farmers, ranchers and other landowners with effective tools and resources to help them address issues inherent in passing family…

Read More
New report by the Texas Land Trust Council highlights over $1 billion in annual economic benefits of conserved lands to flood mitigation, agriculture, water resources

New report by the Texas Land Trust Council highlights over $1 billion in annual economic benefits of conserved lands to flood mitigation, agriculture, water resources

The new study, produced by Siglo Group in partnership with the Texas Land Trust Council, quantifies the value of lands and conservation easements that have been conserved by or with assistance from the Texas land trust community. Values for benefits provided by these conserved lands were calculated using an ecosystem services approach. Specifically, the study assessed the more than 1.6 million acres of open space lands that have been compiled into a statewide conserved lands database by TLTC members, and evaluated those acres for the services they offer Texas in terms water quality, water quantity, flood prevention, and…

Read More
Conservation easement program preserves ranches for local water quality and nature benefits

Conservation easement program preserves ranches for local water quality and nature benefits

Gary Puryear said he did not know much about nature conservation when he inherited his father’s 423-acre ranch near Hamilton Pool Road in Western Travis County. Members of his family had owned and lived on the working ranch since 1880, and Puryear said the emotion of losing his father made it difficult to decide whether to keep the land or sell it to a developer. However, when he learned of the vast environmental benefits maintaining the land would bring to…

Read More