Great Springs Project envisions a network of trails from Austin to San Antonio

Great Springs Project envisions a network of trails from Austin to San Antonio

Twenty-seven years ago, Deborah Morin watched as the hills, streams, caves, and springs of the Hill Country outside of Austin were being gobbled up by construction… Almost three decades later, Morin, a San Antonio native, is at the head of a nonprofit working to do just that, but on a much larger scale. She’s president of the board of the Great Springs Project, an initiative to preserve land and stitch together a network of hike and bike trails that will…

Read More
TESPA files new lawsuit against Permian Highway Pipeline, Kinder Morgan

TESPA files new lawsuit against Permian Highway Pipeline, Kinder Morgan

The Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA), acting on behalf of Blanco County landowners whose water was impacted in a spill of drilling fluid, has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Permian Highway Pipeline and Kinder Morgan. The case alleges violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, which protects “underground sources of drinking water” by prohibiting the injection of “contaminants” into underground drinking water. “That is exactly what occurred on March 28, 2020, when Kinder Morgan’s PHP constructors…

Read More
What’s at stake when we pave over, fragment and otherwise fail to protect Texas farmland from the disruptions of development?

What’s at stake when we pave over, fragment and otherwise fail to protect Texas farmland from the disruptions of development?

Millions of acres of America’s agricultural land were developed or converted to uses that threaten farming between 2001 and 2016, according to “Farms Under Threat: The State of the States,” a new report by American Farmland Trust. The report’s Agricultural Land Protection Scorecard is the first-ever state-by-state analysis of policies that respond to the development threats to farmland and ranchland, showing that every state can, and must, do more to protect their irreplaceable agricultural resources… The report found that Texas was the most threatened state in the nation due to…

Read More
Armed with Eminent Domain, pipeline projects continue to burden landowners during the pandemic

Armed with Eminent Domain, pipeline projects continue to burden landowners during the pandemic

Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan is cutting a 400-mile line across the middle of Texas, digging up vast swaths of private land for its planned Permian Highway Pipeline. The project is ceaseless, continuing through the coronavirus pandemic. Landowner Heath Frantzen said that dozens of workers have showed up to his ranch in Fredericksburg, even as public health officials urged people to stay at home. “They weren’t wearing masks. They weren’t wearing gloves. They weren’t practicing social distancing,” he said. Frantzen believes…

Read More
Southside residents succeed in push to bring air monitor to area

Southside residents succeed in push to bring air monitor to area

The monitor’s installation by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) came seven months after a meeting with a half-dozen Southside residents and TCEQ officials. State Rep. Leo Pacheco (D-San Antonio) organized the face-to-face session at Palo Alto College in response to the proliferation of frack sand mines and other industrial sites in South Bexar County. At the September meeting, Pacheco and others blasted the TCEQ for not cracking down harder on sand companies that spread “very fine, fine dust”…

Read More
Planning for our State’s water future in the midst of a pandemic – You have a unique opportunity for your voice to be heard!

Planning for our State’s water future in the midst of a pandemic – You have a unique opportunity for your voice to be heard!

Planning for the future is always a challenge – even more so in the midst of a pandemic. Texans currently are coping with the uncertainties of the Covid-19 crisis – financial hardships, continuing hospitalizations and deaths, the impacts of “reopening” the economy while the virus spreads – focused on the next several months, not looking 50 years ahead. However, the Covid-19 crisis may be a relatively short-term period in history, albeit one with profound impacts for years to come. On…

Read More
Opinion: Hays County’s watersheds are under attack

Opinion: Hays County’s watersheds are under attack

It is undeniable—the Austin area is booming. More people have moved to Travis County and its surrounding area, including Hays County. As populations grow, so must infrastructure, but matters become complicated in ecologically sensitive areas like the one we call home. The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO, has put forward a plan to address the transportation needs of the Austin area over the next 25 years. Both the Edwards Aquifer and the Blanco River watersheds will be negatively…

Read More
Speak now please! Together we can save our Hill Country future, not pave it!

Speak now please! Together we can save our Hill Country future, not pave it!

The next Hays County Commissioners’ Court meeting is TUESDAY, April 28th at 9:00 AM – please contact the following elected officials in advance to state your views! judge.becerra@co.hays.tx.us (512) 393-2205; mark.jones@co.hays.tx.us (512) 262-2091; jhughson@sanmarcostx.gov (512) 393-8091; debbiei@co.hays.tx.us (512) 393-2243; lon.shell@co.hays.tx.us (512) 847-3159; walt.smith@co.hays.tx.us (512) 858-7268 You can also send a message to the entire 23 member CAMPO board by clicking here.  It’s truly amazing how much our Hill Country community of Hays, Blanco and Gillespie counties have come together to oppose Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway pipeline. Uniting against this existential, external threat has…

Read More
Bamberger – A strongly rooted legacy

Bamberger – A strongly rooted legacy

As a child, J. David Bamberger grew up in an Ohio family without electricity or running water. Each day his mother sent him to the neighbor’s farm with a bucket to pump water from their well. “When you’re that age, walking a quarter-mile back home with a bucket full of water, you end up sloshing half of it on your feet,” Bamberger recalls, smiling. “You could say I learned the value of water conservation at an early age.” Bamberger worked…

Read More
Born to rewild: why now is the perfect time to make your lawn an eco-paradise

Born to rewild: why now is the perfect time to make your lawn an eco-paradise

Chances are, your lawn isn’t natural, environmentally healthy, or necessary – but it is part of a prevalent national standard. Americans spend an estimated $36bn on lawn care annually, and the amount of lawns we maintain could roughly cover the state of Florida. Lawns, not edible agriculture, are the biggest irrigated crop in America – and they are partly to blame for the decline in bees, insects and songbirds. Why should you care? Recent studies reveal that insect numbers are…

Read More