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Great Springs Project Proposes A Network Of Trails From Austin To San Antonio

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

Can one of the fastest-developing regions in the country prioritize conservation? That's the hope of the ambitious Great Springs Project, which has inched a little closer to realizing its goal of a national parklike trail connecting two of Texas' most populous cities. On Dec. 8, the National Park Service selected the Great Springs Project to receive backing in the form of "community planning and technical assistance" for their endeavor to build a network of multiuse trails from Austin to San…

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Donor Gives Dripping Springs 300 Acres To Create Park

Donor gives Dripping Springs 300 acres to create park

It's not every day that a city gets a $5.7 million parkland donation. The city of Dripping Springs just did — specifically, 300 acres to create a park that will be almost 30 acres bigger than Austin's beloved Zilker Park. Earlier this month, Dripping Springs City Council accepted a donation deed for the 300 acres from Austin developer and philanthropist Dick Rathgeber and Rathgeber Investment Company LTD. Read more from Shonda Novak with Austin American-Statesman here. 

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More Than Twice The Size Of Texas

More than twice the size of Texas

To slow extinctions and climate change, President-elect Joe Biden has embraced a plan to conserve 30 percent of U.S. land and 30 percent of its ocean waters by 2030. It is perhaps the most ambitious commitment to conservation by a U.S. president. How he proceeds will determine whether he unites or further divides Americans in a pivotal decade for the planet. The plan is known as “30 by 30.” Behind the catchy phrase is a simple, scientifically informed belief that…

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Nation’s Largest Land Bridge For People And Wildlife Opens In San Antonio

Nation’s largest land bridge for people and wildlife opens in San Antonio

A very special public (and animal!) works project is now open in the Alamo City. Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge, the United States' largest wildlife crossing, opened in Northwest San Antonio on December 11. At 1 pm on Friday, officials lifted construction barriers on the new land bridge, which connects two previously divided halves of the 330-acre Phil Hardberger Park. Read more from Katie Friel with Austin Culture Map here. 

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Case Addressing Open Space Valuation Of Property With Cattle Grazing & Quarry Activity

Case addressing open space valuation of property with cattle grazing & quarry activity

Case addressing open space valuation of property with cattle grazing & quarry activity A recent case from the Ft. Worth Court of Appeals, Hood County Appraisal District v. Mandy Ann Management Ltd., discusses whether property used for grazing cattle on which a quarry is present qualifies for open space tax valuation. Mandy Ann Management Ltd. (“Mandy”) owns 679 acres in Hood County. The property was purchased by Mandy’s owner, Michael Arnold, in 2006 and he transferred the ownership to Mandy in…

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Fishing, Hunting, Protecting, Preserving

Fishing, hunting, protecting, preserving

With the advent of November, sounds and activities around our rural home take a shift. Deer season arrives with a burst of rifle shot. Suddenly our calm deer show a frantic frenzy and dash about sensing something is happening in the open spaces they frequent on remaining ranches and open areas. It leads me to ponder the considerable and impressive conversations I've had through the years with avid fishing and hunting friends, colleagues and relatives. It led me to reach…

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2020 Hill Country Photo Contest Winners Announced

2020 Hill Country photo contest winners announced

The Texas Hill Country is a unique region filled with diverse wildlife, clear springs, sprawling rural landscapes, historic towns, and some of the starriest night skies in the country. With a rapidly growing population and increasing development coming into the region, many of these special qualities are at risk of being lost forever. Each year the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) holds a photo contest encouraging photographers to capture images of the Texas Hill Country they would like to protect forever.…

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Voters Approve Hays County Parks Bond

Voters approve Hays County Parks Bond

The polls are closed, and the preliminary results are in. The Hays County Parks Bond, Proposition A, was approved on Tuesday, Nov. 3, by 69.54% of voters. Over 71,000 people voted for the proposition, which aims to provide funding for the creation of new parks, the protection of open spaces, and the perseveration of natural areas within Hays County. Read more from San Marcos Corridor News here.

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Biodiversity Study Reveals Promising Ways To Mitigate Monarch Population Loss

Biodiversity study reveals promising ways to mitigate monarch population loss

San Marcos participated in a community-based biodiversity study that revealed where native pollinator habitats can be placed to best aid in the conservation of monarch butterflies, a species in crisis. The San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department is among the three participants of the September 2020 “Parks for Pollinators” Bioblitz randomly selected winners of the national competition. Read more from Lionel Ramos with The University Star here.

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Laurels Ranch

Laurels Ranch

David K. Langford loves the Texas Hill Country land that his family has cherished for five generations. His passion for the land has informed his career as a professional photographer, and he has been a tireless advocate for working lands conservation and private property rights his entire adult life. He was among a small group of private landowners who got their heads together in the 1980s to form the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) to raise the profile of private land…

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