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Loss Of A Fish Affirms Fears About Growth

Loss of a fish affirms fears about growth

A tiny, rare fish found only in a small section of the San Marcos River has gone the way of the dodo. The extinction of the San Marcos gambusia affirms the fears of scientists and environmentalists that mounting development and rapid population growth in Hays County threaten the survival of endangered species as well as the region’s water supply.   Read more from Annie Blanks with the San Antonio Express-News here.

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1,400-acre Development Near Hamilton Pool Ignites Push To Protect Salamander

1,400-acre development near Hamilton Pool ignites push to protect salamander

Austin's Save Our Springs Alliance and a group of environmental scientists have filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Pedernales River springs salamander as "endangered" or "threatened" under the federal Endangered Species Act. The action is a direct response to the planned 1,400-acre Mirasol Springs development along Hamilton Pool Road and the Pedernales River that encompasses the amphibious species' already ­delicate habitat near Dripping Springs' Hamilton Pool Preserve.   Read more from Lina Fisher…

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Residents Struggle To Coexist With Quarries

Residents struggle to coexist with quarries

Growing up in the Texas Hill Country, Mark Friesenhahn often would run barefoot through the countryside with his younger brother — but only if their father, “a 150-pound, mean little banty rooster German, full of the culture and work ethic,” hadn’t assigned them a task on the family farm. Occasionally, the boys would hear a siren warning of an imminent blast at the Servtex Quarry Plant 3 miles away.   Read more from Brian Chasnoff with the San Antonio Express-News…

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Blast Zone: Quarries Are Expanding In The Texas Hill Country, And Rivers, Streams And Once-pristine Landscapes Are Paying The Price. Regulators Can’t Keep Up.

Blast Zone: Quarries are expanding in the Texas Hill Country, and rivers, streams and once-pristine landscapes are paying the price. Regulators can’t keep up.

Flat Creek had always been translucent, flowing clear and cold through Kathleen Wilson’s 15-acre spread in the Texas Hill Country. Then something changed. The dust was the first sign. “That was really the first noticeable thing, was the whole surface was covered with dust,” said Wilson, 63, who runs an eco-friendly bed and breakfast on the Blanco County property. “You’d stick your hand in and it would, like, stick to you.”   Read more from Brian Chasnoff with San Antonio…

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Looking To Get Outside This Fall? How About Stargazing Under Hill Country’s Darkest Skies.

Looking to get outside this fall? How about stargazing under Hill Country’s darkest skies.

How much of the Milky Way galaxy can you see from your front door? For those looking to escape to the great outdoors as the weather cools off in the fall, Central Texas has several designated International Dark Sky parks that offer views of the night sky with less light pollution, so visitors can enjoy plenty of stars in the Lone Star State. There are six dark sky parks in Texas, and three of them are within striking distance from…

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Little Cypress Creek/Krause Springs Study Stakeholder Meeting

Little Cypress Creek/Krause Springs Study stakeholder meeting

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and the Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District will hold a public meeting on October 12, 2021 to receive community input and participation on a study that seeks to better understand how Krause Springs and the Little Cypress Creek watershed interact with the underlying aquifers. The meeting will be held at the Spicewood Community Center (7901 County Road 404, Spicewood, TX 78669) from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. It…

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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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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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Wild Rice Sues To Stop Oil Pipeline

Wild rice sues to stop oil pipeline

In 2018, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the 1855 Treaty Authority, an organization that upholds treaty rights for Chippewa bands, enacted legal personhood for manoomin -- wild rice. Manoomin, which translates to “good berry” in Ojibwe, is a sacred food for Chippewa, Ojibwe and Anishinaabe people and has been a part of traditional teachings, stories and way of life since time immemorial.   Read more from Jessica Douglas with High Country News here.

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