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It’s (past) Time To Save Our Rural Land Heritage

It’s (past) time to save our rural land heritage

On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, from 6:00 – 7:00pm, the Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA) will host an evening program on “Saving our Rural Land Heritage.” Guest speakers are David K. Langford of the Hillingdon Ranch in Kendall County, and Rob and Teresa Ohlrich Johnson of the JO Ranch in Comal County. They will tell their stories about their families’ use of conservation easements as a tool to preserve their families’ land and ranching heritage along with the natural and…

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Bill Neiman’s Native American Seed Farm In The Texas Hill Country Is On A Mission To Help People Restore The Earth.

Bill Neiman’s Native American Seed Farm in the Texas Hill Country is on a mission to help people restore the earth.

Mid-September, half a year before Texas wildflower season starts, and it’s been terribly dry and horribly hot at the Native American Seed Farm northeast of Junction. The rains of spring and summer pretty much quit back in June. This morning, in the dark, Bill Neiman has a meeting with his workers. It’s time to irrigate the grasses from the river. They can’t wait for rain if they want to have seeds to harvest. Seeds were the reason Neiman — a lean, wiry…

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Calling All Birders: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service And Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Need Citizen Scientists

Calling all birders: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department need citizen scientists

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are asking citizen scientists to help monitor black-capped vireos from April 10th to July 1 at Inks Lake State Park and Lost Maples State Natural Area in Texas. The previously endangered black-capped vireo has made a remarkable comeback thanks to the efforts of several conservation partners, which led to its removal from the Endangered Species List in 2018. When the black-capped vireo was listed, only 350 birds…

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Here’s What To Expect This Wildflower Season, How To Identify Central Texas Species

Here’s what to expect this wildflower season, how to identify Central Texas species

Despite Winter Storm Uri bringing subfreezing temperatures to Central Texas in February, a prominent number of flowers should still bloom across Central Texas this wildflower season, according to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Although slightly later than in recent years, Texas bluebonnets and other native flowers started to bloom in the Austin area in mid-March, and different species should begin to pop up over the next three months. Read more from Nicolas Cicale with Community Impact News here.

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Hill Country Alliance 15th Annual Photo Contest Kicks Off

Hill Country Alliance 15th annual photo contest kicks off

Theme of contest is “Solace and Strength: Portraits of Resilience in the Texas Hill Country” The last year has been unimaginably difficult for so many of us. We have missed milestones and family members, traded neighborly potlucks for Zooms, and seen our worlds upended time and again. Through it all, the rugged beauty of the Hill Country has been restorative, offering calm and solace in a growing din of uncertainty. For the 15th annual Hill Country photo contest, HCA asks…

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An Audacious And Timely Conservation Challenge

An audacious and timely conservation challenge

We should all applaud President Biden's executive order calling for conservation of 30% of the U.S. land base by 2030. This bold "30x30" vision is firmly rooted in science, given that protected land is key to a healthy and secure future for all Americans. It provides pure drinking water, healthy food, clean air, habitat for wildlife, and places for people to reflect, recreate, hunt and fish. Conserved land also provides protection from natural disasters, such as floods and droughts, and…

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Want To Save The Bees? You Don’t Need To Put Out Sugar Water

Want to save the bees? You don’t need to put out sugar water

The icy weather of February affected all sorts of wildlife in Texas and damaged plants across the state, including the ones honeybees rely on for food. Some on social media have suggested putting sugar water out as a potential food source for the bees. But Dr. Jessica Beckham said that isn't the way to go. Beckham is an entomologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio. "You shouldn't try and feed the bees unless you're talking about growing flowers. That's…

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Axis Deer Management Project Underway In Hill Country

Axis deer management project underway in Hill Country

Axis deer are an exotic game species first introduced in the Texas Hill Country in the 1930s. Since then, the population has grown exponentially, leading to groups launching an Axis Deer Control project. There are currently more than 6,000 free-range Axis deer in Texas, according to data from the Texas Invasive Species Institute. Read more from Texas Farm Bureau here. 

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This Land Is Our Land

This land is our land

Gabe Vasquez first visited New Mexico when he was 8 years old, during a fishing trip to the Rio Grande with his father and older brother. They traveled from their home just south of the border in Ciudad Juárez and planned to camp in state parks along the river. Even now, Vasquez recalls the air of excitement in the car as he and his brother fought over who would get the Superman fishing rod and who would get Spiderman, both purchased…

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2020 Successes In The Hill Country

2020 successes in the Hill Country

There is nothing more exciting than wrapping up a great conservation project, and Texas Land Conservancy finalized three of them in the Hill Country during 2020. Silencio, Danner, and Baradhi ranches make up 1,743 acres of beautiful and diverse habitats. Each one plays an important role in protecting water quality and quantity, plants and animals who call it home, and scenic open space for the benefit of all Texans.   I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Donating a conservation easement is one of the greatest contributions to land preservation that…

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