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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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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Imperiled Central Texas mussels bring conservation focus to the San Saba River

Imperiled Central Texas mussels bring conservation focus to the San Saba River

Miles down an easy-to-miss dirt road just outside San Saba, Texas, a group of university, non-profit, state and federal researchers has converged on a remote stretch of the San Saba River. A biologist walking along the bank points out empty freshwater mussel shells with quirky names – pimpleback, pistolgrip, papershell – casualties of stranding during a time when the water ran too low. Pointing just a few yards downstream, he indicates a spot where one of their populations washed away…

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As concrete sprawls, Fort Worth plans to spend millions to save land from development

As concrete sprawls, Fort Worth plans to spend millions to save land from development

The land development boom in North Texas has shown no signs of slowing down, even with the significant economic challenges posed by COVID-19. That’s why Fort Worth officials are moving forward with plans to identify and potentially acquire natural areas for preservation before developers buy up the land for housing and retail projects. “We want to really protect these key areas for our future generations, since once it’s gone, you can’t get it back,” said Jennifer Dyke, a city stormwater…

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Opinion: Vote for Hays Proposition A, reap benefits for generations to come

Opinion: Vote for Hays Proposition A, reap benefits for generations to come

Despite the intense attention races at the top of the ballot have received—and despite the massive voter turnout those races are driving—some of the most important decisions can be found at the bottom of the Hays County ballot. This year, Proposition A seeks to issue $75 million in bonds over the next 10 years to support local parks and green spaces. Proposition A can only benefit the people—and the plants and animals—that call Hays County home. Read more from Toni…

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Invasive zebra mussels are infesting Texas lakes, TPWD says

Invasive zebra mussels are infesting Texas lakes, TPWD says

A north Texas lake is fully infested with zebra mussels and reproducing, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The species has been found in 30 Texas reservoirs across five river basins and in rivers that branch off of infested lakes, including the Richland Chambers Reservoir, just southeast of Dallas. Despite efforts to eradicate the species, evidence suggests the population is growing in the body of water. Read more from Taylor Pettaway with Houston Chronicle here.

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What do the economies of China and Russia have to do with otter sightings in Central Texas?

What do the economies of China and Russia have to do with otter sightings in Central Texas?

River otters have been making a comeback in Central Texas for the past few years. But this past summer, otters were spotted where they typically haven’t been seen before: in the San Marcos River. Once only common to East Texas, the playful mammal has been expanding its range westward, Jonah Evans, a mammalogist for Texas Parks and Wildlife, said. Evans oversees all the non-game mammal research and conservation efforts in the state. That includes bats and anything from a coyote…

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Two groups encourage ‘lights out’ for human and bird benefits

Two groups encourage ‘lights out’ for human and bird benefits

Two organizations are encouraging Highland Lakes residents to go as dark as possible every night through October. The Texas Conservation Alliance is recognizing Lights Out, Texas! from Sept. 5 through Oct. 29, while the Hill Country Alliance designates October as Hill Country Night Sky Month. The main idea for both is to encourage residents and business owners to dim outside lights, and those visible from outside. This simple act can save money, improve human life, keep the Milky Way visible,…

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