Comal County needs to borrow tools from Hays

Comal County needs to borrow tools from Hays

I want to thank Craig Massouh for the article published on August 21 about the work being done to protect our environmental resources in Comal County. Cliff Kaplan, the operations manager for the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) pointed out that “Hays County just agreed to put on the Nov. 3 election a $75-$80 million item to address the need for 16 parks throughout its county, including six in San Marcos and one in Kyle.” The article concluded by explaining what…

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Hays County kicks off Wimberley Valley Trails Initiative

Hays County kicks off Wimberley Valley Trails Initiative

Hays County is kicking-off its new Wimberley Valley Trails initiative, an effort to develop a multi-year vision to improve connectivity in the City of Wimberley and surrounding areas. This vision includes a system of hike and bike trails, multi-modal transportation options, and other strategies to help connect people with nature and link regional points of interest in the community. Read more from San Marcos Corridor News here.

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Major pipelines hit legal snags. But it’s business as usual in Texas.

Major pipelines hit legal snags. But it’s business as usual in Texas.

Early on, Kinder Morgan faced opposition from individuals, local governments and conservation groups. EHN visited Hill Country—a unique landscape known for its rolling terrain in central Texas—and found that environmentalists and some who are pro-development had gained a common enemy. A barrage of lawsuits in Hill Country challenged the company, as well as the Railroad Commission of Texas and the Army Corps of Engineers, which are both responsible for permitting and oversight. But the project broke ground last year, with…

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To manage wildfire, California looks to what tribes have known all along

To manage wildfire, California looks to what tribes have known all along

Fire has always been part of California’s landscape. But long before the vast blazes of recent years, Native American tribes held annual controlled burns that cleared out underbrush and encouraged new plant growth. Now, with wildfires raging across Northern California, joining other record-breaking fires from recent years, government officials say tackling the fire problem will mean bringing back “good fire,” much like California’s tribes once did. Read more Lauren Sommer with NPR here.

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Millions of pounds of pollution released before Hurricane Laura

Millions of pounds of pollution released before Hurricane Laura

Texas refineries and chemical plants told state regulators they released millions of pounds of air pollution into the air in recent days as the plants rushed to close facilities ahead of Hurricane Laura’s landfall… Together, Texas facilities announced plans to release 4 million pounds of air pollution in the Beaumont and Port Arthur areas before Laura hit, according to a tally of state notices by Environment Texas, an environmental nonprofit group in Texas. That’s the equivalent of putting about 140,000…

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Water, Texas: Border wall concerns in Lower Rio Grande Valley diminished by virus and growth

Water, Texas: Border wall concerns in Lower Rio Grande Valley diminished by virus and growth

Before it turns right and heads straight north to the Dakotas, US 281 spends its first 46 miles close to the Rio Grande in South Texas. The two-lane highway slips out of downtown Brownsville and bends west through a Lower Rio Grande Valley landscape renowned in Texas for binding water, agriculture, and ecology in a tumult of ferocious urban growth, nationally significant environmental restoration, and political turmoil… On the highway’s south side, distant stands of spiny hackberry and western soapberry…

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San Antonio aquifer, trail advocates lament sales tax vote

San Antonio aquifer, trail advocates lament sales tax vote

Environmental advocates were dismayed Thursday after City Council set up a shift of sales tax funding away from the Edwards Aquifer and San Antonio’s trail network, with some saying they plan to focus on ensuring replacement funding. San Antonio City Council voted 9-2 Thursday to put a measure on the November ballot to devote a one-eight-cent sales tax to workforce development for four years before shifting to VIA Metropolitan Transit. The tax currently funds the City’s trails and aquifer protection…

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Texas Organizing Project joins petition campaign against SAWS

Texas Organizing Project joins petition campaign against SAWS

Texas Organizing Project (TOP) is the latest group to sign onto a coalition fighting to ratchet back the SAWS CEO’s pay, enforce existing term limits for the utility’s board, audit any project worth $1 billion or more, and halt SAWS’ lobbying efforts at the Texas Legislature. Organizers call their legislation the SAWS Accountability Act. Their plan is to collect 20,000 signatures this year needed to get the act on the May 2021 ballot. Read more from Brendan Gibbons with San…

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Germany plans to dim lights at night to save insects

Germany plans to dim lights at night to save insects

In a draft law seen by AFP, the country’s environment ministry has drawn up a number of new measures to protect insects, ranging from partially outlawing spotlights to increased protection of natural habitats. “Insects play an important role in the ecosystem…but in Germany, their numbers and their diversity has severely declined in recent years,” reads the draft law, for which the ministry hopes to get cabinet approval by October. Read more from Kit Holden from Phys.org here. 

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‘It’s a start’: Plan to protect Edwards Aquifer surfaces, but experts say it’s no substitute

‘It’s a start’: Plan to protect Edwards Aquifer surfaces, but experts say it’s no substitute

The agency that regulates pumping of the Edwards Aquifer wants to move ahead with an aquifer protection program similar to the City of San Antonio’s – but starting at a much smaller scale. At its meeting Tuesday, the Edwards Aquifer Authority’s (EAA) board of directors unanimously voted to explore a policy of paying landowners not to build on sensitive land with conduits into the Edwards Aquifer, the main drinking water supply for the San Antonio region. Read more from Brendan…

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