Wimberley residents want to buy Mount Edith to protect it from developers

Wimberley residents want to buy Mount Edith to protect it from developers

Hill Country residents are worried developers will scar the area’s scenic hill tops, and one town has decided to do something about it. Mostly pickups, SUVS and bikers drive down the scenic main drag of the little town of Wimberley, about an hour’s drive from San Antonio. Councilwoman Christine Byrne said the city has a cool vibe. “Wimberley is kind of a small, rural community right outside of Austin,” she said. “Very artsy. We love our natural spaces. We are…

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Creatures of the deep karst

Groundwater—the water that is stored beneath the Earth’s surface in soil and rock—makes up more than 95 percent of the Earth’s liquid fresh water. The subsurface aquatic realm is also the world’s largest freshwater habitat. Although organisms that live only in subterranean aquifers make up a relatively small fraction of the total number of freshwater species, they are an important component of biodiversity. They are poorly understood, however, because they are to a large extent inaccessible and are difficult or…

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Water recycling system at new elementary school will cut use by 90%

The newest elementary school in Wimberley will be the most water-efficient school in the state, conservation groups and planners hope. The school, funded through 2018 bond money, will gather rainwater and air conditioning condensate to flush toilets; that wastewater will then be treated on-site and used to irrigate fields. Planners say the system will cut water use at the school by 90% and save the district as much as $1 million over the next 30 years. Students will see the…

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Letter to the Editor, Time to get past denial and start finding solutions

Letter to the Editor, Time to get past denial and start finding solutions

by Eva Silverfine Ott, Comal County Resident Letter to the Editor of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung June 27, 2019 I want to applaud Chris Lykins for his editorial, “The Climate Change Conspiracy” (Herald-Zeitung, 6-16-19). The effects of greenhouse gases (82% of which is carbon dioxide; U.S. EPA 2017) have long been known. As Mr. Lykins points out, how we address the problem is open for debate, but the fundamental science is not. Doubt has been sowed by an industry and…

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Letter to the Editor, Face the challenge of growth

By Jeri Porter, Fischer, TX Letter to the Editor of the New Braunfels Herald-Zietung June 27, 2019 Comal County is at a crossroads.  We have options in the directions to take and your readers can help! The changes we see today in our landscape and wildlife are primarily a function of loss of habitat.  Comal County is in the crosshairs of developers and we all should recognize the reason—beautiful rolling hills, clean air, lots of clear flowing water, all because we do still…

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Hill Country Alliance gathers concerned citizens

Hill Country Alliance gathers concerned citizens

A get-together introducing the resources of the Hill Country Alliance to concerned area citizens was led by the HCA’s executive director Katherine Romans who discussed Hill Country conservation issues included multiple presentations along with audience participation and questions. Future meetings are in the works. Speaking before an audience numbering dozens of area residents Thursday, Katherine Romans, executive director of the Hill Country Alliance, offered her agency’s assistance along with cautionary reasons for guarding natural resources. Romans stated that between 2010…

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Dr. Robert Mace to receive Texas Rainmaker Award

Dr. Robert Mace to receive Texas Rainmaker Award

Texas Water Foundation is honored to announce the 6th recipient of the Texas Rainmaker Award – Dr. Robert Mace. The Award is given to leaders who have made exceptional contributions and long-lasting impact to promote sustainable water policies in Texas. On May 7, 2019, Dr. Mace’s achievements will be celebrated at a reception and dinner at the Bob Bullock Museum. The event begins with a reception at 6:30pm followed by dinner and an award ceremony at 7:30pm. Previous recipients of…

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Texas Land Trends report shows value of conservation easements to ag, water, wildlife

Texas Land Trends report shows value of conservation easements to ag, water, wildlife

The Texas Land Trends project of Texas A&M’s Natural Resources Institute, or NRI, has published a special series report describing Texas landowner participation in land conservation easements and their value to agricultural production, water and wildlife. About 83 percent of lands in Texas are classified as privately-owned working lands, signifying the critical role private landowners play in protecting the state’s valuable resources. Land-use conversion, including fragmentation, accounted for the loss of approximately 1.1 million acres of working lands in Texas…

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Will Austin stores restock single-use plastic bags now that the city’s ban is lifted?

Will Austin stores restock single-use plastic bags now that the city’s ban is lifted?

Austin is ending its ban on free single-use plastic bags at stores and restaurants after a state Supreme Court ruling against a similar ban in Laredo. But repealing the ordinance, commonly known as the “bag ban,” doesn’t mean every store will start handing them out again. “In Austin, where people shop their environmental values, I think large retailers are going to continue the policy of not giving away single-use plastic bags for free,” says Rick Cofer, one of the people who spearheaded the bag…

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One Water: The future of land and water in Central Texas

One Water: The future of land and water in Central Texas

For centuries, the Texas Hill Country has been a region defined by its water resources. Early European settlers traced the paths of the San Antonio, Nueces, Guadalupe, and Colorado Rivers, following their rocky beds, spring-fed tributaries, and shallow draws, no doubt noting every seep and spring along the way. Before the Europeans, numerous tribes of indigenous peoples hunted, gathered, and fished along these same creeks and rivers. Evidence of their preference for the rivers and the spring sites of the Hill…

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