TPWD announces funding opportunity for streamside landowners

TPWD announces funding opportunity for streamside landowners

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is looking to expand public access to fishing and paddling on Texas rivers through leased access agreements with streamside landowners. Private streamside properties are essential to achieving this goal, and TPWD is requesting applications from landowners for the River Access and Conservation Areas program. “Texas has over 40,000 miles of free-flowing rivers and creeks, and with 95% of the land held in private ownership, it can be a real challenge finding safe legal access…

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Across Texas, diverse wetlands are benefiting Texans — and facing threats

Across Texas, diverse wetlands are benefiting Texans — and facing threats

“Historically, some people thought of wetlands like nasty places we need to fill in or useless land,” he said. “But really, they’re among the most productive and valuable ecosystem in terms of the goods and services they provide to humans.” Nicknamed the kidneys of the earth for their ability to filter water and improve water quality, wetlands are defined by three things: water, plants and soils. To be a wetland, water should flow through or stand in the area for…

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State and regional flood planning: the future of flood resilience in Texas

State and regional flood planning: the future of flood resilience in Texas

Starting in 2020, Texas stakeholders will have the opportunity to determine the best flood mitigation strategies for their region through a process called “flood planning.” Regional Flood Planning Groups (RFPG) will lead this effort, as prescribed by Senate Bill 8 which was passed by Texas Legislature in 2019. Flood planning regions will correspond with 15 major Texas rivers and coastal basins delineated by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Based on the current draft rules, each RFPG will be composed…

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Financing nature-based flood mitigation projects with Texas’ Flood Infrastructure Fund – Hill Country

Financing nature-based flood mitigation projects with Texas’ Flood Infrastructure Fund – Hill Country

The Hill Country is no stranger to flooding. In 2015, the Memorial Day flood brought devastating rains to the region. As flood events grow stronger and more frequent, it is more important than ever to take advantage of opportunities to protect our citizens and natural heritage from these events.  Senate Bill 7, established by the Texas Legislature in 2019, created the Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF). The FIF is an important step towards building a more resilient Texas. Last fall, Texas…

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Huge feral hogs invading Canada, building ‘pigloos’ as they go

Huge feral hogs invading Canada, building ‘pigloos’ as they go

Feral swine, the offspring of wild boars and domestic pigs, are spreading through Canada into areas where many didn’t think they could survive. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some Canadian farmers imported wild boars from Europe to raise for meat. But as wild boars are wont to do, some of them escaped, either digging under fences or barreling through them. Others were set free once the boar meat market cooled. At first, it didn’t seem like a big…

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February 2020 citizen scientist spotlight: Tyson Broad

February 2020 citizen scientist spotlight: Tyson Broad

  • March 3, 2020
  • News

In addition to serving as the Watershed Coordinator for the Llano River Watershed Alliance, Tyson Broad serves on the Steering Committee of the Texas Hill Country Conservation Network. Texas Stream Team is welcoming 2020 with Tyson Broad as the first Citizen Scientist Spotlight of the year! Tyson is the co-founder and project coordinator for the Llano River Watershed Alliance (the Alliance) and dedicates countless hours to leading the efforts of water quality monitoring and riparian restoration efforts around the entire…

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TCEQ awards Meadows Center $350,000 for Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University has been awarded a $351,101 grant from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to implement Years 4-6 of the Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan (WPP). The Cypress Creek WPP is the result of a six-year collaboration between numerous stakeholders working together to keep Cypress Creek clean, clear and flowing. After the plan was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and TCEQ in 2016, The Meadows…

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A river worth saving: Who will protect the unheralded Llano?

A river worth saving: Who will protect the unheralded Llano?

The Llano River is an ecological gem in Texas Hill Country, supporting dozens of native and rare plants and animals. But due to weak state environmental protections, the Llano — along with other waterways in Texas — is increasingly facing pressure from industry and development. On a February day in 2018, Bill Neiman walked me along the perimeter of a Pilot Flying J truck stop in Junction, Texas, five miles upstream from his farm. Semis revved and hissed in the…

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Report urges buying floodplain properties to head off $3 billion bill by 2050

Report urges buying floodplain properties to head off $3 billion bill by 2050

It would be less expensive for the government to buy and preserve undeveloped land that lies in Houston’s floodplains than it would be to let development occur and face a potentially devastating bill if those properties flood, according to a new study. Allowing development on these sites could expose Harris County to as much as $3 billion in damages by 2050, according the report, published in the journal Nature Sustainability. The magnitude of potential damages far outstrips the $400 million…

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Wild pigs increase their urban and suburban area sprawls

Wild pigs increase their urban and suburban area sprawls

Whether you call them wild pigs or feral hogs, they are no longer just a rural problem, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Wild pigs cause more than $52 million in agricultural damage in Texas annually, said John Tomecek, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist, Thrall. But it’s their encroachment into increasingly urbanized areas that is becoming a burgeoning problem for landowners and municipalities. Texas’ wild pig population was 2.6 million according to a 2012 study. Now experts…

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