February 2011 News Archive
February 26, 2011
Uvalde pipeline bill more trouble than it’s worth
A bill has recently been filed to lift the ban on building a pipeline to transport water from Uvalde County. Read more here
February 22, 2011
Kerrville seeks rehearing for CREZ route; LCRA scheduling meetings for affected landowners
The Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHE) continues to monitor developments related to energy, wind farms and transmission lines through the Hill Country. Learn more here.
Growth and How it Affects Our Water
“There is little or no understanding of a term that is familiar to ranchers called ‘carrying capacity’. On a ranch or a pasture, it means the numbers of animals, including livestock and wildlife, which can be maintained without damaging the desired rangeland vegetation…I think towns, cities, counties and regions also have a sustainable carrying capacity for people.” Read this insightful article by Mike Mecke here.
February 21, 2011
Growing pains come with rise in population
As civic leaders in San Antonio and surrounding communities began digesting new census figures released Thursday, the implications of the region’s 25 percent population increase were both gratifying and sobering. Read full article from SA Express-News here.
February 17, 2011
Blanco Citizens organizing to protect Blanco State Park
Hill Country residents value parks. In response to concerns about the possibility of Blanco State Park shutting down because of TPWD funding cutbacks, citizens are meeting and organizing in Blanco County. A meeting is set for Feb 22nd at the Blanco Courthouse. More about the meeting and the citizen’s call to action here. Blanco County News story here.
Our Water is Our Future – Citizens unite in opposition the Uvalde water pipeline
The Keep Our Water Association has launched campaign in response to an ongoing movement by private investors to pass legislation that will allow the transport Edwards water away from the rural western region. The mission: To protect and preserve the wellbeing of the western portion of the Edwards Aquifer and those citizens and businesses that are affected by it. Learn more here.
Hays County Groundwater Conservation District to vote on important water permits
HTGCD Meeting – Monday, February 21st at 1:00 pm – Dripping Springs City Hall. The HTGCD board will be voting to allocate new water pumping permits for a development in Woodcreek North. Details
Riparian Management Workshops will be the last offered for this year
Managing healthy Riparian areas is one of the single most proactive thing we can do for hill country water resources. Sky Lewey of the Nueces River Authority (and HCA President) is offering spring workshops. Space is limited, if you’ve been thinking about taking one of these classes now is the time to register. Learn more about this issue and see a schedule of workshops on the HCA Riparian Management issue page. See the schedule of workshops.
February 16, 2011
Registration is open for the 2011 Farm and Range Forum
Update: POSTPONED UNTIL FALL
February 15, 2011
LCRA’s sale of small water systems brings backlash from communities
What began in the 1990s as an effort by the Lower Colorado River Authority to bail out failing, far-flung sewage and water systems, eventually became a utility and infrastructure spree as the LCRA extended its clout, transforming the development of the Hill Country in the process. But in November, the LCRA announced that it would sell 32 systems it still controlled because they collectively cost about $3 million more to operate than they raise in rates. Read full Statesman.com article here.
The Changing Face of Water Rights
The State Bar of Texas’ water rights conference is coming up February 24 – 25th at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa. Anyone interested in becoming better educated about water law, groundwater management, state water planning, environmental flows is welcome to register. Program details and registration here.
Feburary 14, 2011
HMI Announces Texas Workshops
Discover how to work with nature to increase profits and improve the environment. Holistic Management International (HMI) is a terrific organization worth getting to know. Check out their Texas workshop schedule including one in San Antonio here.
February 10, 2011
S.A. still aboard effort to build Austin rail link
San Antonio officials will continue to pursue a passenger rail line that one day could connect the Alamo City to Austin, a transit project that’s already been in the works for more than a decade. Read more from The San Antonio Express-News here.
Febrary 9, 2011
Ranchers lock horns over groundwater
A piece of legislation proposed in Austin has a cattle raisers group and the Coastal Bend Groundwater Conservation District locking horns on the issue of water rights. The dispute starts with the rule of capture, which has been the law of the land on water rights since a Texas Supreme Court ruling in 1904. In essence, “rule of capture” means if there’s groundwater beneath your land and you can get to it, that water is yours. As Texas gets deeper into the 21st century, though, groundwater is beginning to be a much bigger issue, with the state’s population booming and the finiteness of water as a natural resource becoming crystal clear. Read full Warton Journal Spectator article here.
Top 10 Blanco Historic Preservation Needs
“The office of the Blanco Historic Preservation Commission (BHPC) is to protect the historical, architectural, and archaeological resources that make Blanco very unique.” Click here to read the Blanco County News article regarding the top ten needs of the BHPC in the creation of a local historic district in Blanco.
February 8, 2011
The Saga of the Hill Country PGMA
“The fate of these unprotected areas – including southwestern Travis County adjacent to BSEACD – is anybody’s guess at this point…” Read the full articlehere and the entire issue of The Aquifer Bulletin published by the BSEACD here. This resource includes timely articles about groundwater resources.
February 7, 2011
More land-use authority a must for Texas county commissioners
“County taxpayers all over the state are on the hook in varying degrees for the cleanup of unregulated subdivisions built without the most basic of amenities — roads and running water. Commissioners courts stood by helplessly while the subdivisions went up and were equally helpless when the developer left.” Read more from Statesman.com here.
February 6, 2011
Counties continue to wish for more land-use authority
Residents of unincorporated areas outside Austin’s city limits often call Travis County officials to complain about bars, dance halls, industrial operations and other places that create unwanted noise, light or odors. But there’s little the county can do. Residents get what one county staffer called the “standard spiel” — an explanation of how the Legislature hasn’t given counties regulatory authority over land use. Read full Statesman.com article here.
February 4, 2011
Local Environmental Groups Laud Resolution Adopted by SAWS
At their meeting Tuesday, SAWS voted unanimously to adopt a resolution that ended a five year long legal dispute between SAWS and the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, the Helotes Heritage Association, the City of Grey Forest, the San Geronimo Valley Alliance, and the Hill Country Planning Association. Learn more
February 3, 2011
3K Ranch will be Hill Country ‘island’ as future state park or natural area
More than 3,700 acres of pristine Hill Country plant and animal habitat became part of the state park system last week when the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission accepted the 3K Ranch, a gift from the Albert and Bessie Kronkosky estate. Read more from the Boerne Star here.
Lawmakers File “Complete Streets” Bill
Lawmakers today filed a bill they hope will help drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safely share the roads. Read more from The Texas Tribune here.
District wary of senate bill
The Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District board of directors has unanimously adopted a resolution that strongly opposes a move by either the state legislature or the courts to create a vested right for landowners to own the groundwater under their property before it is captured. Read the full article from the Bastrop Adviser here.
February 2, 2011
“Texas Water: Whose Water is it?”
The Kerrville Area League of Women Voters will sponsor a series of forums on the availability of water now and in the future for our area. Click here to learn about the series.
USDA-NRCS and University of SC Release Wildlife Habitat Conservation Video Series
Wildlife Habitat for Good is a new video series filmed in the Palmetto State that illustrates the benefits of wildlife habitat conservation and restoration. Learn more here.
CREZ Maps posted on LCRA.org
The route chosen by the PUC on January 20th for the McCamey D (renamed Big Hill) to Kendall project is expected to be energized in December 2013. The 140-mile route crosses Schleicher, Sutton, Kimble, Kerr, Kendall and Gillespie counties and is estimated to cost between $330 million and $350 million.Click here to view maps and read more.
SEP-HCP Biological Team meets Friday the 4th at the Helotes Nature Center
February 1, 2011
The Power of Water
A new website and amazing video of the Canyon Lake Gorge… “ The Flood Event of 2002 the Power of Water carved a gorge into the landscape below the Canyon Lake Spillway”. Check it out.
Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance success in Texas
Partnerships in the Texas Hill Country achieve on-the-ground success. The Hill Country Conservancy, The City of Austin and Hays County partner for Dahlstrom Ranch and The River Systems Institute leads ongoing long-term conservation along Cypress Creek. Learn more