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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The COVID-19 crisis and our water: Part 1

The COVID-19 crisis and our water: Part 1

  • April 3, 2020
  • News

As people stocked up on food and essential items for their time at home to help slow the spread of the COVID-19, I saw shopping carts full of bottled water.  Television shots and videos on social media of shoppers often showed the same thing. It seems that over the last two decades, our preparation for natural disasters started to include bottled water — and a lot of it..  There is reason to prepare for disruption in water service in a…

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Environmental group calls for ‘thorough investigation’ as residents report contaminated water near pipeline construction

Environmental group calls for ‘thorough investigation’ as residents report contaminated water near pipeline construction

The Sierra Club has called for a “thorough investigation” after residents in Blanco County reported brown tap water on Wednesday they believe came from a leak at the Permian Highway Pipeline construction site. On Wednesday afternoon, KVUE received reports Blanco County residents’ tap water had turned brown in the area of Chimney Valley Road near Highway 165. Read more from Jeff Bell, Britny Eubank, and Luis de Leon with KVUE here. 

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An ode to tributaries

An ode to tributaries

We have a tendency to think about the water in our cup as a direct product of the local, mainstem river we presume it came from. But drinking water’s journey is rarely that straight forward. Because beer and rivers go so well together, it might be more accurate to think about that cup of drinking water more like a pint of beer. Your favorite IPA, for example, is a unique blend of water, hops, malt, and yeast. Or say you’re…

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Pipeline construction halted while ‘fluid loss’ incident investigated

Pipeline construction halted while ‘fluid loss’ incident investigated

Residents in Blanco County a mile or so upstream of where the Kinder Morgans Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) crossed the Blanco River are reporting brown tap water coming from their wells. One of them, who lives off FM 165 about a mile from the Chimney Valley Road turnoff in Blanco posted on Facebook that her tap water had turned brown. The post had a photo of the water, which also appeared foamy. Read more from Anita Miller with Hays Free…

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Helper, Utah certified as International Dark Sky Community

Helper, Utah certified as International Dark Sky Community

  • April 1, 2020
  • News

Helper City and the International Dark-Sky Association are pleased to announce Helper as an International Dark Sky Community, a place recognized for its quality night skies and a commitment to protecting and sharing natural darkness. The local area Dark Sky Observers have led regular astronomy programs and special events in the area over the last two years.  International dark sky community certification gives Helper support to grow dark skies programs and creates economic opportunities for neighboring communities through astronomy-based tourism.…

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Riverdance – Water is too precious for quarries

Riverdance – Water is too precious for quarries

Having nearly exhausted its exploitation of the Guadalupe River quarries from Comfort to Center Point in Kerr County, the sand, gravel and aggregate industry (APOs) is actively pursuing possible sites in the floodplain areas of Kendall County. Largely “under-regulated” by state law, the APO industry finds a rather benign regulatory environment in locations that are unincorporated or sparsely populated. Regrettably, many of the “material rich” locations are waterfront and on private land with absentee ownership. As a result, APO operations…

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department – An important update for our visitors

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department – An important update for our visitors

  • April 1, 2020
  • News

Our thoughts are with you and our entire Texas family during this uncertain time. Texas State Parks are doing our best to provide a healthy way for you to get outdoors. Our dedicated teams across the state are working diligently to keep these special places open and safe during this difficult time. Most state parks remain open. However, we have made some changes to help protect the health and well-being of our visitors, volunteers and staff. One big change: starting…

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HOAs slow to accept native plant landscaping

HOAs slow to accept native plant landscaping

San Antonio Water System (SAWS) has long offered incentives to homeowners to replace non-native grass lawns with drought-resistant native plants. But the city’s many homeowner associations (HOAs) continue to favor water-thirsty, non-native turf grasses and resist residents who want native plant landscaping. Reducing lawn watering during the hot summer months and eliminating automatic irrigation systems is considered a major step toward enhancing water conservation efforts. Yet some HOAs tell homeowners they cannot install drought-tolerant landscaping featuring native plants, even though…

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Group to keep eye on the sky

Group to keep eye on the sky

A week after the county adopted a resolution to protect the night skies, a local group is forming with the intent of educating residents about how they can help protect one of the Hill Country’s greatest assets — a starlit night sky. Cliff Kaplan, program manager with the Hill Country Alliance, said 14 counties have adopted resolutions similar to that of Kendall County. However, because of state legislation, it’s often difficult for cities and counties to regulate lighting. Instead it’s…

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