Hamilton Pool Road development dispute has implications for entire Barton Springs Zone — Key decision imminent

Hamilton Pool Road development dispute has implications for entire Barton Springs Zone — Key decision imminent

If anyone is feeling nostalgic for a 1980s or early 1990s style Austin growth battle they might want to check in on Bee Cave and the surrounding area. There, residents are locked in a fierce, high stakes battle with the City Council and the West Travis County Public Utility Agency (WTCPUA) over a development off Hamilton Pool Road near Little Barton Creek. The outcome could have huge consequences not just for the Bee Cave area, but also for the Edwards…

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Texas community a shining example of coexisting with dark skies

Texas community a shining example of coexisting with dark skies

A dark sky is important – it maintains wildlife and keeps the world’s eco-system balanced. Without it, everything is thrown off. Light pollution has even been linked to negative consequences for human health. As we told you last night, generations are growing up having never seen the Milky Way. Just 20-percent of the world’s population have seen it. That’s why efforts are being made to change that reality. Texas state and national parks are working to earn a dark skies…

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New SA company aims to encourage cattle ranching with eco-friendly tactics

New SA company aims to encourage cattle ranching with eco-friendly tactics

It’s 6:30 a.m., and the Texas sky is just starting to lighten from the black of night to the gray-blue of dawn. Dressed in a flannel shirt, work jeans, and lace-up boots, Schertz resident Zachary Platt is already loading up his Kawasaki Mule and heading out on the 374 acres of land he ranches and farms for a living. Platt drives the off-road utility vehicle to the spot where his 85 cattle – all females with their calves, aside from…

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Edwards Aquifer Authority’s ambitions put it at odds with San Antonio water utility

Edwards Aquifer Authority’s ambitions put it at odds with San Antonio water utility

The authority that regulates pumping of the Edwards Aquifer is interested in expanding its role over the coming years. But its largest customer, the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), is resisting efforts to raise aquifer fees. Earlier this month, the EAA passed a $34.1 million budget for 2021, with no planned increases in aquifer management fees charged to well owners who pump the Edwards Aquifer within its jurisdiction. Since 2012, the EAA has avoided raising its fees of $84 per…

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As Texas grows, communities face an unwelcome neighbor: concrete companies. Homeowners have few options.

As Texas grows, communities face an unwelcome neighbor: concrete companies. Homeowners have few options.

Peggy Watson noticed a few months ago that one of her neighbors was clearing his 78-acre plot of land. It was a matter of time, she thought. Her rural and “eclectic” neighborhood outside Austin was getting more valuable by the day as the city grew. But it wouldn’t be an apartment complex that would occupy the unrestricted land in Oak Hill, as she and her neighbors anticipated. They soon learned it could be a concrete batch plant to service the…

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Fishing, hunting, protecting, preserving

Fishing, hunting, protecting, preserving

With the advent of November, sounds and activities around our rural home take a shift. Deer season arrives with a burst of rifle shot. Suddenly our calm deer show a frantic frenzy and dash about sensing something is happening in the open spaces they frequent on remaining ranches and open areas. It leads me to ponder the considerable and impressive conversations I’ve had through the years with avid fishing and hunting friends, colleagues and relatives. It led me to reach…

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2020 Hill Country photo contest winners announced

2020 Hill Country photo contest winners announced

The Texas Hill Country is a unique region filled with diverse wildlife, clear springs, sprawling rural landscapes, historic towns, and some of the starriest night skies in the country. With a rapidly growing population and increasing development coming into the region, many of these special qualities are at risk of being lost forever. Each year the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) holds a photo contest encouraging photographers to capture images of the Texas Hill Country they would like to protect forever.…

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Farmers are depleting the Ogallala Aquifer because the government pays them to do i

Farmers are depleting the Ogallala Aquifer because the government pays them to do i

A slow-moving crisis threatens the U.S. Central Plains, which grow a quarter of the nation’s crops. Underground, the region’s lifeblood – water – is disappearing, placing one of the world’s major food-producing regions at risk. The Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer is one of the world’s largest groundwater sources, extending from South Dakota down through the Texas Panhandle across portions of eight states. Its water supports US$35 billion in crop production each year. Read more from Matthew R Sanderson, Burke Griggs, and…

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The year Barton Springs was almost destroyed

The year Barton Springs was almost destroyed

It was the Indigenous tribes that first realized Barton Springs’ sacredness. The Great Spirit, they believed, cast a rainbow of prismatic light above the creek’s holy water. These days, the springs remain one of the city’s most cherished spots. And yet, it was nearly dashed away in 1990, when a land developer set out to build one of the most aggressive urban planning endeavors in Austin history. Read more from Rosie Ninesling with Austin Monthly here.

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New all-ability park enhancements now open in Landa Park and Morningside Park

New all-ability park enhancements now open in Landa Park and Morningside Park

A pair of ribbon-cutting ceremonies were recently held to celebrate the opening of several all-ability enhancements in Landa Park and Morningside Park, funded by the 2019 bond election. While most children enjoy their time at parks and on playgrounds, many children with disabilities feel that playgrounds are places of exclusion, where they only get to sit on the sidelines and watch their friends having fun. Read more from the City of New Braunfels here.

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