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Regional Experts Recommend Swift Action to Conserve the Hill Country

According to a report published last week by regional thought leaders, the need now is greater than ever to ramp up preservation efforts for the Texas Hill Country’s natural landscape. With the Austin-San Antonio-San Marcos region experiencing an explosion in population and business, suburban sprawl has extended to what used to be rurality in the Hill Country, “threatening its wildlife, scenery, and the water resources upon which the whole region depends,” according to the report. Read more from

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Protecting The Hill Country’s Scenic Beauty From Suburban Sprawl

A new study makes several recommendations for protecting the Texas Hill country's cultural heritage and scenic beauty from the intense population growth that Austin and San Antonio have seen. A big focus on planning for the future, the report recommends mapping what areas can be developed vs those that are better conservation areas, the establishment of an endowment to finance conservation, and increased rail and bus infrastructure and service. Professor of urban planning at the University of Pensylvania Robert Yaro,…

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UT Report: Hill Country At-Risk By Development

The Greater Texas Hill Country needs a new plan because its scenery, wildlife and water are being threatened by too much growth and too little regulation. That's according to a report issued by the University of Texas School of Architecture. Travis County Commissioner Bridgid Shea says she supports many of the UT report's recommendations; like forming a regional water authority, and a partnership of the 13 Counties west of the Austin-San Antonio corridor. Read more from KLBJ

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Graduate students partner with Hill Country Alliance on preservation study

Twelve graduate students from the School of Architecture, along with regional planning experts, have partnered with the Hill Country Alliance to publish a study containing strategies to protect the Texas Hill Country and its resources. The Alliance is dedicated to preserving natural resources in the area, which reaches from northern San Antonio to western Travis County. The recently published study proposes establishing a Hill Country Endowment to finance conservation and infrastructure improvement efforts, distinguish between areas suited for preservation and…

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New UT study warns of massive Hill Country changes

A new study out of UT-Austin warns that explosive, unregulated growth in the Hill Country could mean its unique 'natural, scenic, and water resources could be... permanently lost to future generations.' The dire warning comes in a 120-page report which looked at growth, history, land use, and projected population in a 17-county area stretching from Austin to San Antonio and west to Uvalde and Rocksprings. More from

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Regional Experts Recommend Ways To Protect The Texas Hill Country While Supporting State Growth

Regional Experts Recommend Ways to Protect the Texas Hill Country While Supporting State Growth

AUSTIN, Texas — New strategies for protecting the Texas Hill Country came out of a recently published study by regional planning experts and graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. The study addresses threats to water resources, scenic beauty and cultural heritage in the face of rapid population growth in the region. “Toward a Regional Plan for the Texas Hill Country” The Texas Hill Country is one of the fastest growing regions in the nation. The…

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Senate Candidate Forum Set Jan. 27 In Fredericksburg

Senate Candidate Forum set Jan. 27 in Fredericksburg

Seven candidates running for the Texas Senate District 24 seat of retiring Troy Fraser will take part in a forum from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27 at the Hill Country University Center in Fredericksburg. A welcome will begin at 6 p.m. Ross Ramsey, executive editor and co-founder of the online media outlet Texas Tribune, will moderate the forum. “This is an important race for the Texas Hill Country region and this free public event is an excellent way to learn…

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Information And Assistance Available For Accessing Low-interest SWIFT Funds For Conservation Projects

Information and assistance available for accessing low-interest SWIFT funds for conservation projects

The Texas Water Development Board’s water project funding program known as SWIFT (State Water Implementation Fund for Texas) helps communities develop and optimize water supplies at cost-effective rates by providing flexible low-interest loans.  An exciting aspect of the SWIFT program is the commitment to use at least 20% of funding to provide low interest loans for conservation projects that will generate greater water efficiency in both urban and rural areas.  That is a great deal for Texas and Texans. Several…

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Rieff: There Is No Need To Sacrifice Texas’ Protected Wildlife

Rieff: There is no need to sacrifice Texas’ protected wildlife

Texans have always taken pride in our state’s great diversity of wildlife and wildlife habitat. Working with public agencies and private landowners, wildlife biologists and enthusiasts have maintained a tradition of conserving our unique diversity of wildlife and wild places. This is a critical accomplishment in a state where less than 3 percent of the land is in public ownership. Central Texas was one of the first places in the nation to address potential conflicts between endangered species conservation and…

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Transmission Line Pits Land Preservation Against Electric Power Grid

Transmission line pits land preservation against electric power grid

"In a case pitting electricity demand against Hill Country conservation efforts, the owner of the largest piece of private permanently preserved land in Gillespie County is making a last-ditch effort to persuade state regulators to change the route of a planned transmission line. The line, about 13 miles long, is part of a plan to beef up electrical infrastructure to serve a growing area east of Fredericksburg. Such transmission lines, which involve support structures 10 stories tall or higher, are becoming…

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