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Solar Panels Vandalized At Confluence Park

Solar Panels Vandalized at Confluence Park

When Confluence Park opened to the public in early March, those who poured time and money into the project hailed it as a new hub of environmental learning and appreciation. Less than eight weeks later, the solar panels in the small array atop the park’s classroom space were smashed in what the San Antonio River Foundation’s executive director called “a small-minded act by a select few.” The vandalism occurred late on April 25 or in the early morning hours of April 26,…

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Private Land Conservation’s Role In Mitigating Flood Risk

Private land conservation’s role in mitigating flood risk

There is little debate among scientists that our climate is changing, and in Texas that has meant ever-larger storm events resulting in catastrophic flooding. This Earth Day, we should take a moment to reflect on some potential solutions that can help our communities to cost-effectively and permanently mitigate flood risk, minimizing the damage to lives and property that so many of us have experienced across the Lone Star State. Storms like Harvey and the epic central Texas floods that have occurred recently demonstrate…

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A North American Climate Boundary Has Shifted 140 Miles East Due To Global Warming

A North American Climate Boundary Has Shifted 140 Miles East Due to Global Warming

In the late 1800s, geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell first described a clear boundary running longitudinally through North America along the 100th meridian west that visibly separated the humid eastern part of the continent from the more arid western plains. Now, 140 years later, scientists have confirmed that such a sharp climatic boundary exists and that it is slowly shifting east due to climate change — a change that scientists say could have significant implications on farming in the region. The new research, published…

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Asphalt Is The Last Crop

Asphalt is the last crop

Missed in the coverage of the recent release of the 2018 farm bill is an obscure program that will significantly impact the future of Texas. It is not a commodity program, nor does it deal with nutrition assistance. It is smaller in scope and cost than those programs, yet is just as far-reaching. The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program provides a voluntary opportunity for farmers and ranchers to sell their development rights, thus ensuring that the property remains agricultural land forever. The landowner retains title…

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Texas Added Some 3 Million People Between 2010 And 2017. Here’s Where They Came From.

Texas Added Some 3 Million People Between 2010 and 2017. Here’s Where They Came From.

The constant drumbeat we hear from the national media is that Texas is the big destination inside the United States. More people are moving from other parts of the U.S. to Texas than to anywhere else. Related: New Census Data: Greater SA Home to 2 of Nation’s Fastest-Growing CountiesAnd while this is true, it’s worth noting that these domestic migrants aren’t going just anywhere in Texas – or, more precisely, they’re not going everywhere. They are headed to one type of…

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WTCPUA Mulls Hamilton Pool Road Water Quality, The Backyard

WTCPUA mulls Hamilton Pool Road water quality, The Backyard

Within a span of 24 hours, West Travis County Public Utility Agency board members hosted a town hall meeting, announced improvements slated for the coming year, approved water quality protections for the Hamilton Pool Road corridor and agreed to take a hard stance on high-profile multiuse projects The Backyard and The Terrace. At its April 19 meeting, representatives from nonprofit neighborhood groups HPR Matters and HPR Scenic Highway Corridor Coalition as well as residents from the neighboring communities of Deer…

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Vulcan And TCEQ Take Heat At Public Hearing On Concrete Plant Permit

Vulcan and TCEQ take heat at public hearing on concrete plant permit

Vulcan Materials has come under intense public criticism for its plan to open a concrete batch plant near a school in Kendall County, but The complaints came to a head last week at the agency’s public hearing on the requested permit for the plant, the final chance for public comment, with angry residents demanding new laws to better safeguard citizens under the state permitting process and many walking out about two and a half hours into the hearing. Grant Dean…

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Texas Is Making Billions From Oil And Gas Drilling, But Counties Say Rural Roads Are Being Destroyed

Texas is making billions from oil and gas drilling, but counties say rural roads are being destroyed

Texas leads the nation in both oil and natural gas production. In the 2017 budget year, the oil production tax brought the state more than $2 billion in revenue, while the natural gas production tax brought in a little less than $1 billion. But none of that tax money goes to fixing roads in the areas where the production is occurring. Instead it’s divided among several state funds: the Rainy Day Fund, the State Highway Fund and the Foundation School…

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Hill Country Groups Wanting More Local Land-use Control

Hill Country groups wanting more local land-use control

As the second fastest-growing county in the country according to U.S. Census Bureau data, Comal County, like others in the Hill Country, is coming face to face with industries that want to set up shop on land that is becoming more and more precious. Annalisa Peace, executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance and a registered state lobbyist, cites incompatible land use as the reason why the GEAA and other groups in the region hope to resurrect a bill…

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New Braunfels Utilities Seeks Community Support For Headwaters Project

New Braunfels Utilities seeks community support for Headwaters project

Along the fault line that separates the Texas Hill Country from the Texas Coastal Plain, the largest freshwater spring system in Texas emerges from the ground in New Braunfels. New Braunfels Utility owns the 16-acre spot in the northwest part of town where the spring waters manifest and continue through Landa Park to feed the Comal River. From 1940-2004, the property was used by NBU as a fleet and facilities yard, but the company is currently spearheading a $25.5 million…

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