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After attending the Hill Country Alliance pot luck at the Bergman’s ranch, I thought it was time to thank you for all of the efforts the Hill Country Alliance puts into informing landowners of how to be good stewards. I have known of the Hill Country Alliance for several years, but did not start utilizing your resources until I went to the Arundo BBQ at Franzen Park, then subsequently attended the Riparian Stream Training at the Texas Tech University Hill Country University Center.

Not only has the Hill Country Alliance taught me about being a good steward of the land, but through them I have found numerous local resources, including the Native Plant Society of Texas, which have helped me understand best practices for riparian zones.

Thank you for your work and your efforts to bring us together and keep us informed.

Wayne Kleck – Hill Country Landowner

Just 10 or 15 years ago there were hardly any private organizations involved in land and water stewardship outreach and education – it was almost totally the gov agencies doing it. Now, there are quite a few private organizations involved and among the most effective is HCA.

Steve Nelle, Wildlife Biologist

Many thanks for the information. And all the action, and activities. You all provide an invaluable service to the region.

A. Ryland Howard

Just wanted to tell you how much Mark and I enjoyed the conference! You really put on a great program and the location, food and entertainment was top notch. We really enjoyed the diversity of speakers and it was so refreshing to meet so many people who are putting forth their efforts to preserve the Hill Country.

I have to say, for the first time in a long time, I am hopeful that we can make a difference. Inspired by many of your speakers, we are encouraged to get out there and make a difference. Not just in rainwater collection, but other areas as well.

You and your team are exemplary! Keep up the good work.

Peggy Leatherman, Rain Harvest Resources

The Summit was a great meeting. Thank you and your staff and workers for a well-run and motivating meeting. I know that you all put a lot of work into it and it showed. I met a lot of good conservation-minded people. HCA is doing good things. Keep it up.

Steve Nelle

It’s actually because of the night sky presentation the Alliance held a while ago at Schreiner University that we had the night sky effort on our radar and were familiar with the topic when we heard of our local utility providers plans to install new energy efficient, directional lighting. Your work to inform the public and build awareness about night skies aided our reporting on the issue.

Carlina Villalpando, Kerrville Daily Times

(About HCA’s e-newsletter) Please do not assume that this publication is only of interest to Hill Country residents. This is one of the most diverse and valuable sources of conservation and environmental news and information available in South Central Texas. I urge everyone to check its front-page summary in every issue. You will likely find something of interest no matter where you live.

Harry Noyes, San Antonio

Thank you for the great resources about Billboards on your website! I saw the announcement about the new Fact Sheet from Scenic America, and followed the links to all the other wonderful things. You guys are great!

Jensie Madden, LWV-Comal Area

Since the interpreter class last year we’ve moved ahead with getting a Master Naturalist Chapter going in Guadalupe County. We’re getting connected with other nature focused groups in the county to help broaden the understanding of why it’s worth considering the options for all sorts of decisions one has to make for their backyard, as regulators, and developers. So far it is going well, we are working with the local parks department as they develop a linear park along a creek and a larger multi-use city park.

Jim Dyess

It’s great to educate folks of the importance of protecting the night sky – doing so reaps awesome visual rewards!! I love your organization – you guys do a great service for the hill country.

Linda Webb, Wimberley

I just read your excellent letter to San Antonio regarding the proposal to raid the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer in Val Verde and Kinney counties. It reminded me of my last blog piece One More Generation. In particular, the fact that the pumpage would deplete that aquifer — duh! — but the purported point of doing that is to provide for growth of population and commerce around the San Antonio, and the other cities mentioned as recipients of this water. As I note in the blog piece, this population will — everyone hopes at least — not just go away 50 years into the future, rather it will still be there, still needing a water supply for another 50 years, and another after that, and so on. So really this strategy is pretty much a slow motion rearranging of the deck chairs as the ship goes down. Seems to indicate that, while it may be institutionally much easier to buy time by continuing to expand the prevailing extractive, once-through water management strategy, we really need to get on with figuring out how to move toward sustainable water.

Understanding, of course, that nothing can ever be sustainable in the face of never-ending growth of demand for it. So attention must also be given to the real prospects for the growth projections of this area. They are predicated on a simple extrapolation of recent history, which may be a bubble, and there may be little reason to expect those trends to continue unabated for another 50 years. But of course to the mainstream movers and shakers , the very mention of growth policy is frowned upon, and these projections become the whole basis for all other policy moving forward, no questions may be asked.

This whole area of growth and limits to resources is the challenge of our times. Are we up to it? Thanks for your contributions to urging a rethinking of ever more extraction and once-through use, no matter what the consequences for our natural environment.

David Venhuizen, P.E.
Venhuizen Water Works

I get (HCA’s) newsletter. Everyone in the Hill Country should have it and read it and apply the knowledge.

Cynthia Thomas, Kerrville

On behalf of the Odeon Preservation Association, Inc., I want to express our appreciation and congratulations for a very successful event last week with the Dark Skies film and presentation. As an an amateur astronomy buff myself, I fully support any initiatives that will promote more efficient night lighting technologies and darker night skies, particularly in our area which could not only make our nighttime experience more pleasurable for us locals but also could provide increased economic incentives. Many thanks to Tony, Bill, Christy and Mayor Hinckley for your efforts and please call upon us again to host similar programs in the future.

Spider Johnson
President, Odeon Preservation Association, Inc.

I wanted to let you know how much we (mom, sister and I) enjoyed the rainwater revival…it was well planned and so very interesting. The speakers and exhibits were wonderful. We learned so much and have found some answers to many of the questions we had. Thanks for this wonderful day.

Sue Vogel, Boerne

I went to the HCA page and donated $35 to you guys. Not only because I love your calendar, and very much have enjoyed the Rainwater Revival the past few years, but also because you deeply support efforts to preserve the night sky. Your Night Sky page is amazingly full of great items and links.

Stephen Colley, San Antonio

Every time I impose on you and your staff, you come through for me. Sorry to be requesting so many of those beautifully done position papers, but I have found them to be the perfect answer to the issues I’m interested in when talking to someone about them.

Thanks again for your quick responses when I request resources. Our efforts are paying off, thanks to you and HCA.

Hunter Scott, Fredericksburg

The night sky initiative is making a difference! We have seen a significant reduction of the illumination arc in our southwest night sky since the process began.

My wife and I acquired acreage northeast of Junction and starting spending time there about ten years ago. Over time we noticed a distracting glow from the Junction area which became a real nuisance to the enjoyment of the treasure that is the Texas night sky. From our viewpoint the southwest sky had a bright glowing arc that completely dominated an otherwise star-studded southwest evening sky.

Due to the efforts of the Texas Hill Country Alliance, PEC, Kimble County, and the City of Junction and AEP that bright arc has dimmed – by maybe as much as 50%. It’s still
there and hopefully can be reduced even more, but there is a definite improvement.

I encourage everyone to join Christy Muse and the Hill Country Alliance in the effort to keep the Texas skies dark.

Russell Allen, Junction

Thanks, Christy. Your newsletter is really hitting where it should.

Connie Ripley
President, DELTA


I wanted to thank you for connecting me with Bryan Cook with LCRA. I met with Bryan and Lisa Hatzenbuehler with LCRA today and they have agreed to conduct a watershed assessment of Baron’s Creek over the next several months. We will use their assessment report for communicating to our citizens the current conditions and future opportunities related to this important watershed area.

Kent Myers
City Manager, Fredericksburg

I just had to tell you what a wonderful job I thought you did last night for the Hill Country Master Naturalist chapter. Your knowledge of the issues and delivery were just awesome.

Jackie commented how incredibly intelligent you were. I echo her words. You and the HCA are providing an incredible service to the Hill Country.

John Huecksteadt, Fredericksburg

Thank you Christy. I will be paying close attention to your website and progress with PEC. You guys are doing an excellent job and we are hopeful to follow in your footsteps.

Chris Westall
Colorado Valley Dark-Sky Explorers

Hi Christy,
Please excuse my interruption, my name is Alicia and I am a middle school environmental science teacher. I am working on revising my lessons plans for a unit on the Earth’s water supply. I want to cover topics like the water cycle, pollution, conversation, water quality and drinking water. I just happened to come across
your page http://www.schreiner.edu/water/resources.htm while I was looking for some resources and information to help with my unit.

I just wanted to take a second a write you a quick email to show my gratitude for the help you have given me with my lesson plans. The resources and information you took the time to post were very helpful.

Alicia Miller