I’ve lived in the Hill Country for five years now, yet I’m still finding new reasons to admire its grandeur on a regular basis. I love that my kids get to grow up in such a beautiful, wild landscape, and I hope their kids will have the same opportunity. As Central Texas faces rapid population growth and development, measures to conserve the beloved region are increasingly vital to its preservation. The Texas Hill Country Conservation Network (THCCN)—a partnership comprising dozens of public and private entities—released a “State of the Hill Country” report in February that outlines eight key conservation and growth metrics to mitigate the threats facing the 18-county area.  “The Hill Country is a sensitive area,” THCCN manager John Rooney says. “We are not anti-growth, but we are for thoughtful growth that is sustainable for the particular ecosystem we’re in.”

Read more from Emma Roberts Stone with Texas Monthly here.