March 30, 2010

EARIP and USFWS to hold a series of public meetings throughout the Hill Country

The Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP) and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are seeking public input regarding the effects of certain actions on federally protected species associated with the Edwards Aquifer. The two entities will hold seven public meetings across the Edwards region in April. People are invited to attend the meetings to learn more about the EARIP activities and provide public comment. Read more…

March 28, 2010

Power line plans jolt Hill Country

A sense of bitter resignation permeates the Hill Country over proposals for new electric transmission lines now advancing through state and federal regulatory processes. Read full SA Express article here.

March 24, 2010

State Sen. John Carona speaks on problems with Texas’ transportation funding

State Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, addressed the Austin Chamber of Commerce at the chamber’s State of Transportation Luncheon March 24 about the state’s growing need for transportation funding. Carona serves as the chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security. Read full Community Impact article here.

March 22, 2010

CREZ project Environmental Impact public meetings

Friday, March 19th The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will hold five public meetings in Texas as it begins work on a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) related to the building of new transmission lines in parts of central and west Texas The meetings will take place in San Angelo, Junction, Comfort, Lampasas and Fredericksburg. Dates and locations will be posted on this page. More here

Commuter Rail Service in Austin

The long awaited Red Line opens in Austin Monday, March 22nd. Read about the service, fares, routes and more transportation news here here.

March 19, 2010

Multi-county Wildlife Management Field Day looks at landowner issues April 15 in Junction

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service will conduct the multi-county Hill Country Wildlife Management Field Day from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. April 15 at the Coke Stevenson Center in Junction on U.S. Highway 83 N. about half a mile north of I-10. Read more…

Transportation Plan – What’s your say on sprawl?

CAMPO has scheduled a series of public meetings, inviting review and comment on its draft 2035 transportation plan, currently dubbed “People, Planning and Preparing for the Future: Your 25 Year Transportation Plan.” The core question: Are you happy with road-based sprawl, or do you expect your regional planning organization to lead the region toward more sustainable development patterns? Get the details from Austin Chronicle here.

March 18, 2010

Texas Water Symposium March 24 in Kerrville

Join us for the third in the 2009-10 series of discussions and forums about Texas water issues. The symposium’s topic will be “Kids, Water and Science” –Details.

March 17, 2010

A small step for protecting land

Wimberley is on the verge of becoming just a bit too idyllic. It’s grown from a hamlet into a small town because its Hill Country charm is a temptation to many. Maybe it has lured too many, given the inability of local government to regulate land use. Read full article here.

March 16, 2010

Langford: Conscientious land stewardship protects Texas’ water resources, too

A recent survey found that only 28 percent of Texans could correctly identify the source of their drinking water. Regardless of whether your water comes from a well, a river or a reservoir, there is one answer that is always correct: Virtually all of our water comes from rainfall. Read full articlehere.

March 15, 2010

Attorney general says Hill Country cities have power to regulate development on their fringes

Small cities in the Hill Country have the power to regulate development in areas just outside their limits, state Attorney General Greg Abbott said in an opinion Monday. Abbott issued the opinion in response to a question by the City of Wimberley on whether it had the authority to enact construction rules in its extraterritorial jurisdiction. Read full article here.

March 14, 2010

State seeks to ease water quality rules

In a move that it says will save money and is a practical strategy for monitoring the state’s waterways, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has proposed loosening its water quality standards. Read full article here.

Sierra Club Criticizes TCEQ for Proposals to Weaken Clean Water Standards

The Sierra Club today strongly criticized the state’s environmental regulatory agency for a proposed weakening of water quality standards protecting recreational use in Texas lakes and streams. Read more…

March 12, 2010

County Sets Public Meetings for Dahlstrom Ranch Access

Hays County and its partners in the Dahlstrom Ranch conservation easement will hold public meetings on March 22 and March 31 to gather input from residents on certain aspects of public access. Hays County, the City of Austin and the Hill Country Conservancy, with additional funding from the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service, finalized an agreement in February to purchase the easement on the 2,254-acre Dahlstrom Family ranch near Buda. Details

March 11, 2010

TRCA 2010 State Conference, March 12-13 in Kerrville

The mission of the Texas Rainwater Catchment Association is to provide Texas citizens with credible information and resources on rainwater collection, to promote the advancement of rainwater conservation and to work with state, county and other local government units in promoting rainwater catchment. The agenda of this conference has been put together with that mission in mind. – Details and Registration

Texas Water Matters

Texas Water Matters is an outstanding resource on all things related to water planning in Texas. The site is full of current information on all water planning processes. Recently the project added new features to their website illustrating the “interconnectivity” of surface and ground water supplies. Check out theLiving Waters Project and specifically the latest material on interconnectivity here.

Protecting the Legacy of your Land

President Lyndon Johnson said “The best fertilizer for a piece of land is the footprints of its owner.” Ranchers and farmers develop a close relationship with the land, and most realize that there is always more to learn about being a good steward of their property. And then there is the question about what happens to the land after the owner passes on, or sells his beloved land. Read more…

March 10, 2010

Water Conservation in Texas: Good, Bad And Ugly

Perhaps the timing isn’t best (the drought has lifted and attention has drifted elsewhere) but the National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club released a report this week on water conservation efforts in nineteen Texas cities. As the two groups note, the “quality and extent of water conservation programs in Texas’ cities vary considerably.” Read full Texas Observer article here.

Boerne’s Herff Farm Listed as Endangered Historic Place

It has survived hostile attacks and the fury of Mother Nature but the Herff Farm in Boerne could face its toughest challenge yet: urban sprawl. But now the historic homestead is getting some needed attention after it was named an Endangered Historic Place. Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies has the story here.

March 9, 2010

NM governor signs bill for conservation easements

New Mexico governor signs a new bill into law allowing the state to acquire conservation easements from farmers, ranchers and other landowners to ensure that the property is not developed. Read full Business Week articel here.

Ranchers team up with feds to clear cedar, boost water supply

As water supplies become more valuable, conservationists say proper range management is an important way to improve them in urban areas, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service has begun an effort it calls Rural Land-Urban Water to promote the connection to urban audiences. “We can’t make it rain in Texas when and where it’s needed,” state conservationist Don Gohmert said. “But conservation measures on the state’s vast rural lands can increase the amount, and improve the quality, of water available to Texas cities.” Read full article here.

March 8, 2010

Drop by Drop: Seven Ways Texas Cities Can Conserve Water

The National Wildlife Federation and the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club released a joint report today recommending seven common-sense water conservation measures. The report reviews 19 cities around the state to see where these measures are in place and concludes that, with some exceptions, most of the cities surveyed are not doing enough to make the most efficient use of existing water supplies. Read more…

3rd Annual LBJ 100 Bicycle Tour Set for March

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park announces the 3rd annual LBJ 100 Bicycle Tour, “A Ride to Preserve History.” Details

March 5, 2010

Report Outlines Threats to James River, a Major Llano River Tributary

The James River is a relatively unknown and unspoiled gem in Central Texas. Environmental Defense Fund’s new report, “The Unknown River of Central Texas,” describes the importance of the river’s water resources to local communities, ranchers and wildlife, in an area that would otherwise be void of surface water. Read more…

Watershed group meetings slated for spring in Seguin, New Braunfels

The Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed Partnership will conduct various workgroup meetings this spring in Seguin and New Braunfels. Data obtained from these group meetings will be used in watershed characterization and evaluation toward developing a Watershed Protection Plan. Read more

March 2, 2010

Hill Country Deserves Protection of Environmental Impact Statement

Organizations across the Hill Country are asking state and federal agencies to ensure that protecting the Hill Country environment is a primary consideration as sites are selected for the high-voltage transmission lines soon to be built throughout the region. Read full media release here.

Meeting tonight in Mason regarding transmission lines.

The Texas Hill Country Heritage Association will hold its next public meeting Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. at the Mason School Cafeteria.The purpose of the meeting is to give the citizens of the County, City and surrounding areas an update on the current status of the 345 kV transmission line.Learn more…

March 1, 2010

An Open letter to LCRA and PUC

The LCRA is finished with this last round of open houses but people in the Hill Country still have many concerns. It’s not too late to send in your comments. Read this open letter from one landowner and learn more. Read more…