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Regenerative Ranching Is Better For The Environment, But Can It Be Profitable?

Regenerative ranching is better for the environment, but can it be profitable?

Meredith Ellis harbors no illusions when it comes to the demands of running a cattle ranch. As she offers me a cozy blanket to keep warm during our “buggy” ride on her Kawasaki Mule around her family’s three-thousand-acre G Bar C Ranch on a crisp December morning, she tells me she has “about a hundred items” on her to-do list. Ellis, forty, isn’t complaining; she just knows what it takes to do what she loves, and to do it well.…

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Analysis: The Texas Storms — Actual And Political — Of 2021

Analysis: The Texas storms — actual and political — of 2021

2021 was the second year of the pandemic. The Texas Legislature met in regular session, as usual, but then followed that session with three special sessions on issues that had to be done (redistricting) and on issues lawmakers didn’t address during that 140-day regular session. The issue of drawing new political maps came late, because the pandemic delayed the 2020 census. Others — new voting and election laws, and restrictions on what can be taught in public schools, for instance…

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Water Nonprofit To Begin Work In Texas

Water nonprofit to begin work in Texas

The Water Finance Exchange (WFX) has announced the launch of a new fund to expand its work throughout Texas and address funding shortages of water infrastructure projects. Beginning in early 2022, WFX’s revolving Texas Pre-Development Fund will issue below-market, low interest loans and provide advisory support to communities seeking to fund adequate drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Read more from WaterWorld here.

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2021 Began With A Texas-sized Water Crisis. In 2022, Texas Needs Solutions

2021 began with a Texas-sized water crisis. In 2022, Texas needs solutions

Last February, Texans got a terribly clear view of the fragility of their state’s water infrastructure, as a statewide freeze left millions of Texans without heat or electricity and almost half of the state’s population lost water. This event provided a stark reminder of what’s at stake. The state’s 2022 water plan estimates that more than $80 billion in projects are needed to meet future water demands and build resilience across Texas. Read more from HCA Board President Vanessa Puig-Williams…

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How A Texas Songbird And Its Endangered Status Became The Center Of A Fight Over The Hill Country

How a Texas songbird and its endangered status became the center of a fight over the Hill Country

When a group of researchers at Texas A&M’s Natural Resources Institute published the first peer-reviewed study that surveyed the presence of a brightly colored Texas songbird across a huge swath of Texas, the results were astounding: The population of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler in the state was estimated to be 10 times larger than previously thought. Read more from Erin Douglas with The Texas Tribune here.

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New Law Requires Texas Landlords To Tell Tenants If Their Property Lies In A 100-year Flood Plain

New law requires Texas landlords to tell tenants if their property lies in a 100-year flood plain

A new law requires landlords in Texas to inform prospective renters whether their properties are in flood plains. Jasper Scherer has been writing about this for the Houston Chronicle, where he covers state politics. Read more or listen to the interview from Jill Ament and Alexandra Hart with the Texas Standard here.

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County Vote Helps Pave Way For Lily Ranch Subdivision Near Balcones Creek

County vote helps pave way for Lily Ranch subdivision near Balcones Creek

An unpopular new housing project slightly north of the Bexar-Kendall county line cleared a significant hurdle last month after Kendall County commissioners reluctantly approved a slew of variances. Titled Lily Ranch, the development at full build-out would comprise 500 homes on 120 acres located off Old Fredericksburg Road, right next to Balcones Creek. Downstream, Balcones Creek joins Cibolo Creek, an important recharge stream for the Edwards Aquifer. Blanketing creekside land with new asphalt, concrete, and rooftops will inevitably increase flood…

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Feral Hog Management To Include Bounty Program In Hays County For 2022

Feral hog management to include bounty program in Hays County for 2022

Hays County will be continuing countywide feral hog management efforts in 2022 after receiving a $7,500 grant from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Wildlife Services. The Hays County program will include a five-dollar bounty on feral hogs, one workshop, one webinar, a countywide survey and damage assessment and the continuation of a volunteer-led trapping effort. Read more from the Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force here. 

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Helotes Canyon Watershed’s Future At Stake With Guajolote Tract Decision

Helotes Canyon watershed’s future at stake with Guajolote Tract decision

Helotes Canyon northwest of San Antonio has seen its share of small-scale development, but the water in Helotes Creek still flows clear and plentiful as it makes its way downstream toward the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. But with developer Lennar Homes planning the canyon’s densest development yet — a 3,000-home subdivision on a 1,160-acre property — this could all change in only a few years. Could Helotes Creek become yet another dead Hill Country stream, choked with algae and sediment,…

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