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Out Of Excuses; Secure Hill Country’s Fragile Water

Out of excuses; Secure Hill Country’s fragile water

Here’s something we don’t get to say very often: It’s been a promising month for water in the Hill Country. With record sprawl pushing ever westward from I-35 and climate change threatening an age of Texan megadroughts, the water future of the Hill Country has looked increasingly fragile. Yet this month’s passage of a bipartisan infrastructure package with $55 billion directed toward the water sector — combined with the development of major new water reuse planning resources directed specifically at…

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New Evidence COVID-19 Is Widespread In Deer

New evidence COVID-19 is widespread in deer

A new study has found high rates of SARS CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) exposure and active infection among white-tailed deer tested across Iowa. Previously, antibodies detected in deer suggested exposure to the virus, but this is the first confirmation of active infection and deer-to-deer transmission. Researchers at Penn State University also used genome sequencing of the viral samples to learn that SARS CoV-2 reached deer through multiple “spillover” events from humans. There is still no evidence that deer…

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Witte Exhibit Gives Black Cowboys Their Due

Witte exhibit gives Black cowboys their due

Before the Civil War, a quarter of Texas cowboys on cattle drives were Black. Like their white and Tejano counterparts, they had a singular perspective. It was on horseback, 7 feet up. Some of those Black cowboys were free; some were enslaved. Other Black ranch hands, including women and children, stayed home taming horses, tending livestock and repairing equipment.   Read more from Elaine Ayala with San Antonio Express-News here.

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Environmental Justice In Urban Development: The Problem Of Green Gentrification

Environmental justice in urban development: the problem of green gentrification

Former railroad turned elevated park, the New York City High Line presents a prime example of creating new green spaces to beautify, ameliorate, and revitalize surrounding communities. Although certainly one of the city’s most popular parks, the High Line also serves as the culprit for a sharp 35% increase in adjacent housing values.   Read more from Chelsea Chen with Environmental Law Institute here.

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The Renewed Environmental Justice Movement Is Bringing In Millions For Texas Southern University

The renewed environmental justice movement is bringing in millions for Texas Southern University

Forty years ago, there was no clear blueprint for environmental justice. While digging into the injustices that wreaked havoc on Houston’s communities of color, Texas Southern University scholar Robert Bullard became the pioneer. Now, widely regarded as “the father of environmental justice,” Bullard, 74, has seen the movement evolve into a force to be reckoned with.   Read more from Brittany Britto with the Houston Chronicle here.

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Is It 2021 Or 1961 At America’s DOTs?

Is it 2021 or 1961 at America’s DOTs?

As a society, we often can't see ourselves in the villains of our history books. Back then was a less enlightened era, we tell ourselves: a more prejudiced one, a more shortsighted or naïve one. The things they did we would surely never do today, because we've learned. Right? Maybe in some cases, but not in the case of the freeway builders.   Read more from Daniel Herriges with Strong Towns here.

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Southwest States Facing Tough Choices About Water As Colorado River Diminishes

Southwest states facing tough choices about water as Colorado River diminishes

This past week, California declared a statewide drought emergency. It follows the first-ever federal shortage declaration on the Colorado River, triggering cuts to water supplies in the Southwest. The Colorado is the lifeblood of the region. It waters some of the country's fastest-growing cities, nourishes some of our most fertile fields and powers $1.4 trillion in annual economic activity. The river runs more than 1,400 miles, from headwaters in the Rockies to its delta in northern Mexico where it ends…

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The Infrastructure Bill Has Passed. What Now?

The infrastructure bill has passed. What now?

We highly recommend this nuanced take on recent federal infrastructure funding outlined in the article below from Small Towns. While having additional federal infrastructure funding is crucial to the continued success of our changing communities, we also recognize that with big money comes big challenges. - Hill Country Alliance So, the behemoth of an infrastructure bill finally passed over the weekend. And there was much rejoicing… Well, not from us. At Strong Towns, we’ve been skeptical of the current bill…

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Texas Adopts New Management Rules For Chronic Wasting Disease In Deer

Texas adopts new management rules for chronic wasting disease in deer

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a new chronic wasting disease management rule package  Thursday, regulations mostly geared toward the state’s deer breeding industry. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff believe the update was necessary because the previous CWD rules were deemed inadequate to prevent the transmission of the always-deadly disease in the wake of a recent outbreak in more than 30 CWD-positive deer at seven facilities across the state.   Read more from Matt Wyatt with the Houston…

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