HCA Issue Papers
Effective hillside stewardship balances healthy plant communities and soils with the landowner’s goals for long-term land management. When landowners can slow and sink water into the land, this physical process provides a variety of benefits, including reduced erosion, increased soil moisture and grass production, flood mitigation, groundwater replenishment, habitat enhancement, and increasing the flow of spring-fed creeks.
County Tools for Managing Growth
In 2022, a coalition of partners hired Gap Strategies to explore how counties in Texas are using their existing regulatory authorities to manage growth and steward natural resources in their communities. The results of this survey, as well as examples of innovation and ideas for the future are shared in an executive summary and published in a full (61-page) and abridged (12-page) report format. Learn more here.
Reports, Guides, and Regional Studies
This guidebook is a resource for any Hill Country leader who wants to promote more thoughtful development in their community. It is broken into chapters focused on different local policies that can guide development that is protective of our local context, with examples from across our region.
This resource from the Hill Country Alliance – created in May 2023 – is meant to demystify the available tools for groundwater management and make groundwater planning and management more accessible across the Hill Country.
One Water in the Texas Hill Country: A Guidebook for Connecting Communities with Projects and Professionals
A joint project of Hill Country Alliance and the National Wildlife Federation, this guidebook is intended to connect Hill Country communities facing growth and increased demands for water with water professionals experienced with One Water strategies, planning, implementation, design and construction.
This case study presents multiple land conservation and source water protection programs, their successes and funding sources. Ultimately, the study suggests priority protection areas and a road map for implementing a successful source water protection program in the Pedernales River Basin.
This 2023 plan provides data-driven solutions and priorities for conserving natural resources within the Texas Hill Country and includes a written report, maps, and recommendations for a path forward based on input from over 2,800 Texans.
This report from the Texas Hill Country Conservation Network defines and calculates eight metrics for tracking trends related to changes in the natural resources of the Texas Hill Country.
In 2016, the Network released this report describing the joint research and practitioner-based effort to understand the network and narrative that shapes Hill Country conservation opportunities and outcomes.
Report summarizing the findings and recommendations of the Hill Country Studio convened by The University of Texas School of Architecture (UTSOA) to outline strategies that might be used to protect the region’s extraordinary economic and natural resources.