Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Neighbor to Neighbor News February 18, 2014

Neighbor to Neighbor News Pass it on...                    
February 18, 2014
Hill Country News
Farm Bill Update: The Agriculture Act of 2014 and Conservation
With the enactment of the Agriculture Act of 2014, known to most of us as the Farm Bill, landowners have more certainty about the availability of federal funds for conservation on farm and ranch lands. The Farm Bill provides up to $57 billion dollars over the next five years to support a variety of rural land conservation activities, including the dedication of conservation easements, and eliminates some of the complexity of the varied conservation programs. Read more from Braun & Gresham.
Public Invited to Outdoor Adventure Showcase at LBJ State Park
Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site presents a day of family fun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, featuring adventure and hands-on experiences for all ages. Representatives from a dozen central Texas state parks and state natural areas will be on hand to showcase the area’s rich natural and cultural resources. Learn More
Success Stories of Trails in Texas
The National Park Service, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program is working on trail projects throughout Texas including urban trails in Austin and San Antonio and the Llano River Biodiversity trail at Texas Tech University in Junction. Learn More  
TWDB solicits public comments
Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is hosting a discussion about the implementation of historic legislation creating the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). This discussion is the third of several meetings that TWDB is hosting related to prospective rulemaking for House Bill 4, 83rd Texas Legislature. Learn More
Globe At Night – Get Out and Observe the Night Sky!
The Globe at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone. This hands-on learning activity is designed for schools, students, communities and families. The more participation we inspire in the Hill Country the better data we’ll have for our region. It’s easy, learn more at

Water Blues
“How much IS too much?” Is the rate of growth northwest of San Antonio undermining the good efforts of land conservation investment over the aquifer recharge area? These tough questions are explored in the new documentary film project, Water Blues. View clips by location or issue and pass along to others.

Hill Country Land Trust Acquires 685 Acre Easement in Gillespie County
“A wonderful diversity of native plants is found on this property, and many years of excellent wildlife and range management by the owners is evident,” says HCLT President, Katherine Peake. “But even more exciting to us is that this property contains habitat of the Golden-cheeked Warbler. We consider this easement one of HCLT’s crown jewels.” Read More
For Central Texas Educators: Groundwater to the Gulf
Every year, water experts from over 13 agencies in Central Texas combine forces to take 50 teachers to the aquatic hotspots in and around Austin. We go caving, canoeing, hiking, and splash in streams--all in the name of science. It is the most fun, free way to earn 22 continuing education credits. Dip your hands into local water topics and try activities that help bring those topics back to your classroom. Visit the Groundwater to the Gulf Registration page for more details including photos from years past, registration link, and sponsor info. Learn More

Early Voting Begins Today
Early voting for the March Primary begins today (February 18th) and extends through Friday, February 28th.  Election Day is Tuesday March 4th.  Learn about your local ballot and vote for those who support your Hill Country conservation values.

Upcoming Events
February 14 & 21 - San Antonio Environmental Challenges: "Opportunities in Resiliency" - Two-Day Conference - Details

February 21 in San Antonio - City Forum, "Careers in Planning: Insights from CRP Alumni" - Details
February 22 in Stonewall - Outdoor Adventure Showcase at LBJ State Park - Details
February 25 in San Marcos - Central Texas Water Conservation Symposium - "Keeping Your Head Above Water: Maximizing Alternate Water Sources" - Details
February 26-28 in Austin - 2014 Texas Land Conservation Conference - Details

March 1 - HCA Photo Contest Begins!

March 1-2 in Bastrop - Texas Audubon Chapter Assembly, featuring Andy Sansom - Details

March 7 in Fredericksburg - 2014 New Landowner Series: "Introduction, Neighbor Relations, Tax Valuations, Well and Septic Permits, Grazing and Hunting Leases" - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details
March 17-23 - National Wildlife Week! "Wildlife and Water: From the Mountains to the Rivers to the Oceans" - National Wildlife Week gives families, educators and community groups the chance to connect kids with wildlife and explore the world around them - Details

March 21-22 in Bandera - First event in the Bandera County Water Awareness Series - Workshop free and open to the public - Details

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