Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Neighbor to Neighbor News June 23, 2014

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June 23, 2014

Hill Country News

The Ebb and Flow of a Sustainable Water Plan
As the drought in Texas has intensified over the last several years, the water plan has taken on new prominence. A new report from the Texas Center for Policy Studies examines whether the planning process is producing useful results, and, if not, how it can be improved. Read more from Mary Kelly.

TxDOT considers new heights for billboards – public hearing Tuesday
“There [are] two big areas that are going to be impacted, all areas that are outside of cities because counties don't have any regulatory authority over signage... and cities who have not adopted a height regulation,” Lloyd said. “There are many cities in Texas that have no height regulation on billboards because the state is the controlling entity.” Read more from Impact News. The public hearing will be held at 9am on Tuesday, June 24th at 125 E. 11th in Austin. Scenic Comal County, a group formed to advocate for local billboard control is urging Hill Country residents to speak up. Read more from the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. More links and references about Hill Country billboards can be found here.

Keeping Rivers Flowing, final webinar this Wednesday, June 25
“Innovative Strategies to Protect and Restore Rivers,” is a 3-part webinar series designed to inform people about strategies to ensure the future health of Texas’ rivers, bays and estuaries. If you missed session one and two, you can find them posted on the Texas Living Waters website. Mark your calendars and register now for the final session on Wednesday, June 25th. Great work by our friends at Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation and the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment.

Texas Watershed Steward Workshop, July 17 in Dripping Springs
The AgriLife Extension will be hosting a free, one-day educational workshop designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by getting involved in local watershed protection and management activities. Learn more

First Home Powered by the Sun in Mason
Mason County Habitat for Humanity completed the first Solar PV (photovoltaic) system powered home in the city of Mason. The house was constructed to the latest green building standards and to the 2102 building code energy requirements. Read more from Mason County News.

Rainwater harvesting: simple idea, big benefits
Installing a rainwater collection system costs about the same or less than drilling a well but offers multiple advantages, making it the more economical and environmentally-friendly choice in the long run. Most importantly, rainwater collection systems do not deplete underlying aquifers the way wells do, making them much more reliable sources of water. Read more from the Hondo Anvil Herald.

Don't count your El Niño before it hatches
Much has been said in recent weeks and months about the development of an El Niño system this fall that could bring a "wetter than average" season to Texas and the Hill Country, possibly ending our region's recent drought. The latest satellite images have led some to urge caution in an overly optimistic El Niño forecast. Find more details in this AgriLife article.

Better Lights for Better Nights Conference
The City of Dripping Springs, in partnership with the International Dark Sky Association Texas (IDA Texas), will host the Better Lights for Better Nights Conference on Friday, August 15, 2014 at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park Events Center. Details

Outdoor lighting has carelessly, and often unintentionally, increased light pollution. The trend goes hand in hand with population growth and land fragmentation. The undesirable effects of light pollution make our region less attractive to visitors who play an important role in many local economies

Upcoming Events

June 23 in Kerrville - Hill Country Master Naturalist Meeting, Topic: Hill Country Native Plants We Need to Conserve, Speaker: Botanist Bill Carr - Free and open to the public - Details
June 25 - Keeping Rivers Flowing Webinar Series #3: The Historic Murray-Darling Basin - Details
June 28 - 10th Annual Great American Backyard Campout - Details

July 11 in Boerne - 2014 New Landowner Series: Back to Basics, Home Gardening, Chickens, Natural vs. Organic - Presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Details

July 17 in Dripping Springs - Texas Watershed Steward Workshop - Presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Details

July 19 in Kerrville - Water Conservation: Best Practices at the Riverside Nature Center - Details
July 23 in Spring Branch - Comal County Land & Water Expo - Hosted by the Central Texas Conservation Partnership - Details

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