Friday, July 10, 2015

Neighbor to Neighbor News Pass it on...

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here for a link to view it online. 

Neighbor to Neighbor News Pass it on...                    
July 9, 2015

Hill Country News
Industrial Wind Development Public Meeting July 16 in Mason
Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE) will be hosting a meeting July 16th to educate landowners about industrial wind development in Mason and Menard Counties. SOSHE’s recent member update also includes information about attempted legislation to end CREZ, the Blumenthal line and other news related to wind development, transmission and scenic blight. Read more
State Comptroller approves $300,000 to investigate monarch decline
Texas is getting involved in the investigation into why the monarch butterfly population has declined by more than 80% over the past 20 years. Concerns that the butterfly could become a federally-listed endangered species have prompted Comptroller Glen Hegar to fund research into the abundance and distribution of milkweed, a plant that is critical for the monarch’s migration, as well as the potential costs of a listing. Read more 

El Nino 2015
It seems like there has been a lot of discussion of an El Nino pattern this fall and the potential for higher than normal rainfall. While Texans try to make the most of the rains while we’ve got them, we wonder, what causes this pattern and what are the impacts in other places around the world? Check out this two minute video to learn more. Read more 

The History of Central Texas Floods
Raymond Slade, Jr., Registered Professional Hydrologist has been studying water resources in Central Texas for decades. Catastrophic flooding is not new to this region. Raymond’s study of historic floods in Austin provides lessons for the entire Hill Country region. Also, Ron Green of Southwest Research Institute studies advance warning for flooding in Karst regions. View these valuable presentations to learn more. Read more 

DSHS student grant to fund rainwater catchment system

Elena Lundeen wanted to help the water conservation problem, a need her community knows all too well. Her small idea became a grant-winning initiative that will continue to change the landscape of her school. Lundeen, a Dripping Springs junior, won a $1,000 grant from Rainwater Revival and Hill Country Alliance. The money will be used to develop a rainwater catchment system at the high school. Read more 

Protecting the nighttime view simple

Erin Green, Llano County Journal: Although light from Austin and other nearby cities is starting to threaten the nighttime darkness of the areas surrounding Llano and the rest of the Texas Hill Country, it is not too late to reverse the trend and protect the views of the heavens. That was the message from Matt Lara of the Hill Country Alliance, whose “Better Lights for Starry Nights” Dark Sky Program sought to address the importance of dark skies and ways  protect against light pollution, such as fixing wasteful outdoor lighting and safely, effectively and cost-efficiently lighting homes and businesses. Read more 

Scenic Texas Announces New Scenic Hill Country Chapter and Leadership
Scenic Texas, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the visual character of Texas, announced the formation of its newest chapter, Scenic Hill Country, bringing the total number of state chapters to eight. The Scenic Hill Country Chapter will work to preserve, protect and enhance the Hill Country’s scenic vistas by educating the region on the values and principles of the Scenic City Certification Program, a project of Scenic Texas and its program partners. Read more 

LCRA: Lots of water for sale
In the latest sign of the drought’s ebbing, two top officials with the Lower Colorado River Authority met with Hays County commissioners to deliver a simple message: They have spare water for sale — lots of it. The river authority, which oversees the doling out of water from lakes Travis and Buchanan, the chief reservoirs for Central Texas, has enough unreserved water to meet the washing, bathing, drinking and watering needs of roughly 230,000 households, even during a repeat of dire drought conditions. Read more

Are we “overestimating” our resources?

It’s often said that many of our aquifers and rivers are already over-allocated in Texas. In 1922, seven Western states — Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming and California — drew up an agreement on how to divide the waters of the Colorado River. But there was one big problem with the plan: They overestimated how much water the river could provide. As a result, each state was promised more water than actually exists. Read more

Soil for Water, July 17 in Fredericksburg
Many Texans are unaware of the importance of soil health in catching and retaining rainwater. Microorganisms build soil organic matter and allow it to function like a sponge: holding rainwater for long periods of time and releasing it slowly into plants, springs, creeks, rivers and aquifers. If you are interested in learning how you can build the health of your soil and keep more rainfall on your land in both times of drought and rainfall, come to the first meeting of the Soil for Water program this July 17th in Fredericksburg. Read more

Upcoming Events

July 8 in Austin: Region K RWPG meeting and public hearing on the Initially Prepared Plan (IPP) - Details

July 14 in Austin - Sierra Club Meeting: Al Gore's Climate Reality Project - Details
July 15 in San Antonio - SAWS Community Conservation Meeting - Details

July 16 in Mason - SOSHCE Industrial Wind Development Public Meeting - Details

July 17 in Fredericksburg - Soil for Water: The role soil health plays in catching and holding rainwater - Details
July 23 in Rocksprings - Region J Public Meeting to discuss and receive comments in regards to the Initially Prepared Plan (IPP) - Details

July 27 in Kerrville - Do you know who's taking over your yard? - Details
August 11 in - Abandoned Well Education & Plugging - Details

August 11 in - Austin - Sierra Club Meeting: Lone Star Rail - Details

August 18 in - Buchanan Dam - Better Lights for Starry Nights - Details

August 22 in - Rainwater Potential - Details

August 25-27 in - San Marcos - The 4th Annual Texas Groundwater Summit - Details