Tag Archive | "environment"

Less than a month after a wildfire burned through Inks Lake State Park, this cactus is showing signs of growth in the midst of burned trees and bare earth. Park staff will document the property’s regrowth in the coming months on social media profiles. Staff photo by Jared Fields

New signs of life in charred portions of Inks Lake State Park following July wildfire

STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS BURNET — Just over a month after a wildfire at Inks Lake State Park, the public will have a unique opportunity to view what happens to Hill Country terrain as plant life returns to the area. (more…)

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Michael Wright shows his opposition to a planned quarry and rock crusher on 281 acres next to the Double Horn Creek subdivision during a Sept. 8 rally. Wright, who lives in Double Horn Creek, fears the facility would increase the amount of dust and traffic in the area. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Residents rally against planned quarry, rock crusher between Spicewood neighborhoods

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON SPICEWOOD — More than two dozen people braved a potential storm Sept. 8 in an effort to stop a planned quarry and rock crusher being built between the Double Horn Creek and Spicewood Trails subdivisions. (more…)

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This map shows the proposed site of the Spicewood Crushed Stone quarry on Texas 71 in the Spicewood community. According to an information sheet from the company, the quarry is on 281 acres and ‘is strategically positioned to meet the needs of the surrounding community and support the growing economy.’ Courtesy illustration

Two groups plan weekend rally against proposed Spicewood rock crusher and quarry

FROM STAFF REPORTS SPICEWOOD — Opponents of a proposed rock crusher and quarry hoping to dig in between two Spicewood residential communities are holding rallies on Sept. 8-9 at the Double Horn Creek subdivision entrance starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. (more…)

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Recent wildfires across the Highland Lakes this summer, such as the Park Road 4 fire in late July, highlight the need for property owners to prepare for such emergencies. A good place to start is the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise USA program, which ‘teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses.’ The Kingsland Garden Club program on Thursday, Sept. 7, is about Firewise landscaping. The meeting is at 1 p.m. in the Kingsland Branch Library, 125 W. Polk. It’s free to attend and open to the public. Courtesy photo by Robert and Sheryl Yantis

Become ‘firewise’ to protect your home; program is Sept. 7

FROM STAFF REPORTS KINGSLAND — As housing developments and other homes push farther into rural areas, the chances that wildfires could become a serious threat to homes and structures increases. In the past several months, at least five wildfires of 300 acres or more have burned parts of the Highland Lakes with two requiring evacuations […]

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The fate of a waterway dredging operation hangs in the balance as Llano County residents assemble groups to try to defeat a plan for a mining company to remove sand from a portion of Sandy Creek. Courtesy photo

Save Sandy Creek meeting Aug. 16 over ‘sand mine’ concerns

FROM STAFF REPORTS SUNRISE BEACH VILLAGE — Those interested in how a proposed “sand mine” in Sandy Creek will affect the area can attend a public presentation Aug. 16. (more…)

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A wildfire forced the evacuation of Inks Lake State Park and nearby homes on CR 114 to Park Road 4 in Burnet County. Courtesy photo

Burnet County disaster declaration, burn ban remain due to wildfires, dry conditions

STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS BURNET — Burnet County remains under a Declaration of Disaster and outdoor burn ban as hot, dry conditions continue after two major wildfires. (more…)

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The city of Llano on Aug. 4 announced Stage 5 water restrictions, the final step in its Drought Contingency Plan. File photo

UPDATE: Llano modifies Stage 5 restrictions to allow sprinkler system use one day per week

  UPDATE: As of Aug. 7, the city of Llano modified its Stage 5 restrictions to allow residents to irrigate with sprinkler systems or hose-end sprinklers once per week on designated watering day from 7-10 p.m. Filling or refilling of any pools and/or hot tubs is allowed in lieu of landscape irrigation. Also, water rate […]

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The Smith West Fire in northern Blanco County and southern Llano County has had a devastating effect on vegetation. Firefighters and emergency workers worked around the clock to get the fire under control. Courtesy photo

Crews make progress in two wildfires but worry weather will worsen conditions

FROM STAFF REPORTS LLANO — Fire crews are still fighting two wildfires that have burned about 1,800 acres in Llano and Blanco counties, but they’ve made progress in battling the two separate blazes. (more…)

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An environmental group critical of a planned Sandy Creek dredging operation has offered development recommendations to government leaders and private companies in charge of decisions about granting permits. Photo courtesy of Collier Materials

Environmental group offers ‘good neighbor’ suggestions for mining operations

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY SUNRISE BEACH VILLAGE — Environmental groups and government entities have drafted resolutions and proposed stricter oversight on the burgeoning mining industry as planned dredging operations await word about permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. (more…)

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A proposed rock crusher and quarry operation south of the Texas 71 and U.S. 281 intersection drew protests from residents. A lawsuit filed by the city of Marble Falls, two property owners, and a residential development challenged the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s permitting process. A recent opinon by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was in favor of TCEQ, but the plaintiffs said they’ll keep pressing legal action. File photo

Mining opponents vow to continue lawsuit after AG opinion favors TCEQ permit process

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY AUSTIN — Opponents of a planned rock crushing facility south of Marble Falls vowed May 17 to continue with a lawsuit aimed at halting mining operations, despite the Texas attorney general’s defense of the state’s permitting process. (more…)

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Llano County is under a burn ban, which only prohibits aerial fireworks. However, officials worry residents will light permissible fireworks to celebrate San Jacinto Day on April 21, despite the dry conditions and fire danger.

Officials: Before you light fireworks on San Jacinto Day, pay heed to dry conditions

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY LLANO — Since state lawmakers added more days to the calendar for fireworks sales and use, the upcoming San Jacinto Day celebration April 21 has some public safety officials concerned about careless revelers. (more…)

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100-acre brush blaze east of Marble Falls sparks fire danger warning

100-acre brush blaze east of Marble Falls sparks fire danger warning

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY JONESTOWN — A 100-acre brush fire off RR 1431 east of Marble Falls, which resulted in injuries to at least two firefighters, prompted Burnet County officials on April 12 to ask residents not to burn outdoors for the next couple of days due to the fire danger. (more…)

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Texas A&M Forest Service Wildland Urband Interface specialist Jake Gosschalk clears some underbrush March 14 adjacent to the Marble Falls High School auditorium. The forest service crew, along with Marble Falls Fire Rescue and Marble Falls Area Volunteer Fire Department members, created a 30-foot ‘defensible space’ to limit the fuel available for a wildfire. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

‘Defensible spaces’ can protect homes and businesses from wildfires

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON MARBLE FALLS — The chain saws ripped through underbrush and cedars as Marble Falls firefighters and Texas A&M Forest Service crews cleared away a swath of overgrown brush, cedar, and vegetation alongside the Marble Falls High School auditorium. (more…)

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PHOTOS: Inks Lake drawdown changes landscape

PHOTOS: Inks Lake drawdown changes landscape

  Inks Lake State Park has a new look courtesy of a Lower Colorado River Authority drawdown. The LCRA lowered the lake in early January by about 8 feet to allow for maintenance, debris removal, and repair work for residents and businesses on Inks Lake. The drawdown is only temporary, so Inks Lake State Park […]

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landfill_stock

Burnet County ban on commercial landfills to protect water, resources

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY BURNET — Burnet County commissioners recently approved an order prohibiting commercial landfill operations in unincorporated parts of the county to protect water and ground resources. (more…)

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Billowing smoke coming from Balcones Canyonlands's prescribed burn

Billowing smoke coming from Balcones Canyonlands’s prescribed burn

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY BURNET COUNTY — Where there’s smoke, there’s fire on RR 1431 East of Marble Falls, but for good reason, officials said. On Jan. 4, Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crews launched the 2018 prescribed burn season across 134 acres on the refuge’s Beard Lowlands unit. […]

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Old Christmas tree

PEC offering free Christmas tree recycling through Jan. 8

JOHNSON CITY — Pedernales Electric Cooperative is offering free Christmas tree recycling at its local offices. Bring natural, undecorated trees to the locations below for mulching. (more…)

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The drawdown of Inks Lake will be from Jan. 2-Feb. 13, 2018. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

Inks Lake property owners should pay heed to rules prior to drawdown

FROM STAFF REPORTS BURNET — Lower Colorado River Authority officials have asked lakeside property owners to follow a few steps prior to repair and dredging plans during an upcoming Inks Lake drawdown. (more…)

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The drawdown of Inks Lake will be from Jan. 2-Feb. 13, 2018. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

LCRA to lower Inks Lake for repairs, nuisance plant mitigation

FROM STAFF REPORTS BURNET — Inks Lake shoreline property owners will have a chance to maintain and repair docks and retaining walls as well as curb the growth of aquatic nuisance plants during an upcoming waterway drawdown, according to a Lower Colorado River Authority news release. (more…)

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Collier Materials in Burnet County has applied for a air quality permit with the state to construct a rock crusher at one of its quarry sites in the Tobyville area. Photo Courtesy http://colliermaterials.com/

Tobyville residents, quarry owner at odds over rock crusher impact

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY TOBYVILLE — Opponents of a proposed rock crusher on a quarry property in the Tobyville area have cited concerns about groundwater quality, truck traffic and dust, while the owner contends he’s a “good neighbor” in a growing industry. Collier Materials is seeking approval of a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality air […]

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Several hundred people with a number in support of the Highland Lakes Clean Air Coalition were asked to minimize spoken discontent at a TCEQ air quality permit public meeting Oct. 26, so the audience used  signs to communicate their opinion towards speakers at the event. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

Output estimate, quarry plans unveiled for proposed rock crusher site

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY MARBLE FALLS — From healthcare officials to city leaders, hundreds of people attended a public meeting Oct. 26 hosted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to answer questions about a controversial air quality permit connected to a proposed rock crushing operation. (more…)

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Members of the Highland Lakes Clean Air Coalition, who have staged protests in August and September against a proposed rock crusher, announced a rally Oct. 26 prior to a TCEQ air quality permit meeting at Lakeside Pavilion in Marble Falls. Courtesy photo

Marble Falls rally Oct. 26 against proposed rock crusher permit

FROM STAFF REPORTS MARBLE FALLS — The Highland Lakes Clean Air Coalition has organized a rally Oct. 26 in advance of a public meeting being held by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in connection to a pending air quality permit for a proposed rock crusher plant. (more…)

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District 24 State Sen. Dawn Buckingham

TCEQ extends deadline for commenting period on rock crusher permit

FROM STAFF REPORTS AUSTIN — The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has again extended the commenting period for an air quality standard permit for a proposed rock crusher as well as set a date for an informational meeting on the process. (more…)

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Republic Services employees sort through recycling. Marble Falls residents can now recycle even more items through an agreement between the city and Republic Services. Photo from Republic Services Facebook page

Marble Falls recycling service expands with bigger bins, more items

FROM STAFF REPORTS MARBLE FALLS — Recycling just got easier in Marble Falls. On Oct. 2, Marble Falls residents started using bigger, 95-gallon recycling bins, but it wasn’t just the size of the bin that expanded thanks to a June agreement between the city and Republic Services, the local waste management provider. An amendment to […]

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Opponents of a proposed rock crusher facility (pictured here Sept. 30) on U.S. 281 just south of Marble Falls are planning a second weekend of protests Oct. 7-8 at the intersection of 281 and CR 403 to express concerns about what they believe is an air quality issue should the operation move forward. Courtesy photo

Rock crusher opponents, advocates clash on danger of crystalline silica

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY AUSTIN — Opponents of two rock crusher permits in Burnet County have raised concerns about air quality connected to a substance called crystalline silica, but industry advocates scoff at their claims, saying the science does not support fears about pollution. (more…)

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A group of protesters stand at the entryway of a planned rock crushing facility at the intersection of U.S. 281 and CR 403 intersection this past weekend. They expressed their concerns about a pending Texas Commission on Environmental Quality air-quality permit for Asphalt Inc., which would operate the rock crusher. Photo courtesy of Highland Lakes Clean Air organization

TCEQ unveils public meeting process on rock crusher air quality permits

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY AUSTIN — As the potential approval of air quality permits for two planned rock crushing operations looms, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is offering insight into the public meeting process prior to decisions on the permits. (more…)

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