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Now’s the time to sow your seed

March 10, 2017 Big Bluestem, Indiangrass, and Little Bluestem are three of the four tall grasses of the Great Plains. The fourth, not pictured, is Switchgrass. Big Bluestem, Indiangrass, and Little Bluestem are three of the four tall grasses of the Great Plains. The fourth, not pictured, is Switchgrass. Every landowner has areas of land they are looking to improve. …

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Concerns about New Feral Hog Toxicant

Earlier this year, the EPA registered the warfarin-based Kaput Feral Hog Bait as a general use pesticide. Its label requirements include specific feeder designs to restrict access by non-target wildlife and disposal by burial of exposed carcasses. Last month, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) adopted emergency rules classifying the toxicant as a State-Limited-Use pesticide which would allow for its use by anyone holding or under the supervision of a Pesticide Applicator’s License.

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Appreciating Dark Skies

March 9, 2017 Spring is upon us. I see and hear many of the Hill Country’s heralds of spring; field Sparrows singing, redbud trees blooming, and frogs chorusing. It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy the gifts of nature. This weekend, I’m planning to enjoy the familiar songs of migratory birds and the fresh foliage during a quick …

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Conservation Easement Preview

HCC is working with numerous landowner partners on projects that will add to the fabric of Hill Country conservation. Working with our landowner partners, we carefully negotiate these projects to protect important conservation values and the public benefits they provide while preserving our landowner’s rights to ranching, farming, and traditional recreational uses. These deals are often complex and getting any …

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National Bird Day

Conservation benefits a variety of wildlife but today we celebrate birds. A recent conservation success involves the proposed delisting of Black-capped Vireo as an endangered species. Through partnerships involving private landowners, conservation organizations, agencies, and researchers we are closer to assuring that this charming songbird will be around in its natural setting for future generations. Delisting is the ultimate conservation …

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Celebrating Stewardship

We are all turning the final pages of the chapter that was 2016 and with these final pages we are afforded an opportunity to reflect upon the plot and progress that have proceeded. At Hill Country Conservancy, we celebrate 2016 for several successes including closing on the fourth phase of the Historic Storm Ranch, the successful expansion of our focus …

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Winter Birding and the Mixed-Species Foraging Flock

Sometimes people ask me, “When is a good time of year to watch birds around here?” Based on over twenty years of experience birding in central Texas, I tell them, “Never let the time of year stop you from watching birds.” Birds are our most accessible form of wildlife to observe and enjoy and, especially here in central Texas, every …

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Landowner Spotlight: Cecil Ruby

Tell us a little about your family land. What makes it special to you? Our grandfather purchased this property in 1937. He went to school and grew up in Buda. His grandparents and parents had lived in the area. This was a 5000+ acre property with Onion Creek running through the middle of it. Our father grew up on this …

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HCC announces permanent conservation of the 4th phase of the historic Storm Ranch!

Since 1949, after acquiring their ranch in Hays County parcel by parcel, the Storm family has been committed to good stewardship of Hill Country land. In July 2005, Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) announced the closing of Phase I of an unprecedented land preservation agreement with the Storm Ranch that would preserve this historic land and symbol of Texas’ rural heritage …

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The Brockenbrough Big Sit!

The Big Sit! is an annual, international, noncompetitive birding event – this year, Hill Country Conservancy and Texas Land Conservancy are teaming up to bring the competition to Central Texas. The event is similar to a Big Day or a bird-a-thon in that the object is to tally as many bird species as can be seen or heard within 24 hours. The difference lies in the area limitation from which you may observe.