Rachael Lindsey, Director of Science and Stewardship for the Hill Country Conservancy, provided the program at the meeting last Wednesday.
Rachel gave an overview of what defines the Hill Country, including geography, climate, vegetation, geology and soils.
One of the biggest challenges is the present and future availability of water for our needs. The aquifers are a complex system that provides much of the Hill County's drinking water, and the goal is to allow as much rainwater as possible to make its way into the aquifers to replenish what we remove.
An interesting part of the program included information on the Biotic Pump Theory, detailing how removing forests leads to reduced rainfall. The forests pull the moist air from the coastal areas to the continental interiors.
Contrary to popular wisdom, even the often maligned cedar trees of the Hill Country have numerous benefits. While removing large forests of cedar often bring long dormant springs back to life, it is temporary, and the ability of soils to retain nutrients and provide vegetative growth diminishes over time.
For additional information and opportunities to consider conservation easements, you can contact Rachael@hillcountryconservancy.org