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  • Tuesday, January 12, 2016 10:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We Survived!

    A tough bunch made the New Year's Day Meet & Greet.  Stalwart Friends members and new friends braved the cold temperature and winds to enjoy an interpretive hike led by Lynette Holtz and the gathered for homemade cookies and hot chocolate.

  • Tuesday, December 29, 2015 1:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sunday the 27th was a bit blustery but the plant walk  lead by Joan Mukherjee was a great success if you go by the number of pants we identified, I lost count after 40.

    We had to wait about half an hour for the rain to taper off but we squeezed in about a two hour walk before the next rain band came in.  

    Joan had the fire stoked up and hot chocolate and cookies waiting for us so we warmed up quickly.  Here we're checking out a huge hackberry.

  • Saturday, November 14, 2015 3:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The first of a series of learning workshops was led by Deborah Holle and Jean Nance on Saturday, November 14.  Sixteen people learned the process and techniques of leading a successful nature walk. 

    Some folks were new to the Hill Country, some experienced naturalists and one came from as far away as Paradise (Texas that is).  The day was paradise for hiking, cool and colorful.

    The “walk and talk” included how to’s about preparation, structure, adaptability and practice, practice, practice.  The birders, photographers and plant enthusiasts among the group all had something to see.  It was a beautiful and informative day in the Hill Country.

  • Tuesday, November 10, 2015 9:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    During the FOB Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 8 four new members were elected to the Board of Directors and executive positions were filled.  Pictured left to right; Gary Caylor, Joan Mukherjee, Bill Carr, Pat Wilkinson (Treasurer), Lynette Holtz, Evelyn Nugent, Fred Zagst, Dub Lyon (President), Jane Brunclik (Vice President) and Erica Yake (Secretary).  Not pictured Jim Nosler (Government Relations Director).

  • Tuesday, November 10, 2015 8:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Though the morning hike started off blustery, Sunday turned out to be a beautiful autumn day for the Friends of Balcones meeting and awards luncheon.

    Post hike David Maple talked about the state of the Refuge and Cindy Fronk gave out volunteer awards.  In addition to the volunteers who received recognition from the Refuge there were several awards given by the Friends of Balcones to members who had gone beyond the call of duty.

    Cathy Harrington who will soon be hitting the road in her RV was recognized for her many years and thousands of hours dedicated to the Refuge.  From organizing the CBC and Songbird Festival and more to creating this website Cathy’s skills will be sorely missed.

    Karen Kilfeather was a founding member of the FOB and was our photography and graphics guru.  Karen is the caretaker for the Peaceful Springs tract and was instrumental in bringing it into the Refuge.

    Joan Mukherjee not only placed her ranch into a conservation easement managed by Balcones Canyonlands NWR but she spearheaded the effort to purchase Peaceful Springs.

    FOB President Dub Lyon has devoted 12,500 hours to Balcones Canyonlands and was honored for becoming the National Wildlife Refuge Association’s 20 15 Volunteer of the Year.

    The Flying X looked very festive with autumn themed décor on the table thanks to Sandy Gilchrist and Sharon Macut organized the a hearty lunch with help from board members.

    As you can see happy socializing followed.

  • Thursday, October 22, 2015 3:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2015 1:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Oct. 1, one of the most vibrant and important land conservation programs--the Land and Water Conservation Fund--expired. We need your help to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). 

    From protecting endemic bird and plant species at the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii to conserving working landscapes in the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge, the LWCF has protected nearly 2 million acres in the Refuge System in the past 50 years. 

    The fund--which has wide bi-partisan support and uses monies that are NOT taxpayer dollars--authorizes revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling be put into a fund of up to $900 million annually. Help us reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million per year, and of that, provide $173.8 million in FY16 for conservation easements and refuge land acquisitions.


    Please urge your representatives to act now: Reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund to help conserve the habitats for endemic species and wildlife. Help conserve biodiversity for the present and future generations.
    Take action today!

    Act Now

  • Tuesday, October 20, 2015 11:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Carl Schwope, fire management officer at Balcones Canyonlands NWR, is featured in this months Flyer newsletter from the National Wildlife Association .

    There is also a feature article on the Refuge itself.  No doubt it was inspired when folks from the Association come out to present Dub Lyon with the 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award                   

  • Wednesday, October 14, 2015 3:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On September 28 Friends President, Dub Lyon, was presented with the National Wildlife Refuge Association 2015 Volunteer of the Year at the Flying X Ranch.

    Cynthia Martinez, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System and David Houghton, President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association flew in  to present Dub with his well deserved honor.  

    Here David Houghton is presenting Dub with the 2015 Volunteer of the Year award.

    Acting Refuge Manager, David Maple presented Dub with a flag flown over our nation's capital sent by Rep Roger Williams.

  • Wednesday, October 14, 2015 8:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    This summer volunteers collected over 150,000 milkweed seeds for the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Centers as part of Monarch Joint Venture.  They collected antelope horn, zizotes and some rarer wand milkweed seeds.  We were lucky to have Dominique O'Connor as our Monarch intern this summer.  Dominique oversaw our collection and helped develop two new Environmental Education programs; All about the Monarchs and Bee Helpful to Pollinators.

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