It's right around the corner! The SOS Holiday Party & Silent Auction is Friday, December 6th from 6pm ~ Midnight!
Join us at the American Legion's historic Charles Johnson House on Lady Bird Lake, 404 Atlanta Street to celebrate another year of being blessed with beautiful Barton Springs and to reconnect with the Save Our Springs Community. The party features everything local from food to music to our fabulous silent auction. There is a $10 donation to SOS at the door but sponsors and silent auction donors get in free.
To Sponsor the event please click here and to donate a silent auction go here.
We look forward to seeing you, your friends and your family there!
In a win for environmental groups and bird lovers, a federal judge affirmed a decision by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to reject a petition seeking removal of the golden-cheeked arbler from the endangered species list. The uber-conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, in coordination with Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, filed the de-listing petition in 2016 based on a controversial study by A&M University that has been criticized by experts as grossly overestimating the warbler’s population.
Central Texas is the only place in the world where this small, shy songbird breeds and raises chicks. It migrates from Mexico each spring to the mature oak-juniper woodlands of Travis, Hays, and surrounding counties in the Texas Hill Country. Originally listed as endangered in 1990, the warbler is a key species in the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Permit, which balances habitat protection with development in our fast-growing region.
The warbler is one of the ever-dwindling list of things that make the Central Texas area unique and extraordinary. Its protected habitat includes the Barton Creek Greenbelt, and what would Austin be without that? The rebuffing of this latest attempt to strip protections of a defenseless creature for the sake of profit is a victory worth celebrating.
Please contact our legislators and ask them to stop HB 3417 (Toth). If passed, the bill would strip the City of Austin of its ability to enforce important watershed protection ordinances, including the SOSOrdinance, in its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The health of Barton Springs and our other surface water bodies depends on these protections. Let's not let our legislature turn Austin's ETJ into a wild west for developers.
WE NEED YOUR HELP RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE THE BILL IS SCHEDULED FOR A VOTE IN THE TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON THURSDAY. PLEASE CALL ANY OR ALL OF THE REPRESENTATIVES LISTED BELOW AND TELL THEM TO STOP HB 3417.
After a distressing week-end of decision making and looking at weather forecasts we have concluded this morning that we should err on the side of safety and cancel BSU tomorrow, April 23rd. There is a 30-60% chance of rain and thunderstorms depending on which forecast you view and we feel we just cannot take the chance with almost 1,000 people, equipment, food order, tents, etc. being affected. We are saddened and disappointed to say the least. We do have the BSU in September already scheduled and approved by the City and PARD. Please MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR SEPTEMBER 17th with a rain date of September 24th for the fall BSU. We hope to keep the schedule as is but adding more speakers and activities as well as more students. Please go to www.BartonSpringsUniversity.org for updates.
We stopped the Leif Johnson Car Lot --for now. Last March, SOS was notified of plans by Leif Johnson Ford to build an 86,079 square foot car dealership in the heart of the Barton Springs Zone, immediately adjacent to the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve that protects the Golden Cheeked Warbler, an endangered species. Leif Johnson attempted to claim vested rights to exempt itself from the requirements of the City's Barton Springs Zone Overlay, which restricts retail uses in the Barton Springs Zone to no more than 50,000 square feet.
But, we fought back. After presenting our case to the City's legal department, the City agreed with us and refused to approve Leif Johnson's site plan. Leif Johnson sued the City in response, but we just got word that the City prevailed in district court. Leif Johnson will now be forced to either scale back its development or appeal the district court's decision.
We'll keep you updated as the case continues, but hopefully the Golden Cheeked Warblers can rest a little easier knowing that a giant car dealership won't be threatening their home when they return to Austin. SOS thanks Alan Watts and Save Oak Hill for their continued vigilance in opposing the car dealership and the City's legal department (especially Asst. City Attorney Chad Shaw) for being receptive to our feedback and defending the City's ordinances.
For more information about the car dealership, please visit StoptheCarLot.org.