Notice of Public Meeting

Fort Bend County and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will conduct a public meeting regarding the proposed improvements to FM 1093 from SH 99 to FM 1463 in Fort Bend County. The meeting will be held on October 27, 2011 at Seven Lakes High School, which is located at 9251 South Fry Road, Katy, Texas 77494. The meeting will be held in an open house format from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to gather public input on the proposed widening of FM 1093 from SH 99 to FM 1463. FM 1093 within the project limits is currently a two-lane undivided rural roadway. The proposed project would consist of a four-lane divided tollway with non-tolled, two-lane continuous frontage roads.

Exhibits showing aerial photography and schematic plans of the proposed project corridor will be presented at the meeting. Representatives from Fort Bend County, TxDOT and their study team will be available to answer individual questions. Public comments are encouraged. The schematic plan showing the proposed alternatives is on file and available for inspection at the Fort Bend County Offices at 1124-52 Blume Road, Rosenberg, Texas 77471 and the TxDOT Houston District Office at 7600 Washington Avenue, Houston, Texas 77007. TxDOT and County offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding state holidays.

Additional right-of-way would be required for the proposed project and some displacements would be necessary. Personnel from the TxDOT Right-of-Way Section will be available to discuss TxDOT’s Relocation Assistance Program that provides benefits and services for those that may be displaced. Information about the tentative right-of-way acquisition schedule can be obtained from the District office.

Persons interested in attending the public meeting who have special communication or accommodation needs are encouraged to contact TxDOT’s Public Information Office at 713-802-5072 at least two working days prior to the meeting. Since the public meeting will be conducted in English, any requests for language interpreters or other special communication needs should also be made at least two working days prior to the public meeting. TxDOT will make every reasonable effort to accommodate these needs.

All interested citizens are invited to attend this public meeting. Written comments relative to the proposed project may be presented at the meeting or submitted to the Director of Project Development, Texas Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 1386, Houston, Texas 77251-1386, at any time on or before November 10, 2011. Comments may also be emailed on or before November 10, 2011 to HOU-PIOWebMail@ txdot.gov.

In April of this year, the EPA and Corps of Engineers issued draft guidance for determining whether a waterway, water body or wetland is protected by the Clean Water Act (CWA). This wetlands guidance is necessary because over the past decade, several U.S. Supreme Court rulings have removed certain critical waters and wetlands from protection under the CWA. These rulings limiting the definition of a jurisdictional wetland have been felt acutely in the Galveston Bay area, as thousands of acres of our prairie pothole wetlands have been determined to no longer be protected under the CWA. Fortunately, the wetlands guidance would bring these wetlands back under the protection of the CWA and reaffirm the intent of the act by protecting all “waters of the United States.”
(via We must protect our prairie potholes - Houston Chronicle)

In April of this year, the EPA and Corps of Engineers issued draft guidance for determining whether a waterway, water body or wetland is protected by the Clean Water Act (CWA). This wetlands guidance is necessary because over the past decade, several U.S. Supreme Court rulings have removed certain critical waters and wetlands from protection under the CWA. These rulings limiting the definition of a jurisdictional wetland have been felt acutely in the Galveston Bay area, as thousands of acres of our prairie pothole wetlands have been determined to no longer be protected under the CWA. Fortunately, the wetlands guidance would bring these wetlands back under the protection of the CWA and reaffirm the intent of the act by protecting all “waters of the United States.”

(via We must protect our prairie potholes - Houston Chronicle)

Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Mary Manor Preserve, which houses a wetland mitigation project funded by Ducks Unlimied, in October 2010 (top) and May 2011 (bottom). Texas is currently in the throes of one of the worst single-year droughts on record. 

(Source: katyprairie.org)

More blue-winged teal than most waterfowlers have seen in their lives are heading south, aiming for a layover in Texas on their hopscotching, southbound migration to wintering grounds in Mexico and South America. But that record number of teal, and the waterfowlers who hope to greet them, will find perhaps the least amount of usable wetland habitat Texas has held in decades. (via Drought limits habitat for record numbers of incoming teal - Houston Chronicle)

More blue-winged teal than most waterfowlers have seen in their lives are heading south, aiming for a layover in Texas on their hopscotching, southbound migration to wintering grounds in Mexico and South America. But that record number of teal, and the waterfowlers who hope to greet them, will find perhaps the least amount of usable wetland habitat Texas has held in decades. (via Drought limits habitat for record numbers of incoming teal - Houston Chronicle)

Hawk Migration in full swing! Visit the Katy Prairie to see droves as these raptors migrating through the area. (via Those birds in the sky? Hawks - Houston Chronicle)

Hawk Migration in full swing! Visit the Katy Prairie to see droves as these raptors migrating through the area. (via Those birds in the sky? Hawks - Houston Chronicle)

feathersandbeaks:

Barn owl

feathersandbeaks:

Barn owl

(via Texas wildfires claim 2 more lives - Houston Chronicle)
A bald eagle over the Katy Prairie. The prairie boasts several bald eagles that enjoy the prairie year-round. Photo by Jimmy Kall.

A bald eagle over the Katy Prairie. The prairie boasts several bald eagles that enjoy the prairie year-round. Photo by Jimmy Kall.

A cub scout helps plant a grass plug at KPC’s Seed Stomp in October 2011. Over 100 people came out to help scatter native seed and plant grasses at KPC’s Matt Cook Wildlife Viewing Platform

A cub scout helps plant a grass plug at KPC’s Seed Stomp in October 2011. Over 100 people came out to help scatter native seed and plant grasses at KPC’s Matt Cook Wildlife Viewing Platform

The first week of August, when daily temperatures climbed to 107 or so, a bison escaped from a ranch in Manchaca, on the southwest side of the city, and wandered into the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center seven miles away, where it spent several days grazing in the savanna grasslands.

Gardeners are embracing those prairie grasses with equal enthusiasm because of their heat and drought tolerance. These natives can be found in many of the city’s lawns, ornamental gardens and even green roofs. Remarkably, these deep-rooted plants can adjust to shallow soils, helping to cool houses and absorb rain — when there is some.