Making a Difference: Restoring the Range

David Bamberger

David Bamberger (center), founder of the Bamberger Ranch Preserve.

When Ohioan J. David Bamberger first moved to San Antonio, Texas as a vacuum cleaner sales representative, he was charmed by the dry, grass covered rangeland of the Texas Hill Country. But much of the land was degraded. It had been overgrazed by cattle and was left with thin soil and dried-up creeks.

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Society and the Environment: Bats and Bridges

Congress Avenue bridge bats

Mexican free-tailed bats leave their roost under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas, to hunt for insects.

A large colony of Mexican free-tailed bats lives under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. These bats eat millions of insects a night, so they are welcome neighbors. Communities around the country and around the world have learned of the bats and have asked Austin for help in building bat-friendly bridges. But all that the people of Austin knew was that the bats appeared after the Congress Avenue Bridge was rebuilt in the 1980s. What attracted the bats? The people of Austin had to do a little research.

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