Alliance Beginnings and Background
The South Llano Watershed Alliance, now the Llano River Watershed Alliance, grew out of the South Llano River Project.
Environmental Defense Fund’s South Llano River Project was initiated in early 2008 to begin discussions with local and regional stakeholders on the interest and feasibility of developing a plan of action to ensure the long-term protection of this rich and unique resource. Although work has initially focused on the South Llano River, there is potential for eventually widening the project area to include the greater Llano River watershed. As part of this Project, the Land of the Living Waters report was prepared. This report gives an overview of the state of the South Llano River and outlines the pressing water resource issues facing the general area. It also characterizes the importance of the river to both the local community, and the Central Texas region as a whole.
In late 2008, more than 76 people came from communities up and down the Llano River to attend the South Llano River Workshop on Saturday, November 15th. Attendees included landowners, community leaders, and resource agency representatives interested in discussing shared concerns for the flows of the South Llano River and its springs. The following January (2009), Llano River stakeholders met again to discuss next steps for forming a local coalition focused on protecting the flows of the South Llano River and it’s associated springs. The organization’s name – South Llano Watershed Alliance – was chosen and a mission statement was developed: To preserve and enhance the South Llano River and adjoining watersheds by encouraging land and water stewardship through collaboration, education, and community participation.
On May 30th, 2009, Alliance members met again to discuss the Alliance’s proposed bylaws, budget, and nominations for the Board of Directors. During June and July of 2009, the newly elected Board of Directors met to finalize the Alliance’s Non-profit application (501c3) to the IRS, formalize an Action Plan, initiate a website, and identify projects and topics for upcoming activities and workshops.