Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape

  • Texas

  • Established 2022

About

The Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape, based in the Texas Hill Country, encompasses ranch lands, spring-fed rivers, and one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Within this region, Joint Base San Antonio’s Camp Bullis provides training opportunities for 266 mission partners, supporting all DoD enlisted and officer medical training, military intelligence, special forces, pre-deployment, national, and international training requirements. With rapid population growth emanating from San Antonio and the I-35 corridor, the Texas Hill Country and Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape are facing a mounting number of challenges affecting the long-term resilience of the region’s natural resources. New development contributes to the loss of agricultural lands and increased ambient light pollution, impacting night-time military training. Growing demands on existing water supply have led to the loss of spring flow and aquifer drawdowns, impacting drinking water supplies for Camp Bullis, rural landowners, towns, and cities. These and other challenges have attracted a myriad of partners to come together to create a collective vision for how to invest in protecting the natural resources that define the region as it grows. In forming the Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape in 2022, nearly 40 partner organizations have committed to collaborate towards shared goals.

Map

Partnership Highlights

Supporting Water Quality and Quantity Through Land Stewardship

The Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape is defined by its unique surface and groundwater resources. Spring-fed creeks and rivers carve the rolling hills and connect inextricably with the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers. Both the Guadalupe and San Antonio Rivers cross the Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape, providing critical flows that support the economic and ecological vitality of the region’s rural ranchlands and growing urban areas, all the way to the bays and estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico. This part of the Texas Hill Country is home to numerous endemic species, a rich agricultural heritage, and outdoor recreation areas sought by many. Together, Sentinel Landscape partners are working to improve watershed health and promote landscape resilience through water quality and quantity protection initiatives. Partners will work with a broad diversity of stakeholders, including neighboring communities, private land stewards, as well as the development community to champion and increase investment in water conservation and land stewardship. By supporting land stewardship within aquifer recharge and contributing zones, sentinel landscape partners hope to enhance agricultural productivity as well as groundwater recharge to the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers, to protect habitat of numerous endemic species, and to reduce the risk of drought conditions, flooding, and wildfire.

Addressing Climatic Risks Through Innovative Partnerships

Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape partners, including Hill Country Alliance and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, are already advancing stewardship programs for rural landowners. These hands-on projects are designed to engage willing landowners and improve soil health through stewardship practices that enhance native plant communities, sequester carbon, increase soil moisture levels, and mitigate flooding and erosion. In the more urban and suburban portions of the region, the San Antonio River Authority is managing projects that will demonstrate effective strategies to manage water resources of the Edwards Aquifer. One such project is assessing how four different permeable pavement designs affect the water quality and quantity of stormwater runoff compared to impermeable pavement surfaces over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. Through these and other efforts, the Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape is reaching beyond traditional natural resource, agricultural, and development fields to promote improved land management and building practices that can mitigate impacts of prolonged drought, flash floods, and destructive wildfires. One of the defining features of the Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape is its broad diversity of partners, spanning local, state, and federal agencies, nonprofits, academic institutions, and private landowners. The key partners listed below begin to capture the breadth of knowledge, commitment to working across boundaries, and passion that is being marshalled to tackle the full complexity of the conservation challenges—and opportunities—the Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape faces.

Our Partners

Resources

  • Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape Profile

  • JBSA Regional Compatible Use Plan

  • State of the Hill Country: 8 Key Conservation and Growth Metrics for a Region at a Crossroads

  • Texas Land Trends

Meet the Coordinator

Daniel Oppenheimer

daniel@hillcountryalliance.org

Daniel Oppenheimer is the Land Program Director of the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) and Coordinator of the Camp Bullis Sentinel Landscape in Central Texas. Since 2017, Daniel has worked with thousands of private landowners, dozens of agency and non-profit partners, and communities across the Texas Hill Country to support private land stewardship and regional collaboration. Prior to joining HCA, Daniel coordinated the Dolores River Restoration Partnership in southwestern Colorado and eastern Utah. He is a fifth-generation Texan.

“We are excited about the recent Sentinel Landscape designation because it recognizes our partnership’s interest to work together in meeting multiple missions, to include that of promoting the military’s readiness mission. Farmers and ranchers make good neighbors to a military installation, helping safeguard the best training environments for our men and women in uniform.”

Roel Lopez, Ph.D., Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Director