Local landowners and supporters began to organize well over a year ago to stop the CREZ line from coming through our part of the Hill Country and it paid off. The line is going south of us through Junction and Kerrville, down I-10. From day one we were short of money, short of voters, short of big name lawyers, short of organization, short of time and most of all short of knowledge on how to stop the powerful and connected from running this power line through Mason County.
The Texas Hill Country Heritage Association was formed, a membership drive started, and several thousand dollars were raised to educate the public and come up with a plan. The Subregional Planning Commission was formed to ensure coordination from the relative government agencies and the learning process began. It became increasingly obvious that affected landowners were going to have to enter into the intervention process and the P-Line Intervention Fund was put together. Right at 1/4 million dollars was raised from landowners and supporters in Mason, Menard and Gillespie Counties. This money was used solely for lawyers and expert witnesses and while all the bills are not in yet, it looks like it took it all to get the job done.
This community should feel really good about itself and the numerous citizens that stepped up and contributed to this process. I wouldn't attempt to list all of the people who stepped up at just the right time and contributed to the success of this endeavor. The hours and hours of meetings, mountains of paperwork, constant phone calls, e-mails, letters and testimonies given in court, give us but a small window into the enormous efforts contributed by a lot of different people throughout this process. As always, the right people stepped up at the right time. This includes the people that put their hard earned cash into a project with a highly dubious outcome. This community and its future generations owe you all a hearty thank you.
In my opinion, we have a unique opportunity to capitalize on our experience gained from this effort and set some things in place that will give the next government-inspired project some pause before they attempt to run over Mason County. Our historic sites need to be registered and expanded to protect them in the future. The same applies to geological, archaeological and environmental sites that could be identified and registered without landowners providing access or giving up any private property rights. This can be done at the local level with the Texas Hill Country Heritage Association providing the vehicle for coordination and initial funding. The end result would highlight the uniqueness of our part of the hill country, its history and the community values of the its people. The information has been put together and needs to be utilized to put roadblocks up all across this county. Let's head off the next attempt to take our land away from us before it has a chance to get started. If you want to be involved, watch for the next meeting of the THCHA which will be scheduled soon. Thank you everyone for a job well done.