Dale Bolton

Director of Programming and Operations

Dale is responsible for all of HPPR's programming. As Director of Programming and Operations, he supervise the programming staff  and directs the development of new programs.

Dale was born in Southern California and is a graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA.  His history with HPPR goes back to 1987 when he took the job as HPPR's third Executive Director. In 1995 he left the station to pursue other interests including managing a retail computer store and designing computer databases. Dale rejoined HPPR in December 2010 as the operations director and later became the director of programming and operations.

Location:Garden City, KS studios

Phone:(800) 678-7444 ext 24 or (620) 275-7444 ext 24

Ways to Connect

11:00 a.m. central time. On Thursday, November 26, help is on the way for Thanksgiving cooks, kitchen helpers and dinner guests on this, the biggest cooking day of the year. Lynne Rossetto Kasper, award-winning host of public radio's national food show The Splendid Table®, will be available to answer listener questions throughout the live, two-hour program. Quickly becoming a Thanksgiving morning tradition, past shows have included everything from a cross-country trucker cooking his Thanksgiving dinner on the manifold to a panicked first-time cook who didn't realize a turkey needs to be thawed. Lynne handles all questions with wit, expertise and laughter.

In an Echoes Acoustic Thanksgiving, we create a warm and inviting soundscape for this special day of the year. Electronics are unplugged and acoustic instruments and voices shine on this program which is centered by a live performance from acoustic artist Andy McKee.

Join us for a great start to the Thanksgiving holiday, starting at 9:00 am central time.

Reflections 2015

Nov 25, 2015

Mark Haslett returns to the High Plains airwaves with Reflections 2015, an evening of big-band jazz. A Thanksgiving eve tradition since 2009, Mark's knowledge of jazz coupled with his extensive music collection make for a great evening of jazz favorites. Join Mark as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday Wednesday night at 7 central.

Geography is “where it’s at”… and so much more!!

Debra and Lynn spotlight geography through GPS (Geography in Popular Song) to kick off Geography Awareness Week.

Join Debra and Lynn for a celebration of geography, in conjunction with Geography Awareness Week. It's all about songs about places, a Geo-trivia contest and prizes during Silver Rails, Saturday, November 14th at 1pm CST.

During this 2-hour special you'll hear a great folk music—in the geographic tradition-- from around the world, and get quizzed on your geography knowledge!  Grab your thinking cap, telephone and a computer, so you can call 1-800-678-7444 to answer questions and so you can identify the picture-quiz portion of the show, here on our website.

National Geographic World maps and inflatable globes will be provided for the quiz show winners and of course you'll also enjoy the bragging rights that come with being a geography quiz master!

High Plains Public Radio in conjunction with the Garden City Recreation Commission Community Theater presents a live broadcast of H. G. Wells 'The War of the Worlds.

Performed live in the HPPR studios in Garden City, this re-enactment of the original 1938 broadcast is made possible by Keller-Leopold Insurance and the Gallery on 7th in Amarillo.

Saturday, October 17th at 7:00 pm central time with a repeat broadcast and listening parties on October 31 at 7:00 pm


UPDATE! Efforts continue on locating a new site for our Guymon, Oklahoma transmitter (KGUY). A potential site has been identified and negotiations are underway. Once the site has been obtained, construction of the antenna and transmitter will take approximately 30 days. KGUY has been off the air since mid-September.


This raptor migrates from its winter home in Argentina into western North America and breeds as far north as Canada. It's fate is tied to the amount of open rangeland left in the western prairie, and lots of habitat has been lost in the 20th Century after range land was broken out and farmed. The bird helps producers by eating insects, mammals and reptiles considered by producers to be pests. Conservation Reserve Program-enrolled land provides the type of habitat the bird can thrive in.


Alan Vernon

They're not sport birds, but they are important to the ecological balance of range land. We look at the lives and habitats of the birds, and how conservation initiatives like Conservation Reserve Program helps these species.


Tammy VerCauteren
Executive Director
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory
Ft. Collins, CO

Matthew Bain
Smokey Valley Ranch Project Coord.
The Nature Conservancy
Oakley, KS

William C. Johnson

The town of Eads in Kiowa County, Colorado, was already familiar with wildlife tourism. The community saw the cleanup and preservation of a wetland south of town as an economic development opportunity, which would attract birders to the habitat to observe local and migrating waterfowl. A ConocoPhillips grant, administered through Playa Lakes Joint Venture, got the project rolling.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

A ConocoPhillips grant provided seed money to assist the state of Kansas purchase 160 acres of salt-marsh wetland in Lincoln County, Kansas, from an elderly landowner who wanted to preserve the land perpetually. Kansas state biologist Matt Smith dealt with owner Jim Gurley, helped Gurley achieve his goal, and says the process was a very satisfying experience. As it was non-federal funding, the ConocoPhillips grant got leveraged multiple times by increasing the amount of federal and state funding made available to the project.

Jerod Foster

ConocoPhillips has teamed with Playa Lakes Joint Venture for more than 25 years to provide in-kind assistance and funds to provide conservation grants -- seed money to get conservation and habitat projects off and running. We talk about the importance of this non-federal source of money, which gets leveraged time and again by federal or state funds to make conservation/habitat projects happen.

HPPR is proud to introduce you to Letters by Mrs. Evelyn Merritt. Letters is a Reader’s Theatre script chronicling correspondence between the battlefront and home. Letters from wars ranging from the US Civil War up to the Iraq War are interwoven in this visceral and theatrical piece. A real gem.

For many wars, letters home were the only form of communication between soldiers and their loved ones.  Letters is thought-provoking and character-driven. It's not hard to see Marie, Jim, Caleb, Sarah, Harriet and Robert reaching out with pen and paper.

Join us for this special live broadcast of the HPPR Radio Theater tonight at 7:00 pm central time.

 Letters is a co-production of the Garden City Recreation Commission and High Plains Public Radio.

Courtesy Ben Wheeler/Pheasants Forever and Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Dave Hilfterty grows dryland winter wheat and irrigated corn in Perkins County, Nebraska. Dave had a challenge that was perfect for Wetlands Reserve Program assistance. Amongst his five irrigation circles there's a lagoon, which he got tired of trying to farm through.


Western Kansas is a semi-arid region, with yearly precipitation at 17-19 inches. Progressive farmers understand their biggest challenge is capturing and holding every drop of moisture they can. A group of Northwest Kansas producers meets regularly to discuss production practices. These growers are firm believers in no-till and planting cover crops whenever it's feasible. While some producers say cover crops unnecessarily sap moisture, members of Living Acres Network are more likely to say that the careful selection of a cover crop leaves residue that helps build the soil for better precipitation infiltration.

Mark Hilliard of Hale County, Texas, says, "This is cotton country. It's rare to find a pristine playa lake." He bought the native grassland on which the playa sits from family members, then protected the playa and a grassland buffer with a permanent Wetlands Reserve Easement. He couldn't be more happy with NRCS assistance removing sediment from the playa to improve its function and create bird habitat. NRCS conservationist Blake McLemore discusses what's involved in negotiating a perpetual easement.

William C. Johnson

McPherson County landowner Dale Schmidt bought ground he intended to farm, but often it was too wet to plant, or to harvest. He's pleased he enrolled the land as a perpetual wetland easement. Schmidt and his NRCS District Conservationist Blake McLemore discuss the improvements made to the parcel.

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Research indicates that a buffer surrounding a playa lake, consisting typically of native grasses and forbs, prevents migration of upland topsoil and farm chemicals into lowland wetlands such as playa lakes and rainwater basins.

Oklahoma Conservation Commission

We examine Jan Minton's ranch, the family operation she took over in Floyd Co., Texas. It had been "farmed to death," she said, and two playa lakes were in poor condition. Bill Johnson, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist, developed a restoration plan that involved silt removal, playa repair, and a native grass and forbs plant buffer around the playas' margins.

Playa lakes are effective vectors for groundwater recharge and water filtration, but that assumes they're in a healthy state.

Water, soil and habitat specialists discuss the causes of sedimentation and talk about playa restoration.

Darryl Birkenfeld / Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Many playas on federal grasslands in southeast Colorado, southwest Kansas, New Mexico and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles have pitted playas. There's a cooperative effort underway to rehab some of these playas. Restored playas mean shallow water will return. When that happens, plants will burst forth, providing seeds the birds like, and attracting insects, a good source of protein.

Dale Daniel

A functioning playa provides water to recharge the aquifer. There's also a whole community of wetland plants and invertebrates that need the very shallow water found in a healthy playa. These plants and invertebrates provide food for migrating birds. But when a playa has a pit, it is like "pulling the drain in a bathtub" and it no longer holds water very well. Rehabilitating playas by filling pits restores natural function to those wetlands.

What Are Playas?

Feb 23, 2015

 We grew up on the High Plains thinking of those occasionally muddy pasture depressions as "buffalo wallows," "rainwater basins" or "mud holes." Turns out, scientists are learning those playas play a significant role recharging aquifers such as the Ogallala.


Kyle Dillard, a Milnesand, NM, rancher is taking advantage of an NRCS program. He's a cow/calf man in eastern New Mexico - right in the middle of a large Lesser Prairie-Chicken population.

J.N. Stuart/Flickr Commons

The lack of fire as a management tool on the Great Plains has permitted indigenous and foreign woody plants to encroach on prairie grasslands, reducing Lesser Prairie-Chicken habitat. Through the Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative, NRCS can help producers and range managers remove woody invasive species – through burning, cutting and spraying. We tell one Oklahoma Panhandle rancher's experience participating in the NRCS initiative.


Jordan Shearer
Beaver Co. Rancher
Slapout, OK

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Healthy rangelands help the long-term sustainability of the landowner and the Lesser Prairie-Chicken.

Practices that bolster the bird's habitat  are also good for ranching, and can lead to improved rangeland health. NRCS provides technical and cost-assistance for grazing management programs under the Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative.


Christian Hagen
Science Advisor
NRCS LePC Initiative
Bend, OR

Jon Ungerer
Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative Coordinator
Marysville, KS

Lori Potter / Kearney Hub

The NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program targets funds to priority resource concerns such as a lack of wildlife habitat, erosion control, water quantity, and water quality. Partners, like water conservation management districts, submit proposals to help producers install and maintain conservation activities in select project areas. These proposals often included innovative or experimental approaches.


Producer Joel Bergman of Loomis, Nebraska, talks about how he switched from labor-intensive canal and gravity irrigation to pivot and underground drip systems on his 1500-acre operation. The Bergman farmstead prevents one pivot system from sweeping 360 degrees, bypassing the pie-slice where the farmstead is located. Bergman proposed putting in a wiper center pivot and 20-acres' worth of underground drip irrigation.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is partnering with regional agencies in promoting meaningful actions for water conservation. Certain areas over the aquifer have experienced more groundwater depletion than others. Kansas producer Gary Moss received help through the local groundwater management district to revert part of his irrigated operation to dryland and meet his water consumption goal.

  A Live Radio Play of Frank Capra's classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life". This performance is a collaborative effort of Garden City Recreation Commission and High Plains Public Radio. The play features a cast of 15 actors plus live sound effects, just like the great radio plays of the 1930's and 40's. This program will repeat Christmas night at 7:00 pm central time.

Kansas Pheasants & Quail Forever

The association formed in 2006 and covers Roger Mills and Beckam counties.

The group addresses the four common reasons people do not use prescribed fire: liability, training/experience, labor and equipment.