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

United Soybean Board/Flickr

No event did more to emphasize the severity of the erosion crisis than the Dust Bowl affecting High Plains states beginning in the early-1930s.


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.

Michael Pearce / kansas.com

Chester Peterson, Jr., of Lindsborg, Kansas, owns grass and cropland on the western margin of the Flinthills, a rolling landscape of tall- and shortgrass prairie largely unchanged since settlers crossed it in the 1860s.


Over its 80-year history, the federal government's Farm Bill program refined soil, water and habitat conservation programs. Along the way, its strategy changed from "let's see how many we can sign up" to a more focused  "best bang for the buck" approach to conservation, spending funds on projects to conserve fragile landscapes.

Lori Potter / Kearney Hub

When Denver physician and sportsman Kent Heyborne bought land in northeast Colorado, his intent was to leave it undeveloped as bird habitat.

Ducks Unlimited

    More than half of western Great Plains farmers are near retirement age. Many are considering conservation easements as a way of protecting the land from development and subdivision long after they're gone.


The Thompson Farm and Ranch straddles the Kansas-Nebraska line. Drought in this region is entering its fourth year. The Thompson family uses no-till practices to grow dryland wheat and corn and also run cows.

Harvest Public Media

Nebraska farmer Bill Volkmer describes himself as an "old farmer." But this old farmer is willing to learn some new tricks. He started planting cover crops in 2011.

Jason Baker / Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo

Playas benefit from practices that result in good soil health.

Improving the health and quality of the soil is one of the easiest and most effective ways producers can increase crop productivity, hence profitability, while benefitting wildlife and improving the environment. No-till practices, plus the planting of cover crops, mean less soil moves as runoff into playas during rain events.

Playa wetlands benefit from practices that result in good soil health.


The Mountain Plover is a shorebird that spends little time on the beach and lives on the open Plains and nowhere near mountains.

Citizen Science: eBird

Jul 2, 2014
The Internet Bird Collection

eBird was launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. It helps bird-watchers keep records of observations.

Wikimedia Commons

When America adopted the bald eagle as the national symbol in 1782, there may have been 100,000 nesting eagles. But the eagle population declined, in part due to pesticides.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The North American Breeding Bird Survey is a cooperative effort between the United States and Canada.

Powdermill Nature Reserve

How do scientists get the data they need to study birds? A lot of data is collected by volunteers, "citizen scientists," through bird surveys and bird banding.

Scott Bauer / USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

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.

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Mark Hilliard of Hale County, Texas, says, "This is cotton country. It's rare to find a pristine playa lake."

Michael Pearce / kansas.com

McPherson County landowner Dale Schmidt bought ground he intended to farm, but often it was too wet to plant, or to harvest.

Oklahoma Conservation Commission

Scientists are increasing their understanding of how playas contribute to the landscape.

Chris Helzer / The Nature Conservancy

Nebraska's rainwater basin region is beneath the Central Flyway, used by tens of millions of birds migrating to the prairie pothole regions of the Dakotas, Canada and beyond to nest and mate.

Farm Foundation

Southwest Kansas producer Steve Arnold had been a big irrigator. Ten wells, numerous pivot irrigation systems and 4-wheel-drive tractors on a farm near Johnson City.


South-central Nebraska producer John Kinley has a three-acre rainwater basin in a crop field. He talks about progressive practices such as no-till production and cover cropping.

Scott Bauer / USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Playa wetlands benefit from practices that result in good soil health. The Natural Resources Conservation Service says there are four principles to improving soil health:

Jeff Vanuga / USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Deborah Clark and her husband Emory apply the principles of holistic ranch management, and they use managed intensive grazing on their stocker cattle operation on 14,000 acres in north-central Texas.

Roland Godefroy

Told by her daughter, vocalist Lisa Simone Kelly, Feeling Good: The Nina Simone Story is a touching, intimate look at life, work and genius of jazz composer, pianist,  vocalist and civil rights activist Nina Simone.

Scott Bauer / USDA, NRCS

Rancher Grady Grissom discusses the lessons he's learned from deploying a deferred-rotation system of managed grazing on his 14,000-acre ranch. But he doesn't like the term "grazing system.

World Economic Forum

Mandela: An Audio History is the award-winning radio series documenting the struggle against apartheid through intimate first-person accounts of Nelson Mandela himself, as well as those who fought with him, and against him.

Scott Bauer / USDA, NRCS

Good grazing management is good for the livestock producer and for wildlife.  When grazing-land is healthy, cattle put on the weight, and birds benefit from healthy grassland.

Oklahoma Grazing Lands Conservation Association

Native Americans used fire to manage rangeland for thousands of years, but a 100-year burning hiatus followed settlement by Europeans of the North American heartland. Those decades of fire suppression allowed invasive plants to negatively alter the landscape. But rangeland researchers and managers are awakening to the benefits of burning.

Dave Powell / USDA, Forest Service

This episode of Playa Country is a report on woody shrub invasions and control efforts in Nebraska. Biologist Kirk Schroeder of Grand Island enumerates particular weeds invading Nebraska: phragmites is a growing problem in waterways and riparian land, Russian Olive and Eastern Red Cedar are invading uplands. Tom Hartman of Grand Island manages the family ranch at Scotia, NE, and faced an onslaught of ERC.