HPPR Environment

Awareness:
geography
geology
hydrology (water, aquifers, rivers)
flora
fauna (wildlife)
climate
weather
ecosystems
climate change

Management & conservation
water conservation
soil conservation
wildlife protection
policies & regulations

NASA

An unexpected sight appeared in the sky Monday morning

As CNET reports, an asteroid the size of a 10-story building passed half way between the Earth and the moon shortly after scientists at the Catalina Sky Survey first discovered it on Saturday.

Joe Mabel

Want to know what a green alternative to regular diesel is? Used vegetable oil.

EGE of Minneola, Kansas takes used cooking oil from over 200 restaurants in Kansas and parts of Oklahoma and converts it to biodiesel, the Dodge City Globe reports.

Wesley Orr, who works for EGE recently gave a small group from Pratt, Greensburg and Minneola a tour of the facility.

Watch: Down times have farmers looking to cut costs

Jan 9, 2017
Harvest Public Media

The federal government expected net farm income and farm profits to fall in 2016, the third-straight year of declines. That means farmers and ranchers are taking a closer look at their finances, and many aren’t very optimistic about their prospects for 2017.

Creatures of habit

Jan 7, 2017

The other day, I watched our Jack Russell fidget impatiently by the bedroom door, waiting for someone to let him into the hallway. Directly behind him was an alternate path that led through the bath to the living area on the other side of the house. Because he’s in a new home, he never considered exiting via this route. After I released him from his self-imposed trap, I began thinking about how I, too, am a creature of habit locked into boundaries established only my mind.

As we embark on a New Year, it's hard to resist pondering the corrections we'd like to make moving forward. It's no surprise that "getting in shape" inevitably tops the list of most resolutions.

Brookings Institution / The Rural Blog

Despite Republican efforts to bring back coal as a fuel source, a new report by the Brookings Institution says coal-fired power plants will continue to close despite the arrival of the Trump administration.

As The Rural Blog reports, climate-change deniers such as Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt--who has been tapped to head the EPA--have been vehemently opposed to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. They’ve vowed to end what they call the “war on coal.”

Pixabay

Texas winegrowers are concerned that federal approval of new herbicides for some cotton crops will eradicate the wine industry in the Texas High Plains.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering organic producers and handlers federal reimbursement to cover the cost of organic certification.

Using a muzzleloader to hunt deer

Dec 31, 2016
Luke Clayton

Pixabay

One can’t help but reflect on the past when planning for the future.

On today’s edition of Growing on the High Plains, I will share my gardening plans for the new year; plans that require me to cut back on some long-lasting loves to make room for some new ones. From making room for green asparagus spears, to pruning back fruit production, the upcoming new year is all about simplification.

Earth's natural wonders come in a variety of colors

Dec 29, 2016

While Earth is often thought of as a green- and blue-colored marble, there are plenty of natural wonders on the planet that come in an even wider variety of hues.

Rafael Aguilera / Texas Tribune

In the wake of the collapse in oil prices over the past several years, Texas and Oklahoma have seen a different kind of boom. In these states, there’s been a surge in abandoned oil drilling sites.

To make matters worse, the areas that generally have abandoned rigs generally don’t have the funds to clean the sites. As The Texas Tribune reports, wildcatters have been punching holes in the hard West Texas caliche for almost a century.

NASA

NASA announced last week that it is one step closer to its mission to “touch the sun.”

cstoddard / Flickr Creative Commons

Aquifers around the world, including the High Plains, provide water for crops, but as National Geographic reports, a new study suggests that some of the biggest grain-producing regions could run dry in the next 50 to 100 years.

USGS.org

After the new year, the Kansas Geological Survey will be measuring groundwater levels in western Kansas to monitor the health and sustainability of the High Plains aquifer.

NewsOK.com

This week Oklahoma regulators released new regulations in hopes of further reducing the frequency of earthquakes in the Sooner State.

As The Oklahoman reports, this "fracking" plan is an expansion of previous responses to earthquakes linked to wastewater disposal wells. Recently the state has seen rapid development in the SCOOP and STACK formations in west central and south central Oklahoma. Almost half of Oklahoma’s 78 drilling rigs are in those two areas.

WYRK.COM

Those planning to travel for the Christmas holiday should expect severe weather in some areas of the central United States.

Regardless of whether or not “the white stuff” falls from above, High Plains holidays always seems to sprinkle in great memories and offer an extra scoop of seasonal splendor.

On today’s edition of Growing on the High Plains, I’ll take you back to a time that shaped my appreciation for this special time of the year. Tune in and travel back to a time of milkshakes, penny candy, and a drug store jukebox that played both Bing and The King. Snow or no, these are the remembrances that set the scene for my High Plains holiday.

Brian McGuirk / Flickr Creative Commons

The arctic blast this weekend that dropped temperatures in much of the High Plains below the zero-degree mark may have damaged some of the winter wheat crop.

Cold front brings record lows to High Plains region

Dec 19, 2016
hutchpost

An arctic blast brought record-low temperatures to much of the High Plains region over the weekend.

Creative Commons

Environmentalists, the EPA, and farm groups continue to battle over a whether animal farms should be exempted from reporting emissions to the federal government.

Currently, an Environmental Protection Agency rule exempts all but the largest animal feeding operations from reporting ammonia and hydrogen sulfide emissions.

Hunting for whitetail deer

Dec 16, 2016
Luke Clayton

This week on High Plains Outdoors, Luke Clayton goes on a whitetail hunt with Larry Weishuhn (Mr. Whitetail) and Steven Ray, inventor of Rattling Forks. The deer are in full rut right now and coming in to the horns. 

Joshua Doubek / Wikimedia Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency this week released a report on the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water.

As The Rural Blog reports, this will be the final EPA report during the Obama administration. The study struck out a controversial phrase that had appeared in last year’s report, which stated that researchers had found no evidence of widespread impacts to drinking water supplies.

Today's Growing on the High Plains reflects on an annual event that, for many of us, marks the start of the holiday season: the inevitable expedition to select the season's centerpiece.

While it's easy to take the Christmas tree tradition as a December given, those who make a living farming and growing these festively-functional forests know the work is anything but seasonal.

Learn more about the year-round tilling and toil that goes into nurturing your treasured tannenbaum. 

Abby Livingston / Texas Tribune

When Donald Trump tapped former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy, environmental advocates cried foul.

EPA/Narendra Shrestha

Until recently, scientists believed there were about 9,000 species of birds on earth. Now, as Quartz.com reports, it looks like the number is closer to double that—around 18,000.

So, did researchers just discover a slew of birds hiding in the wild? No, they actually did a recount, using a more nuanced definition for a species.

Brian McGuirk / Flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Agland is taking a look at the agriculture economy from the perspective of farmers and farm implement dealers, who are finding ways to adapt.

An overabundant supply in wheat, corn and every other crop has pushed the prices of those commodities below what many farmers need to break even.

Kansas wheat crop facing drought

Dec 13, 2016
Brian McGuirk / Flickr Creative Commons

The condition of the winter wheat crop in Kansas is varied because of a lack of moisture.

Planning a winter hunt for wild hogs in Texas

Dec 11, 2016
Luke Clayton

Luke Clayton invites you to his camp to talk about the great outdoors.   Every Saturday morning, during Western Swing and Other Things, he'll be telling hunting and fishing stories, and a whole lot more.  You'll learn how to make sausage, cook over a campfire, get some wild game recipes, as well as inside tips on how you can become a more successful outdoorsman. 

Luke discusses planning a winter trip to Texas for a wild hog hunt at Hunting East Texas

I've been walkin' on the railroad...and it's not what you would expect!

Did you know that, in cities across the world, out-of-use elevated freight rail lines have been resurrected as rustic gardens and public parks? It's true! From Paris to Chicago to New York City, defunct industrial corridors have made for quite the elysian green spaces. 

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