HPPR Environment

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C2 Photography

Even though the images and stories you hear of Colorado say everything is a mess, there are still opportunities to enjoy the fall colors despite the flood. 

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

This is a regional grazing group located in south-central Kansas and north-central Oklahoma on 5.4 million acres of mixed-grass and sand-sage prairies. The region is ecologically important because it is Kansas’ second largest, in-tact tract of native prairie (second only to the Flint Hills), and is home to a number of declining wildlife species which require large, unfragmented tracts of native prairie. The group works with ranchers in its area to educate how best to manage grasslands to produce wildlife, clean air and water,  as well as income from livestock grazing.

Luke Clayton

Folks, this is going to be short and sweet because I am heading home from the Colorado mountains.  As many of you know, we have been up here at elk camp for almost a month, and this week has been suuum-thing.  

The Monarchs are Coming to Kansas

Sep 20, 2013
wikipedia.org

The Monarchs are passing through Kansas.  The monarch lives a life of migration and cycles.  During spring and summer, they travel to the north, and then with fall, head south to find warmer weather.  What many do now know, is the fact that one butterfly does not make this entire journey.  Monarchs go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year according to monarch-butterfly.com.  

A Dilly of a Deal

Sep 19, 2013
Lisa- one of the gardening girls

    This summer has been filled with delight because of the mass migration of black swallowtails who have been making my garden their home.  Though they love to hang out around the butterfly bushes and rest up in the cool damp earth around the little outdoor fountain, when it comes to creating offspring they head for the herb garden.  There the clumps of dill weed seem to be the favorite food of the black, green and yellow striped caterpillars that have quietly invaded and are munching their way along the stems and seed heads.  The dill looks a bit forlorn for a few days, but bounces right back in time for the next wave of butterflies that are looking for a bit of real estate.

Water Rights: Disputes Increase Across the High Plains

Sep 17, 2013
http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5079/SIR2013-5079.pdf / U.S. Geological Survey

Disagreements over water are nothing new, but depletion and dependency on the aquifers below the ground’s surface are escalating disputes over water rights across the High Plains. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

This partnership - consisting of agencies, non-governmental organizations and landowners - is working to control invasive plants along the banks of the Canadian River in the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma. Salt cedar, Eastern Red Cedar and Russian Olive trees are being controlled if not eradicated.

cooperativeconservation.org

The Arkansas Shiner is a small, silvery minnow that spawns in the Canadian River.  It also has a prime spot on the federal government’s list of threatened species.  No longer found in Arkansas, numbers were so diminished two years ago, shiners were netted and taken to a hatchery in Oklahoma to preserve them reported The Texas Tribune

Luke Clayton

 This week, I'm sharing a few details about elk camp.  First, what to bring.  You need to bring your bow, and appropriate clothing.  It's very important that you are proficient with your bow before arriving at camp.  Once you arrive, we get straight to business.  There's no time to practice.

nhnm.unm.edu

Would you put the fox in charge of guarding the hen house?  That’s what critics are saying about the biggest players in the energy industry taking a major role in protecting endangered species according to The Texas Tribune

Fall Tree Planting

Sep 11, 2013
whatsgrowingonfrostnursery.com

As our weather moves toward the cool and crispy days of autumn, it heralds changes to the gardening routine.  As gardens and lawns slow down and give you a bit more time, don't forget that this is the best time to add trees and shrubs to your landscape. Today GHP covers some basics of fall planting, to get your tree or shrub off to a good start. 
Roger Mills, Prescribed Fire Association

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.

Elk Camp: Bear!

Sep 6, 2013
Luke Clayton

Folks, I'm calling in from elk camp again this week.  The numbers of black bear again this year are just tremendous!  We've had some close encounters, and that's enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  

mywedding.com

This week a special event is taking place at the Dyck Arboretum in Hesston, Kansas.  FloraKansas is the largest native plant sale in the state, and will take place Thursday, September 5 through Sunday, September 8.  This event has been going on for 14 years, and its popularity is growing almost as rapidly as the numbers of native perennials, wildflowers and grasses that will be offered for sale.  More information about the location, hours and available plants can be found by calling 620-327-8127, or going online to www.dyckarboretum.org.  A visit to this special place is always a joy, and the plant sale this weekend makes it even more fun and informative.

The Spokesman-Review

    This group's mission is to partner with ranchers in the Sandhill region of north-central Nebraska to identify, prioritize, plan and implement projects that benefit private ranching, wildlife and vegetative diversity and associated water supplies. Besides ranchers, members include representatives of local communities, groups, organizations and state and federal agencies.

Luke Clayton

Folks, it's week two up here at Elk Camp, and I am having the time of my life!  

Texas Groundwater: Money Won't Fix All the Problems

Aug 29, 2013
Texas Water Development Board

Lawmakers pushed this session for a statewide, comprehensive water plan.  That includes a proposition that would add $2 billion to the Texas Water Development Board’s portfolio for future water supply projects, if approved.  At the annual meeting of the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts, participants concluded money won’t fix many problems they face reported the Texas Tribune.    

State Impact Texas

 A new study from the University of Texas shows the recent cluster of earthquakes are mostly caused by oil and gas extraction reported State Impact Texas

Cliff Frohlich is the Associate Director at UT’s Institute for Geophysics and lead author of the study. 

“The question we were looking at was, were quakes in the area linked to the disposal of hydrofracking waste?” said Frohlich. 

Tomato Diseases

Aug 29, 2013
blogs.cornell.edu

 A look back at my past gardening challenges brings up the myriad of difficulties one faces when trying to grow tomatoes.  These most popular fruits of our gardening labors require consistent record keeping, as you don't ever want to plant them in the same space within a three year period.  Tomatoes can suffer from a wide variety of soil-borne and airborne illnesses, as well as being the target of a horde of insects that can eat or infect the foliage of your prize plants.  After years of fighting against blight, viruses, unpredictable weather patterns, and beastly bugs, I've decided that perhaps the best solution to my tomato problems is found in the adage about 'safety in numbers'.   

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

This group's mission is to sustain vibrant natural and human communities of the Republican River Basin by promoting good stewardship of its land, water and wildlife. The group addresses three aspects of long-term landscape sustainability: economics, education and conservation.

Amarillo: May Hailstorm Damage Total Is In

Aug 26, 2013
spotted.amarillo.com

The hailstorm that hammered Amarillo on May 28 resulted in $500 million in insured losses according to Claims Journal.  The final figure was released recently by the Property Claim Services of the Insurance Services Office (ISO).  The ISO is responsible for tallying catastrophic weather losses across the country.

Luke Clayton

  Folks, I have to tell you, I have had enough of trying to teach Cindee to fish.  I'm headed up to the mountains of Colorado for the next three weeks for some peace and quiet.  My buddy Larry Large and I guide hunts, and I am looking forward to the trip.  Take a listen to the audio.  I called in and chatted with Cindee about a typical day in camp.  It might not be what you expect.  I'll be in touch.  

Lawn Lamentations

Aug 21, 2013
jeinc.com

Although buffalo grass is still my lawn of choice for the dry and windy area we call the Southern High Plains, this summer it has been hard pressed to bounce back from our third year of ongoing drought and high temperatures.  As our area of the world seems to be turning more desert-like, even this native of the short grass prairie will need occasional water and maybe a shot of nutrients to do its best.  But it still offers the best alternative when planning a lawn that can stand up to all the challenges our climate has to offer.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Habitat conservation requires local support, collaboration and leadership. When landowners, community leaders and resource managers work collaboratively to conserve natural resources, that's when the majority of habitat work takes place. We examine what local conservation partnerships are - and why they're important.

Die Fly!

Aug 16, 2013
paqwak.com

If curses and death wishes worked, a fly couldn’t survive, let alone buzz in anyone’s ear or crawl on their flesh, near my house. In the last two weeks, I’ve thought or said, “Die fly,” at least a 10,000 times. Unfortunately, wishing these creepy crawlers into the afterworld has had absolutely no effect. It’s time for an attack plan.

nebraskapassport.com

Folks, to this point, I’ve taught Cindee about bait, how to rig her pole, and where to look for catfish.  Today, I’m going to give her a tip that is a sure fire way to catch those cats.  

Little Blue Stem

Aug 14, 2013
nativesoftexas.com

In a continuing investigation of landscape plans utilizing grass gardens, this week we'll look at Little Bluestem.  This hardy 'bunch' or 'clump' grass is of a more manageable size than it's bigger relative, the Big Bluestem of the tall grass prairies.  Little Bluestem can serve as an eye-catching accent plant, or as a seasonal backdrop for wildflowers or other blooming plants.  And in its native habitat it provides forage for grazing animals and shelter for various birds and wildlife.

National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center

The High Plains are continuing to benefit from a stalled weather front along lower sections of the central Plains, which is serving as a focus for continued precipitation.  As a result, the monthly drought outlook map from the Climate Prediction Center (see first slide above) shows improvement across the HPPR coverage area though August.

Earl Notingham, Texas Parks and Wildlife / flickr

Drought conditions are long familiar to the Texas Panhandle and are now becoming well known to other parts of the state.  The most recent drought report from the Texas Water Development Board shows that 97 percent of the state is now experiencing some level of drought.

tgreybirds.com

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.

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