HPPR Environment

hydrology (water, aquifers, rivers)
fauna (wildlife)
climate change

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

Landowner Story: Deferred Grazing on Grissom Ranch

Jan 5, 2016
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

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." He says you don't choose a "system." You graze toward a goal.


An animal shelter was at the epicenter of an Edmond, Oklahoma, earthquake last week, reports ABC 13 Houston. The 4.3 magnitude quake rattled the building around 5:40 a.m. last Tuesday. The shaking earth sent tile and light fixtures crashing down on top of cages and cracked cinder block walls.


Some people like cities. They like the anonymity of blending into a crowd. They like choosing where to shop, dine, and have fun. Being unknown to a server is a relief rather than a blessing. For these folks, the intimacy of living in a small town where everyone knows your name and your business is too personal. On the other hand, there are people like me who love going into a local eatery where the wait staff knows my name and what I’m going to order. These establishments are the heartbeat of tiny towns.

New Modular Home Takes Water Efficiency to Next Level

Dec 31, 2015

The Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon competition this fall was focused on renewable energy. But BuilderOnline reports that one Texas team chose to build a house that took resource conservation a step further.


Howdy, Folks!

This week I'm cooking rabbit and divulging one of my recipes for making crisyy fried rabbit and... smothered rabbit with mushroom gravy.

In recent years, many newcomers to the sport of hunting have concentrated on big game but small game such as rabbit and squirrel are excellent eating and provide a very challenging hunting experience.

I'll be back next week with more hunting and fishing, and until then...


Rosemary Tree

Dec 30, 2015

 Rosemary is an inexpensive, fragrant, and right-sized Christmas tree substitute for office and apartments.  And, if the plant doesn't survive let it dry and use on potatoes or lamb.

2015: The Hottest Year on Record

Dec 30, 2015
Billy Wilson / Creative Commons

Despite recent blizzards on the High Plains, 2015 will be the hottest year on record, according to The New York Times. The sweltering year was capped off with temperatures on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that were far above average across much of the United States.

Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The U.S. may be on the verge of a boom in new fertilizer plants, which could be good news for farmers, but not the environment.

Today’s farmers can produce more from their land than ever before thanks, in part, to nitrogen fertilizer, a key ingredient that has never been more widely available.

Grazing Management Benefits Livestock & Wildlife

Dec 29, 2015
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. The key is designing a grazing system that fits a producer's climatic conditions, soils, topography and vegetation types.

Ogallala Resources Continue to Dwindle

Dec 27, 2015
Steve Elfers / USA TODAY

Time is running out for portions of the Ogallala Aquifer, which lies beneath eight states from South Dakota to Texas, reports NBC affiliate KING 5. The Ogallala makes possible about one-fifth of the country’s output of corn, wheat and cattle. But its levels have been rapidly declining, and with each passing year more wells are going dry.

Sore Hands No More

Dec 26, 2015

Frigid temperatures do more than raise the gas bill. Cold, frosty days redden and roughen flesh, leading to splitting skin on fingers and hands that hurts as bad as or worse than a paper cut. No matter how much girly girl lotion and cream I applied in January and early February, I couldn’t smooth out either the hangnails that snagged on bulky sweaters and hoodies or soothe away those painful, weather-induced wounds that formed at the edges of my finger and thumbnails and over the tops of knuckles.

This holiday season brought two frontier explorers to the Mancini homestead.  The red pair reminds me winter won't last forever, and brightens the dreary landscape.    

High Plains Farmers Battle Hessian Fly Infestation

Dec 24, 2015
Bugwood.org / Creative Commons

Farmers on the High Plains are experiencing an infestation of Hessian Flies this growing season. And there’s not much to be done about it, says Agriculture.com.

A TX Panhandle Rancher Catches Water For His Herd

Dec 23, 2015
Drovers Cattle Network

A Texas Panhandle rancher has found an efficient way to capture rainwater for his herd, and ease pressure on the Ogallala Aquifer in the process. According To Drovers Cattle Network, Hale County rancher Bob Durham has devised a catchment system for his two large livestock barns. The rainfall is captured in six, 5,000-gallon water storage tanks. The system also has a first-flush diverter to clean the water coming off the barn.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Environmental Protection Agency recently cracked down on coal plant emissions in North Texas. The move comes as part of an effort to improve the haze problem at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Southwest Oklahoma, reports StateImpact Oklahoma.

It's Bald Eagle Season in Oklahoma

Dec 23, 2015
Nigel / Flickr Creative Commons

Now is the time of year in Oklahoma when nature lovers take to the state parks and wildlife refuges to look for a rare sight: bald eagles. Oklahoma is one of the top 10 states in the nation for winter eagle viewing, according to NewsOK. As they migrate south for the winter, the Sooner state is especially attractive to these majestic birds. During the winter months, as many as 2,000 eagles are estimated to gather in Oklahoma.

Playa Renovation: Haynes Farm, Holyoke, CO

Dec 22, 2015

Holyoke, CO, farmer Larry Haynes talks about putting land "to its best use." For decades he attempted to farm playas in his fields but said he "rarely" was able to harvest crops grown in those wetlands. He decided to forget attempting to farm the playas and instead renovate them and plant large plant buffers around them, thus putting the playas "to their best use" as wildlife habitat.

Your Guide to the December Solstice

Dec 21, 2015

The Winter Solstice is upon us. For those of us in the Central time zone, the solstice will occur Monday, December 21, at 10:48 p.m. For those of you in Colorado, the event occurs at 9:48. Earthsky notes that a solstice is a cause of celebration for people all over the globe. It means early sunset and late dawn. It’s the shortest day and longest night of the year. 

Another Slow Year for Tornadoes

Dec 18, 2015
Justin1569 / Wikimedia Commons

In an age of uncommon and harrowing weather incidents that seem to appear almost weekly, here’s some refreshing news. For the fourth consecutive year, the number of tornadoes in the United States was well below normal, reports The Wichita Eagle. This year saw about 15 percent fewer tornadoes than usual. And most of the tornadoes that did appear were extremely weak. More than 63 percent of the tornadoes that touched down by the end of October were rated EF-0. This means they had winds of between 65 and 85 mph.


Howdy, Folks, ole Luke here has a special guest sharing secrets today.  Cleon Carraway.  You might remember Cleon, he's a the guy who makes his own calls.  He's giving us tips about setting up, and a demonstration on successful calling.  Take a listen, and I'll be back next week with more hunting and fishing stories. 


Skip's quest to continue the tradition of a live Christmas tree takes her back to Brandt Nursery in Boise City, Oklahoma.  A Douglas Fir catches her eye, and she takes it home with Gunther Brandt's words echoing in her head, "Now  that Doug Fir is kind of a foreigner, so keep his feet moist and give him a shower bath as often as possible.  And, put him some place where he's protected from this dry wind."  

Kansas Moves to Comply with New Federal CO2 Rules

Dec 16, 2015
FreeFoto.com / free use image

Kansas is taking its first steps toward complying with new EPA requirements to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal. While Kansas is suing the federal government to block the Clean Power Plan, the state is also making efforts to comply with the new law.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

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.

New Institute Founded to Study Soil Health

Dec 14, 2015

Soil plays a critical role in our everyday lives. But over the last 150 years, half of the earth's topsoil has been lost. In the U.S. alone, 70% of the soil is considered marginal. These trends are alarming, and a new research organization called the Soil Health Institute has been founded to try to reverse them. The institute’s aim will be to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of the earth’s soil.

Luke Clayton

This week Luke travels out to far west Texas to hunt whitetail deer with his friend Steven Ray, maker of Rattling Forks (www.rattlingforks.com) and another great friend, Brad Fenson, a well known outdoors writer from Alberta. During the hunt, Steven rattled in many bucks and Brad was lucky enough to harvest a rare piebald buck (see picture).

Luke is a happy camper also, he used his Darton Toxin Crossbow to take a heavy buck and doe. Listen to parts of this hunt as they developed! 

Brent Frazee / Kansas City Star

Finding scenic water spots can be difficult in the arid plains of southwestern Kansas. But Clark State Fishing Lake, in Clark County, is actually one of the state’s most scenic bodies of water.

Hidden in a deep canyon, Clark State Lake is “a sparkling jewel of a lake that looks like it belongs in a state such as Utah or New Mexico,” says The Kansas City Star.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After a surge of earthquakes has overtaken Oklahoma, researchers have scrambled to figure out what to do about the problem. Their investigations have led them to a certain class of wells, which oil companies fill with wastewater and other fluid byproducts of oil and gas production during the fracking process.


Irrigation is no longer an option in Kansas’s smallest county, reports the Baldwin City Signal. After decades of overuse, the water source beneath Greeley County’s arid prairie has been sucked dry. Five years ago, county residents voted to allow a massive corporate hog-feeding operation to move in, thinking hogs use less water than crops.

Will Man-Made Tornadoes Power Our Homes Someday?

Dec 10, 2015

Louis Michaud invented the atmospheric vortex engine as a way of creating controlled, man-made tornadoes.Credit Scott Gries / National Geographic ChannelsEdit | Remove


Today Skip shares how her potted Christmas tree tradition beautifies her home during the holiday season, then goes on to function in her shelterbelt.  The living trees give protection from High Plains winds, add splendor to the landscape, and serve as a reminder of Christmases past.