HPPR Environment

Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Playa Health: The Importance of Buffers

Credit Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory

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. The buffers are important to rangeland playas, but are vital when playas are situated in fields under crop production. This story is part three of a four-part series on playa health. It originally aired on HPPR Tuesday, February 26, 2013.

Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Playa Sedimentation: Causes and Fixes

Credit U.S. EPA

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

Read more
Harvest Public Media story
7:12 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Drought raises stakes on Republican River

The Republican River in Hitchcock County completely dry on July 25th, 2005.
Credit Melissa Widhalm, NDMC

There’s a border war going in the Midwest and it’s over water. Kansas and Nebraska have been battling for years over the water in the Republican River, which runs from Colorado to Kansas, through Nebraska.

Farmers in all three states depend on the Republican River to irrigate their fields and with agriculture such a prominent industry in the Midwest, the water battle amounts to a big deal. Kansas and Nebraska’s current dispute will eventually head to the U.S. Supreme Court. And with many farmers dealing with drought and planning for water restrictions, the battle is heating up.

Read more
Playa Country Episode
1:12 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Ogallala Aquifer Conservation

Credit sitename.com

The USDA promotes Ogallala Aquifer conservation with NRCS money for cost-share projects, and a significant report published by the National Academy of Sciences stresses the need to conserve groundwater, and the state of Kansas changes water-rights laws to foster a culture of conservation rather than consumption.

Read more
Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Providing Biodiversity in the Plains

Credit Texas Cooperative Extension

Scientists are increasing their understanding of how playas contribute to the landscape. They’ve learned these temporary lakes are a major source of aquifer recharge, but there's another aspect - the abundant bio-diversity playas create.

Read more
Playa Country Episode
4:22 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Recharging the Ogallala Aquifer

Credit Texas Parks and Wildlife

We grew up on the High Plains thinking of those occasionally muddy pasture depressions as "buffalo wallows," "rainwater basins" or "mud holes."

Read more
Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Prescribed Burning: success stories

Prescribed Burn
Credit Kansas Pheasants & Quail Forever

Burning is a cost-effective method of controlling invasions of Eastern Red Cedar, but there's more to burning than simply touching torch to ground. Prescribed burns follow a precise, multi-page "prescription" to ensure efficacy and safety.

Read more
Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

The Benefits of Burning

Prescribed Burning
Credit Heartland Conservation Services

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.

Read more
Playa Country Episode
12:04 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Final episode of Invasive Species on Playa Country

Eastern Red Cedar
Jim Mason

On Tuesday at 6:44 pm central time, we will hear the final episode of Invasive Species on Playa Country. This report covers 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 (ERC) are invading uplands. Tom Hartman of Grand Island manages the family ranch at Scotia, NE, and faced an onslaught of ERC. He and neighbors have been controlling with mechanical removal followed by fire.

Read more
Playa Country Episode
12:01 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Invasive Species series continues on Playa Country

Oklahoma Historical Society

The second in the three-part series on invasive species airs this week on Playa Country.  On Tuesday at 6:44 pm central time, Biologist Gene Miller describes the problem with invasives along the banks of the Canadian River in the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma. He and NRCS rangeland manager Clint Rollins created the consortium the Canadian River Cooperative Weed Management Area, a group of agencies, non-governmental organizations and landowners conducting invasive weed control efforts.

Read more
Playa Country Episode
11:20 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Playa Country returns to HPPR

Starting Tuesday evening during All Things Considered, Playa Country returns to the air. Playa Country features stories from experts in the fields of conservation, wild life management, farming, ranching and land management. All focused on the future of one of our area's most important resources, the Ogallala aquifer.

Read more

Pages