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

cdc.gov

Already, flu and pneumonia have been a factor in more than 500 deaths in Kansas reports KPR’s Bryan Thompson.

 People older than 64 or younger than five are being hit the hardest. The CDC is advising people with chronic conditions, pregnant women, senior citizens, and small children to take antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu, if they become infected. Dr. Mike Munger, at St. Luke’s South Primary Care, in Overland Park, says the drugs need to be taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms to minimize the severity of the flu.

farmingthedream.com

Organic farming may be just as healthy for the farmers who practices it as it is to their consumers reports the Center for Rural Affairs.

Researchers at the National Institute of Health recently completed a 20 year study on the connection between pesticides and depression in farmers.

A long-lived garden

Jan 7, 2015
goinghometoroost.com

This was the year that keeps on giving when it comes to the garden, except for the beets that I replanted three times with no results.

I'm hoping to have a few last salads in the New Year with my remaining tomatoes. 

oklahomafarmreport.com

Producer Joel Bergman of Loomis, Nebraska, talks about how he switched from labor-intensive canal and gravity irrigation to pivot and underground drip systems on his 1500-acre operation. The Bergman farmstead prevents one pivot system from sweeping 360 degrees, bypassing the pie-slice where the farmstead is located. Bergman proposed putting in a wiper center pivot and 20-acres' worth of underground drip irrigation.

Getting off the chemical treadmill

Jan 4, 2015
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

Farmers engaged in an epic struggle with “superweeds” – weeds that don’t die even when sprayed with herbicide – are looking for help from a new super chemical that’s about to hit the market.

Currently the last line of defense against weeds not felled by other herbicides, the new chemical could be defeated if it is overused and farmers could be left in even worse straits.  

Pigweed Problem

Herbicide-resistant Pigweeds are marching north into soybean and corn fields across the Midwest from the southern U.S. where they choked cotton fields so completely that the land cannot be farmed They can grow up to seven feet tall and produce more than half a million seeds per plant, per season.

Quentin Hope

A report on water use for fracking in Texas finds that it is not the only or even the most significant contributor to the longstanding problem of water use in Texas. 

The policy brief by The Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy at Texas A&M University is based on a study that looks closely at water use in the Eagle Ford Shale formation in south Texas where fresh groundwater aquifers are overdrawn by nearly 2.5 times their recharge rate.  Hydraulic fracturing operations there make up the third largest use of groundwater, well behind irrigation, the primary use.  However, hydraulic fracturing does requires large amounts of water, roughly five million gallons, for each well.

Kevin Rolle flickr/creative commons

The Kansas Biological Survey at KU has been awarded a $2.1 million contract to play an essential role in the Lesser Prairie Chicken Range-Wide Conservation Plan, a program resulting from the bird being listed as an endangered species in May of last year.  Companies that enroll in the plan, pay mitigation fees and follow recommended conservation measures are exempted from provisions of the Endangered Species Act and protected from penalties.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is partnering with regional agencies in promoting meaningful actions for water conservation. Certain areas over the aquifer have experienced more groundwater depletion than others. Kansas producer Gary Moss received help through the local groundwater management district to revert part of his irrigated operation to dryland and meet his water consumption goal.

kmbo.org

A guide to the care and watering of  the plant that says "Christmas" no matter the time of year.

Kansas Pheasants & Quail Forever

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.

Christmas Cactus

Dec 12, 2014
wikipedia.org

It takes special care to get this holiday favorite to bloom at the right time.  Skip tells you how.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!  Join me this week as I travel to east Texas to hunt aoudad and wild boar with my long time friend Mark Balette who owns B & C Outfitters

On this hunt, I put more meat in the freezer with the with a good eating wild boar and Aoudad Ram.  I used my Darton Crossbow  for the hog hunt and a new big bore air rifle that will be on the market next month for the ram.

Courtesy of UT's Cockrell School of Engineering

Fracking has unleased massive reserves of natural gas in the United States.  The environmental impact of gas is a hot topic reports KUT News.

Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA)

With winter on the High Plains comes the season of the tumbleweed.  The Russian thistles that dried and snapped from their roots in the fall now rove the western plains with the winter winds, leaving their seed for next year’s crop.  As a given part of winter, they’ve made their way into the seasonal holidays as well.

Harvest Public Media

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.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!  This week, we're headed west to the canyon country of southwest Texas.  I'm meeting Steven Ray.  He's an expert antler rattler, and the creator of Rattling Forks.

This hunt brings in one of the nicest bucks I've seen in years.

Hop in my truck, and let's go!

projects.propublica.org

  The oil and gas boom is boosting economies on the high plains, but it’s also putting small towns in danger reports ProPublica

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Scientists, regulators and technical experts from the energy industry met in Oklahoma recently.  They discussed how earthquakes triggered by oil and gas operations should be accounted for on national seismic hazard maps reports StateImpact Oklahoma.

noaanews.noaa.gov

Tornado alley is undergoing a transformation.  The Wichita Eagle reports the number of days with damaging tornados has fallen sharply.  But the number of days with large outbreaks has climbed dramatically.

finkegardens.com

Well, it's taken a long time (I'm not talking about weeks or months, but years) but I think I'm making progress in the department of landscaping with trees.  To being with, I've finally adopted the 'less is more' concept, especially on our treeless high plains.  There are trees that will grow here, and do pretty well if they have a bit of moisture now and then.  But those examples are few and far between.

Sara Waite / Sterling Journal-Advocate

What effect will the recent artic cold snap have on our trees? 

Luke Clayton

DEER SEASON is in going strong right now and the rut is either in the early stages or full swing, depending upon where you hunt.

gardenideaspicture.biz

In this final segment of our trip down the Great Gardens memory lane, we travel to Colby, Kansas to the garden of Beverly and Curt Eicher.  The Eichers took a trip, and returned home wanting their own cottage garden. 

watchdog.org

We visit a couple ranchers in the Oklahoma panhandle who are participating in the NRCS Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative.

Willard Drake Johnson / USGS Photographic Library, http://libraryphoto.cr.usgs.gov/

When explorer Stephen Long led his expedition across the western Great Plains in 1819-1820, it was during a period of widespread drought.  With only a single reference point in time, he concluded the area “is almost wholly unfit for cultivation, and of course uninhabitable by a people depending upon agriculture for their subsistence”.  He also marked the region on his maps as the “Great American Desert”, a label used by other map makers for decades to come.

Witches Britches

Nov 16, 2014
dallasnews.com

I wish I’d paid closer attention to my high school chemistry teacher. If I had, molecules and their pairings might confuse me less. I could better understand polyethylene and other carbon polymer products. Despite my ignorance, intricacies of molecular interactions interest the poet in me. Niggling thoughts waken me in the middle of the night to wonder about the origin of the end product—plastic bags that decorate my landscape.

Welcome to Winter

Nov 12, 2014
Robert Jr. / Twitter

A cold front blowing across the High Plains earlier this week brought drifts of tumbleweeds.  It also created a haboob.  That's a dust storm that typically last about three hours with sand and dirt forming a “dense whirling wall” up to 3,000 feet high according to the American Meteorological Society’s glossary.

carolinafarmstewards.org

When Kathleen and Robert Fields moved into their home, the neighborhood was well-established.  The backyard was surrounded with ready made shade.  Kathleen quickly learned that leaves were great start for compost.  

"Great gardens begin with soil building," she says, "You can get a sick plant and bring it back to health if you have good soil."

Kathleen also believes in perennials.  She subscribes to this saying, "The first year they sleep.  They second they creep.  The third they leap."

J.N. Stuart/Flickr Commons

Clay Cooper signed the first Lesser Prairie-Chicken conservation plan in Texas, through the Natural Resources Conservation Service "Working Lands for Wildlife" partnership -- an agreement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Carole Geier

Today we travel to the sandhills south of Garden City, Kansas to the home of Larry and Carole Geier.  The couple has created an oasis in the midst of sagebrush and sand. The location has perks like night skies filled with stars, and some burly neighbors who used to roam the prairie. 

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