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

Wikipedia / Creative Commons

Wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power.” The implication is that wind energy is now cheaper than coal and gas power nationwide. But that’s not exactly right, reports The Rural Blog. In most of the nation, traditional power sources are still cheaper, if only slightly.

Thomas Bougher / Texas Tribune

Texas has lost its bid to block the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, reports The Texas Tribune. A federal appeals court has denied the Lone Star State’s request to put a stay on the environmental emissions legislation. The judge’s ruling leaves the controversial climate change rules in place as a legal challenge continues to make its way through the courts.

fpat / Creative Commons

It was a comparatively mild year weatherwise for Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle, reports Amarillo.com. Globally, 2015 was by far the hottest year in 136 years of recordkeeping. The worldwide temperature exceeded the 20th century average by 1.62 degrees. However, in Amarillo the temperature never rose above 100 degrees. That hasn’t happened since 2002.

planetofbirds.com

eBird was launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. It helps bird-watchers keep records of observations. It's another example of citizen science. eBird aggregates millions of bird sightings, which is very useful for scientists studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds.

Muhammed / Creative Commons

Over the past few years, bees and other pollinators have been disappearing from America, reports The Rural Blog.  Last year the Obama administration called for a national strategy to protect these insects. Bees are essential to many crops, and most states agreed to develop pollinator protection plans.

Luke Clayton

Hello Folks!

I had a great time at Caddo Lake with my long time friends Billy Carter and Phil Zimmerman. Billy and I have fished for good eating yellow bass for the past couple of decades. Billy was one of the first fishing guides that introduced the public to the yellow bass. They are hard fighters and, in my opinion, one of the best eating fish in freshwater.

Billy and his wife Dottie have several rental lake houses at Caddo. Billy also offers fisherman cabins at Johnson's Ranch Marina.

Jim Hill / KUNC

The governor of Colorado made a big announcement this week for hikers and nature lovers in the state. John Hickenlooper said the state will connect and build 16 hiking and biking trails in all parts of Colorado. The new plan will make it easier for people to access open space and parks, says member station KUNC.

arbyreed / Creative Commons

The federal government’s Clean Power Plan has caused a seismic shift in the way High Plains states approach their energy policy. The plan, unveiled last year,    gives states flexibility to achieve its mandates for reducing pollution. It sets ambitious but achievable goals. And it allows states to meet these goals in creative ways, instead of dictating the methods. The Clean Power Plan also provides credits for innovative ideas.

KFOR.com

A well-known resident of an Oklahoma nature reserve has been killed, reports KFOR. Visitors to the J.T. Nickel Preserve near Tahlequah were often greeted by an 8-year-old bull elk, known as “Hollywood.” But last week someone illegally poached Hollywood. His carcass was found, but his head was missing.

StateImpact Oklahoma

Last week more than 300 angry residents packed an Edmond, Oklahoma, ballroom to voice concerns over a dramatic rise in earthquakes. Now 14 Edmond residents have filed a lawsuit against a dozen oil and gas companies, reports StateImpact Oklahoma. The lawsuit claims the companies acted negligently. It asserts that companies’ use of disposal wells constitutes an “ultrahazardous activity” that “causes or contributes” to earthquakes.

Caninest / Flickr Creative Commons

Colorado officials are resisting a new wolf policy, reports ABC News. The federal government is expanding plans to restore endangered Mexican gray wolves to the Southwest. The attempt to import the predators has now spread to Colorado. About 110 Mexican gray wolves already roam portions of Arizona and New Mexico.

Aaron Marineau / Kansas Agland

Two cattle mutilation cases in McPherson and Harvey counties have law enforcement officials still searching for answers – even delving into cases from more than 40 years ago.

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS LTD./ALAMY

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.

USDA.gov

From Kansas Agland:

ELKHART – The Cimarron National Grassland implemented an emergency closure of part of its property in December after seven cattle were found dead.

Luke Clayton

More than 50,ooo people from across the globe streamed into the Dallas Convention Center last weekend to attend the granddaddy of all outdoor expos reports KERA News.  The Dallas Safari Club's Annual Convention is a place  you can find smokers, custom boots, leather cell phone cases, electric buggies, four-wheelers, insulated deer blinds, taxidermy services, hunting trips, guns, and High Plains Outdoors' Luke Clayton.  

Luke says you need a couple days and a good GPS to find your way around.  He found a few of his friends, and talked with them about their products.    

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Advocates for listing the monarch butterfly as threatened under the Endangered Species Act are tired of waiting for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make up its mind.

McRoberts / USFWS

Healthy rangelands help the long-term sustainability of the landowner and the Lesser Prairie-Chicken. Practices that bolster the bird's habitat are also good for ranching, and can lead to improved rangeland health. NRCS provides technical and cost-assistance for grazing management programs under the Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative.

Making Energy from Waste: The Other Natural Gas

Jan 11, 2016
Rebecca Jacobson / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Every day, a facility on the outskirts of Grand Junction, Colorado takes in 8 million gallons of what people have flushed down their toilets and washed down their sinks. The water coming out the other end of the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant is cleaner than the Colorado River it flows into. The organic solids strained from that water are now serving a new purpose - producing fuel for city vehicles.

Luke Clayton

Hello Folks!

The last buck of the season brought a big surprise to this ole boy.  I was set up in my ground blind, the last day of deer season, the last hours of the day, when movement caught my eye.  And, there was a big ole tom bobcat.  I thought he'd just look around, and then go on his way, but the rascal headed right for the door of my blind.  He was about six feet away when I shut the door.  There simply was not enough room for ole Luke and that cat in the blind.

That really got me going!

KFOR.com

Last week’s cluster of earthquakes in Edmond, Oklahoma, have revealed a previously unknown fault line, according to NewsOK. This new information could mean more earthquakes in the future, says seismologist Daniel McNamara. Researchers have been using oil and gas industry data to identify previously undocumented fault lines in the state. But sometimes faults are revealed when a series of earthquakes fire off with epicenters in a linear pattern. This is what happened last week in Edmond.

An Awesome Autumn

Jan 6, 2016
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

A look back to the past year brought grateful thoughts and many thanks for the abundant rainfall that helped make autumn 2015 a blaze of foliage and color.  And a review of some old-fashioned weather forecasting observations brings some humor and perhaps a bit of truth to the outlook for the months ahead.  

Jim Bickel / The Oklahoman

Oklahoma had more earthquakes in 2015 than every continental state combined, reports Oklahoma City station KOCO. 49 U.S. states—excluding the massive Alaska—recorded a total of almost 1,600 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater last year. Of those, almost 900 were in Oklahoma. The other states had a combined total of 729.

mcdarius / Flickr Creative Commons

Beginning early next month Kansas Geological Survey crews will begin studying almost 600 Kansas wells. The research is part of an effort to measure changes in groundwater levels, reports KAKE.

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.

KFOR.com

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.

kansas.com

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
NexusHaus.com

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.

ls2.com

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...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Rosemary Tree

Dec 30, 2015
indulgy.com

 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.

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