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

Picasa / Houston Chronicle

Hunters on the Texas coast have been asking, where are all the ducks?

Let's talk turkey!

Mar 8, 2016
tpwd.texas.gov

 Howdy, Folks!

Join me this week and learn a few tips that might just help you harvest that ole' long beard turkey gobbler in a few weeks!

Filling Pits in Playas on National Grasslands

Mar 8, 2016
Dale Daniel

Many playas on federal grasslands in southeast Colorado, southwest Kansas, New Mexico and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles have pitted playas. There's a cooperative effort underway to rehab some of these playas.

Mose Buchele / KUT news

A lot of Texas residents are wondering what happened to winter, according to Austin member station KUT. While it’s true that we’ve had plenty of nice days to go outside in February, the weather has had other impacts as well. In Austin, the famous bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge have been out and about. Normally they aren’t seen until summertime. 

landsofamerica.com

Well, howdy folks!

Today, I'd like to you to hop in the pickup with me as I travel down to South Texas to be with a couple old friends.  I'll be meeting up with Larry Weishuhn and Wayne Hays at Wayne's ranch.  We're going to be doing some Axis Deer and hog hunting.

I've know Wayne for a lot of years.  He owns Hogman Outdoors.  What I regret to tell you is that my hunt is not over.  I had to send this off to meet deadlines, so stay tuned for the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The middle of winter is when the stream of locally grown fruits and vegetables in the Midwest begins to freeze up.

Nicole Saville knows first-hand. Saville is the produce manager at Open Harvest, a grocery coop in Lincoln, Neb. The store promotes food grown by local farmers, but this time of year there just isn’t much available.

Texas Tribune

A recent case in Texas pitted landowners against government officials in charge of the Central Texas reservoir known as the Edwards Aquifer. A jury is expected to announce damages soon, reports member station KUT. The case could have repercussions for High Plains landowners by showing how Texas water will be regulated in in the future.

http://www.news9.com

The Sierra Club has filed a federal lawsuit against three Oklahoma energy companies, reports StateImpact Oklahoma. The lawsuit accuses the companies of operating wastewater injection wells that contributed to the massive spike in earthquakes in the state. The three oil companies facing the accusations are Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and New Dominion.

What Is a Playa?

Feb 23, 2016

We grew up on the High Plains thinking of those occasionally muddy pasture depressions as "buffalo wallows," "rainwater basins" or "mud holes." Turns out, scientists are learning those playas play a significant role recharging aquifers such as the Ogallala.

iowaenvironmentalfocus.org

The High Plains isn’t ideal for growing the new wave of biofuel crops, according to eurekalert.com. That’s because precipitation on the plains is less frequent and predictable than in other areas of the US, like the Midwest.

wyrk.com

It’s going to be an ordinary spring for weather in Oklahoma. The basic outlook for March through May is above-average rainfall, but normal temperatures. May is peak tornado time in the state, but so far, meteorologists are predicting a below average season for severe storms and twisters. And we all know, that means you’d still better hang onto your hats.

Luke Clayton

In today's era of political correctness, which definitely spills over into the outdoor press, we seldom read about going fishing when the primary goal is to catch fish to eat. It’s all about catch and release.

I’m a firm believer in releasing all the big fish of any species I’m targeting, even when out on a quest for fillets for a big fish fry. To me, a big fish fry is a tradition that is the ultimate end to a great fishing trip. 

A blue catfish weighing much over fifteen pounds is definitely not nearly as tasty as those smaller.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

While the nation’s political realm reels from the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the demise of the conservative icon could be good news for those concerned about climate change. Slate notes that Scalia’s death came just days after the high court blocked the implementation of the Clean Power Plan. The plan is Obama’s centerpiece climate legislation.

commons.wikimedia.org

An unusual horticultural bargain brought about an investigation of one of Mexico’s most playful exports.  These beans aren’t for the dinner table, but they can sometimes be found on the gaming tables of a casino!

Adam Dolezal / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The persistent decline of honeybees has scientists scrambling to understand what’s causing the problem and how to correct it. Humans may be part of the problem.

U.S. beekeepers report losing about a third of their colonies each year and the figure increased from 2014 to 2015.

Citizen Science: Breeding Bird Survey

Feb 16, 2016
John Conkin / Wildlife Habitat Canada (whc.org)

The North American Breeding Bird Survey is a cooperative effort between the United States and Canada. The bird survey is a long-term, large-scale, international avian monitoring program started in 1966 to track the status and trends of North America's birds.

Luke Clayton

There is no ‘predator hunting season’ in Texas but if there were, it would be now.  

After the close of deer season, many hunters depart their hunting leases with sagging spirits, relegating the next few months to watching hunting shows on TV and setting by the fireside. BIG MISTAKE! Predators such as coyotes, fox and bobcat numbers are at an all-time high these days, largely because of low fur prices. I’ve yet to meet a farmer or rancher that didn’t appreciate hunters removing coyotes from his land.

Ina Fassbender / Reuters

The Environmental Protection Agency recently attempted to pull one of the chemical company Bayer’s insecticides from the marketplace. The EPA expressed concerns that that the chemical could harm organisms in streams and ponds. Now, reports Reuters, the German company is fighting back.  Bayer is asking for an administrative hearing from the EPA's Office of General Counsel to review the case.

storageioblog.com

A group of Oklahoma students have found a way to turn trash into energy, reports KFOR. The students, along with staff members at Oklahoma State University, have patented a process they call “gasification.” The new system could be a game-changer. The name of the project is “Renewable Energy Power on Demand,” or “RE-PODS” for short. The program takes garbage and transforms it into “syngas,” which can run specially-made generators.

Rural Blog

The annual Great Backyard Bird Count is scheduled for Feb. 12-15, reports The Rural Blog. That’s this coming Friday through Monday. The National Audubon Society is asking people to take 15 minutes on one or more of these days to count birds from any location. Participants should then create a checklist of the birds they spot. The Great Backyard Bird Count was created in 1998 by the ornithology lab at Cornell University. 

Loveweed

Feb 10, 2016
litreactor.com

This week we’ll revisit a valentine favorite as we investigate a parasite plant with a past history of telling fortunes and futures.  

By Leaflet - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.07 / Wikimedia Commons

If you enjoyed the massive amounts of rain most of the High Plains received last year, you may not want to get too used to it.  The weather patterns that brought moisture to the southwestern United States in 2015 were unusual. And these wet patterns have become more rare over the last 35 years, reports Colorado Public Radio.

Citizen Science: Bird Banding

Feb 9, 2016

How do scientists get the data they need to study birds? A lot of data is collected by volunteers, "citizen scientists," through bird surveys and bird banding. Bird banding is a universal and indispensable technique for studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!

This is the time of year when you're starting to plan your hog hunt to the great state of Texas.  I have some things I'd like you to think about when you're making those preparations.  

Consider how much time you've got- that will make a world of difference the type of hunt you'll want.  A reserve will take a lot more time, simply because if those hogs have any pressure at all, they're going to change up their patterns.

Take a listen to today's show, I've got some more insider hints to share with you.

http://smartercharger.com

The vast majority of air pollution is generated by a very small minority of industrial facilities, reports The Rural Blog. A new study has found that 5% of plants are responsible for about 90% of industry-generated pollution in the U.S. Researchers refer to these facilities as “hyper-polluters.” Almost all of the air pollution created in the United States is pumped out by roughly 800 industrial facilities.

Saving Amaryllis

Feb 3, 2016
culverslandscape.com

Recycle those glorious holiday plants and use them again next year!  It’s fairly easy to babysit these favorite flowering bulbs, first in house during the rest of the cold weather, then outside in the spring and summer.  Give them time to adjust to a new bloom schedule in the fall and they’ll serve you well next Christmas.

Prairie Plains Resource Institute

From Harvest Public Media:

From the air, the Midwest looks like a patchwork of cropland and pastures. But before the land was turned over to plows and center pivots, most of it was a sea of grass. 

Native grasslands were first plowed by pioneers homesteading on the plains. More land was converted to crops as tractors and machinery arrived on the farm and conversion of land intensified. 

Citizen Science: Mid-Winter Eagle Survey

Feb 2, 2016
Nigel / Flickr Creative Commons

When America adopted the bald eagle as the national symbol in 1782, there may have been 100,000 nesting eagles. But the eagle population declined, in part due to pesticides. By 1963, with only 487 nesting pairs remaining, our national symbol was near extinction.

Sue Ogrocki / AP photo

Oklahoma state officials set out a couple of years ago to find which buildings in the state were most vulnerable to earthquakes. Today, lawmakers are no closer to knowing which structures would be most likely to collapse, reports NewsOK. That’s because the team of experts the state hired never performed the work requested of them. The team balked out of fears they might be held liable should their predictions prove wrong.

Bonsai Basics

Jan 30, 2016
wikipedia.org

The unexpected arrival of a beautiful bonsai gift caused me to look back to a previous program on the background and basics of this ancient garden art form.     

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