HPPR Environment

Playa Country Episode
12:00 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

NRCS Ogallala Aquifer Initiative

Credit Chris Helzer / The Nature Conservancy

Realizing the importance of the Ogallala Aquifer to High Plains states, NRCS created the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative to attempt to reduce the quantity of water removed from the aquifer, improve water quality using conservation practices, and enhance the economic viability of croplands and rangelands in the region. This episode explains how playas fit into these goals.

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Resource Conservation
8:00 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Amarillo: There are still recycling options

Recycling Station
Credit wikipedia.org

Republic Recyclery closed last month in Amarillo, but there are still recycling options according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
6:50 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Garden Party Joke Show

Credit healthmeup.com

Join Skip and a cast of friends for an old fashioned joke show.  Blake Burnside,  Randy McVey, Ellen Mangan, David Miller, and  Stacy Regan-Green yuck it up in this laughing good time.

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Texas Climate
8:00 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

15 More Years of Texas Drought? Say it isn’t so

Credit texscience.org

Experts predict above-average temperatures and lower-than-normal moisture amounts will be seen in the months ahead — and possibly as much as 15 more years according to a recent article in the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Harvest Public Media story
7:13 am
Wed October 9, 2013

The start of another great plow-up on the Great Plains?

Breaking ground with a Reeves steam tractor pulling a 12 row sod-busting plow in Haskell County, KS the very early 1900’s.
Credit F.M. Steele / Courtesy of Center for Great Plains Studies

In recent years, farmers in the Midwest have transformed millions of acres of prairie grass to rows of corn. High crop prices are a big motivation, but some also believe crop insurance is encouraging farmers to roll the dice on less productive land.

Rod Christen and his sister Kay farm corn, soybeans and wheat on their land near the small town of Steinauer, Neb. But their main crop is grass.

“Big bluestem is our big producer,” said Rod Christen. “It’s kind of our Cadillac grass.”

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Playa Country Episode
8:00 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

What Are Playas?

 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.

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:00 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

The Magic of Monkey Balls: Truth or Tale?

Credit wikipedia.org

    

“Hedge apples, direct to you!” An Internet site suggests that placing these objects “around the foundation or inside the basement provide relief from cockroaches, spiders, box elder bugs, crickets, and other pests.” Hedge apples. Aren’t they ugly fruits that look like a green brain? In fact, green brain is another term for this wild pod along with the terms Osage orange, hedge balls, monkey balls, and horse apples.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:00 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Dale River Ranch: Don't Bother Me, I've Gone Hunting

The One That Got Away
Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!  I took my bow up to Palo Pinto County earlier this week for a short bowhunt on the Dale River Ranch. Shooting from a high rock outcropping to deer on a trail below, I came very close to arrowing the monster buck shown you see running away in the first photo.  You can even see my arrow on the ground under the feeder.  I had a trail camera situated near the feeder, and it captured this rare image.   

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Xeriscaping with Tom Gillan, Part One

Skip Mancini and Tom Gillan, owner of Native Nursery
Credit Cindee Talley

 It's hard to garden in dry, arid, temperamental climates.  Skip Mancini had an opportunity to talk with Tom Gillan, owner of Native Nursery, about the challenges and opportunities the high plains present.   

Tom is a Garden City native, who moved to Golden, Colorado in the 1980s.  There he started Native Nursery with the mission to create beautiful places with plants that will thrive.

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Climate
8:00 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

High Plains Drought Update

Credit hprcc.unl.edu

Recent rains and cooler temperatures have made a difference across the high plains.

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Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Ogallala Aquifer Conservation II

Credit oklahomafarmreport.com

A significant report published by the National Academy of Sciences stresses the need to conserve groundwater. This episode focuses on two ways that is happening: 1) the USDA promotes Ogallala Aquifer conservation with NRCS money for cost-share projects, and 2) the state of Kansas changes water-rights laws to foster a culture of conservation rather than consumption.

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Conservation
8:01 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Ranchers: Lesser Prairie Chicken = Greater Government Intervention

Credit Greg Kramos/USFWS

Landowners in Texas tend to be skeptical of more government involvement when it comes to protecting the lesser prairie chicken, a rare bird inhabiting the portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, according to an article in The Texas Tribune.

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Ogallala Aquifer
8:01 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Water Source at the Crossroads

Credit USDA NRCS

Stretching from western Texas to South Dakota, the Ogallala Aquifer supports nearly one-fifth of the wheat, corn, cotton and cattle produced in the United States. Underlying approximately 225,000 square miles of the Great Plains, water from the aquifer is vital to agricultural, municipal and industrial development. Approximately 30 percent of all groundwater used for irrigation in America is drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer.

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Climate
8:00 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Recent Survey Says Most Texans Believe in Global Warming

Credit texastribune.org

800 Texans were surveyed in a recent Yale Project on climate change.  Most believe global warming is happening according to a recent article by the Texas Tribune.  

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Zoo Landscaping

Skip and Tom Gillian looking over the landscaping
Cindee Talley

Skip has a special guest in today.  Tom Gillan dropped by to talk about the differences between landscaping in public areas versus a home.  Tom is the owner of Native Nursery in Golden, Colorado.  He also talked about his current project:  Cat Canyon at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas.    

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Flora
8:00 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Weekend Getaway: You can still enjoy Colorado Fall Foliage

Credit C2 Photography

Even though the images and stories you hear of Colorado say everything is a mess, there are still opportunities to enjoy the fall colors despite the flood. 

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Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Comanche Pool Prairie Resource Foundation, Kansas/Oklahoma

Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

This is a regional grazing group located in south-central Kansas and north-central Oklahoma on 5.4 million acres of mixed-grass and sand-sage prairies. The region is ecologically important because it is Kansas’ second largest, in-tact tract of native prairie (second only to the Flint Hills), and is home to a number of declining wildlife species which require large, unfragmented tracts of native prairie. The group works with ranchers in its area to educate how best to manage grasslands to produce wildlife, clean air and water,  as well as income from livestock grazing.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:18 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Elk Camp: Last Day, Big Rain

Robert Blackstock, bear hunting, Fall 2013
Credit Luke Clayton

Folks, this is going to be short and sweet because I am heading home from the Colorado mountains.  As many of you know, we have been up here at elk camp for almost a month, and this week has been suuum-thing.  

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Fauna
9:36 am
Fri September 20, 2013

The Monarchs are Coming to Kansas

Credit wikipedia.org

The Monarchs are passing through Kansas.  The monarch lives a life of migration and cycles.  During spring and summer, they travel to the north, and then with fall, head south to find warmer weather.  What many do now know, is the fact that one butterfly does not make this entire journey.  Monarchs go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year according to monarch-butterfly.com.  

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
6:46 am
Thu September 19, 2013

A Dilly of a Deal

A snapshot of Skip's garden visitors
Credit Lisa- one of the gardening girls

    This summer has been filled with delight because of the mass migration of black swallowtails who have been making my garden their home.  Though they love to hang out around the butterfly bushes and rest up in the cool damp earth around the little outdoor fountain, when it comes to creating offspring they head for the herb garden.  There the clumps of dill weed seem to be the favorite food of the black, green and yellow striped caterpillars that have quietly invaded and are munching their way along the stems and seed heads.  The dill looks a bit forlorn for a few days, but bounces right back in time for the next wave of butterflies that are looking for a bit of real estate.

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Water
8:00 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Water Rights: Disputes Increase Across the High Plains

Credit http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5079/SIR2013-5079.pdf / U.S. Geological Survey

Disagreements over water are nothing new, but depletion and dependency on the aquifers below the ground’s surface are escalating disputes over water rights across the High Plains. 

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Playa Country Episode
8:00 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Canadian River Cooperative Weed Management Area, Texas/Oklahoma

Credit Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

This partnership - consisting of agencies, non-governmental organizations and landowners - is working to control invasive plants along the banks of the Canadian River in the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma. Salt cedar, Eastern Red Cedar and Russian Olive trees are being controlled if not eradicated.

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Fauna
8:00 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

The Endangered Arkansas Shiner: The Canadian River is Not a Safe Place to Call Home

Salt Cedar along the Canadian River
Credit cooperativeconservation.org

The Arkansas Shiner is a small, silvery minnow that spawns in the Canadian River.  It also has a prime spot on the federal government’s list of threatened species.  No longer found in Arkansas, numbers were so diminished two years ago, shiners were netted and taken to a hatchery in Oklahoma to preserve them reported The Texas Tribune

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:00 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Elk Camp: The Details of Daily Life

Credit Luke Clayton

 This week, I'm sharing a few details about elk camp.  First, what to bring.  You need to bring your bow, and appropriate clothing.  It's very important that you are proficient with your bow before arriving at camp.  Once you arrive, we get straight to business.  There's no time to practice.

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Fauna
8:00 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Threatened Species and Oil Companies: Match Made in Heaven or Fox in the Hen House?

dunes sagebrush lizard
Credit nhnm.unm.edu

Would you put the fox in charge of guarding the hen house?  That’s what critics are saying about the biggest players in the energy industry taking a major role in protecting endangered species according to The Texas Tribune

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Fall Tree Planting

Credit whatsgrowingonfrostnursery.com

As our weather moves toward the cool and crispy days of autumn, it heralds changes to the gardening routine.  As gardens and lawns slow down and give you a bit more time, don't forget that this is the best time to add trees and shrubs to your landscape. Today GHP covers some basics of fall planting, to get your tree or shrub off to a good start. 
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Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Roger Mills Prescribed Burn Association, Oklahoma

Credit Roger Mills, Prescribed Fire Association

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.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:00 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Elk Camp: Bear!

Credit Luke Clayton

Luke calls in from elk camp

Folks, I'm calling in from elk camp again this week.  The numbers of black bear again this year are just tremendous!  We've had some close encounters, and that's enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Dyck Arboretum: Native Plant Sale

Credit mywedding.com

Skip talks on the phone with Dyck Arboretum Executive Director, Scott Vogt.

This week a special event is taking place at the Dyck Arboretum in Hesston, Kansas.  FloraKansas is the largest native plant sale in the state, and will take place Thursday, September 5 through Sunday, September 8.  This event has been going on for 14 years, and its popularity is growing almost as rapidly as the numbers of native perennials, wildflowers and grasses that will be offered for sale.  More information about the location, hours and available plants can be found by calling 620-327-8127, or going online to www.dyckarboretum.org.  A visit to this special place is always a joy, and the plant sale this weekend makes it even more fun and informative.

Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Sandhills Task Force, Nebraska

Sandhill Cranes
Credit The Spokesman-Review

    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. Besides ranchers, members include representatives of local communities, groups, organizations and state and federal agencies.

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