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

ks-mo-hunt.org

Chester Peterson, Jr., of Lindsborg, Kansas, owns grass and cropland on the western margin of the Flinthills, a rolling landscape of tall- and shortgrass prairie largely unchanged since settlers crossed it in the 1860s.

colorado open lands

When Denver physician and sportsman Kent Heyborne bought land in northeast Colorado, his intent was to leave it undeveloped as bird habitat. But working with Ducks Unlimited along the South Platte River, he created a water-conservation project resulting in neighboring farms gaining additional irrigation credits.

USDA Risk Management Agency

Nearly $17 billion has been paid out to farmers in crop insurance indemnities to cover the losses from the catastrophic drought of 2012, the government reported this week.

Playa Lakes Joint Venture

Southeast Colorado rancher Grady Grissom and Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory manager Seth Gallagher discuss renovation of a playa on the Grissom Ranch. The wetland had been "pitted," and a flat playa bottom was restored, which normalized plant-life, then birdlife, around the playa.

LOGAN LAYDEN / STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built more lakes in Oklahoma than any other state. Some of those reservoirs struggle to fill, especially during drought, or end up holding more silt than water. But none have been a bigger failure than Lake Optima.

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.

U.S. EPA

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

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.

Ogallala Aquifer Conservation

Jan 8, 2013
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.

Providing Biodiversity in the Plains

Dec 31, 2012
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.

Recharging the Ogallala Aquifer

Dec 18, 2012
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."

Prescribed Burning: success stories

Dec 10, 2012
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.

The Benefits of Burning

Nov 26, 2012
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.

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.

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.

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.

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