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

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. 

Luke Clayton

So far, this has been an awesome year in Texas for harvesting trophy class white tail bucks. Today, a buck that makes the Boone and Crockett book with the minimum score of 170 BC has become almost commonplace, especially on well managed ranches, many of which are high fenced, all across the state.  I, and most veteran deer hunters, can remember not too many years ago when there were only a handful of ‘book’ bucks taken in the state each year. While visiting and hunting with my friend outdoor writer and TV show host Larry Weishuhn recently, we spent a good bit of time discussing the subject of the increase of big deer taken in Texas and across the country.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

An effort to label genetically modified foods in Colorado has failed to garner enough support, following a national trend of statewide GMO labeling ballot measures facing uphill battles. A similar measure in Oregon is was defeated by a far narrower margin.

Voters in Colorado resoundingly rejected the labeling of foods that contain the derivatives of genetically modified – or GMO – crops with 66 percent voting against, versus 34 percent in favor.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks, today I'm taking you on a quail hunt to Hidden Lakes Hunting Resort.  My buddy, Terry Tate, is on this adventure with me.  Places like this are the only place you'll find quail, they've been gone from there for about 25 years. 

JENNIFER WHITNEY / TEXAS TRIBUNE

Texas regulators recently tightened up the rules for disposal wells- the ones that get rid of oilfield waste.  The action was in response to a cluster of earthquakes that have rattled North Texas according to a recent article from StateImpact Texas

10weatherpics.blogspot.com

The Great Garden series continues with a visit to Darla Wood's garden in Timbercreek Canyon, Texas.  Darla has tried the traditional lawn route unsuccessfully, and now integrates art and listening what the land wants to be.   

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!

This note is going to be short.  My wife and I are on vacation in the Galveston Bay.  We're staying in a canal house, and fishing off the deck.  I've also been going out at night gigging flouder with one of my friends.  We've also been taking care of the crab traps.  Take a look at the slide show, and you'll see the amazing stone crabs we brought home.

It's a great time to be outdoors!

austinnativelandscaping.com

 In this look back at Great Gardens across the High Plains, Skip travels to Amarillo, Texas.  There she meets Bob Hatton, who took a yard composed primarily of lawn, and created a landscape featuring plants that trigger memories of his childhood like this beautiful redbud tree.

alzheimersreadingroom.com

I’ve been penning stories about the outdoors now for almost a quarter century. One of the benefits of being an outdoors writer so long is sharing the knowledge I glean from all the professional hunters and fishermen I work with. 

fundanything.com

The Great Garden series continues with a trip back in time to the Shirley Opera House in Atwood, Kansas.  Skip talks with Alice Hill who is setting the tables at the Opera House with good things from the garden.

You'll remember Alice Hill, whose latest adventure is Full Circle Aquaponics.  She's busy growing everything they eat at Beaver Creek Ranch. 

amarillo.com

The newest Texas Panhandle wind farm just began operation, and two more projects have just signed interconnection agreements.  The total cost of the pair will be about $900 million according to a recent article from the Amarillo Globe-News.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

If you think the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation stamp, the "Duck Stamp," is just for waterfowl hunters, think again! Whether you hunt, bird, photograph wildlife and scenery, collect stamps or conserve habitat, you'll want to purchase this stamp.

Joe Birzer / Wheatland Electric

Hays High won big in the standard class at the 15th annual High Plains ElectroRally recently held in Hays, Kansas.  Wheatland took honors in the solar class, and Olathe Northwest won the Team Spirit Award.

The ElectroRally is a "one-hour endurance race for electric cars" designed and constructed by high school students, said Joe Chretien, associate professor of applied technology at Fort Hays State University in a recent press release.

The electric car that completes the most laps within the hour wins the race.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!  My guest this week is guide Billy Carter who has lived, fished and hunted on beautiful Caddo Lake in deep east Texas his entire life. Billy and his wife Dottie own Spatterdock.  They have several furnished rental houses situated right on the lake. They also manage the oldest inland marina in the state, Johnson's Ranch Marina.

crh.noaa.gov

The National Weather Service serving the Central High Plains will no longer issue wind advisories. 

highplainsgardening.com

As we continue looking back at the Great Gardens of the past, today we'll head to Amarillo, Texas to meet Angie Hanna.  Angie has coined the term "extreme" gardening, referring to growing things in a transitional climate that is between growing zones, faced with constant shifts.  The challenge of the climate brought Angie to a goal of working with the climate, not against it.  

Angie also has a website full of growing tips for our neck of the woods: highplainsgardening.com.

With curbside composting, food waste not a total loss

Sep 30, 2014
Cassandra Profita for Harvest Public Media

Wasting around 40 percent of all the food produced in the U.S. certainly has its drawbacks: It's not feeding people in need, it's expensive and it does a lot of environmental damage.

But across the country, cities, towns and companies are finding food waste doesn't have to be a total loss. In fact, it can be quite valuable – in making fertilizer, electricity or even fuel for cars, trucks and buses.

Michael Brashier/Flickr

Many producers have converted to no-till, and now progressive farmers are learning to cover crop to keep soil covered after harvesting a cash crop. Ryan Speer is such a producer.

Pages