HPPR Environment

Drought Affects Numbers
8:00 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Upland Bird Report: Eastern Colorado

Common Pheasant
Credit wikipedia.org

Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists say lingering effects of a two-year drought have significantly affected pheasant populations across eastern Colorado, setting up challenging conditions for upland bird hunters who take to the field this season according a press release from the Colorado State Division of Wildlife.

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Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Grassland Birds: Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Sandhill Crane is a tall gray bird of open grasslands, meadows and wetlands. The most numerous crane species in the world, this bird congregates in huge numbers during migration between wintering grounds in the Southwest and its breeding grounds in Canada, Alaska and Eastern Asia.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:00 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

American Whitetail Authority: The Tournament Trail

Credit dravesarchery.com

Howdy Folks!  This is the last week I'm going to talk with David Fort, the president of the American Whitetail Authority.    

David has shared with me the process his organization goes through to choose hunters to participate in their tournaments, and let me tell you what, it is not a walk in the park.  

In addition to having an excellent skill set, there are three tournaments hunters participate in, with the final one in eastern Kansas in January.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Planting Pollinators

Credit wikipedia.org

As wildlife habitats continue to disappear at an alarming rate, it's important  to remember that these areas are critical to the survival of not only animals of the woodlands and prairies but also the insects that are essential to the creation of many of our food sources. Production of countless fruits and vegetables depends on visits from a variety of flying insects that search out pollinators in your yard and garden. 

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Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Grassland Birds: Overview

Western Meadowlark singing
Credit Alan Vernon

They're not sport birds, but they are important to the ecological balance of range land. We look at the lives and habitats of the birds, and how conservation initiatives like Conservation Reserve Program helps these species.

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Climate
8:00 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

High Plains Drought Update: Late October Rains Helped Oklahoma Panhandle

Credit http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Dry conditions continue across the High Plains listening region.  Rain in southern Kansas slightly improved the abnormally dry conditions.  Heavy rains on October 26 improved conditions in the Oklahoma panhandle according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.  

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:00 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

American Whitetail Authority: Scoring Bulletless Tournament

Credit rmefblog.blogspot.com

Folks, I am pleased as punch to be talking with David Fort, president of the American Whitetail Authority.  David is teaching me about a whitetail tournament sponsored by the AWA.  The competition is done with rifles outfitted with cameras, not bullets.  

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:00 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Autumn Uglies

Credit beyondthefieldsweknow.org

Those of us who share our country homes with wildlife love spring time when we see the babies.  Nothing is cuter or sweeter than a newborn fawn unless it is six or seven baby raccoons following mom to the creek.  On the other hand, nothing is funnier looking and yet more charming than a flock of recently feathered turkey poults trying to catch grasshoppers as they follow their mother through tall grass.

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Wildfires
8:01 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Smoky Skies Affect the Region, Study Says

This panoramic view of east-central Texas on September 6, 2011, highlights numerous smoke plumes caused by wildfires burning across the state. The image was taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
Credit NASA Earth Observatory

The destruction caused by wildfires may be obvious to the observer, but one new piece of research brings attention to the potential effects of smoke from those wildfires.

The majority of the High Plains region falls under an area of the nation most affected by plumes of smoke from wildfires and other causes, according to research by environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

KAWS Wetland Coordinator - Helping Landowners Conserve Playas

Wetland vegetation and birds in the Ehmke playa, Lane County, Kansas
Credit William C. Johnson

Duane Cheney, from the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, talks to landowners and operators in western Kansas about the benefits of enrolling playas in NRCS's Wetlands Reserve Program or Continuous CRP, thereby taking those "mudholes" out of production once and for all and converting them into wonderful wildlife habitat that also helps recharge the Ogallala aquifer. Doug Duell talks about his experience rehabbing a 40-acre playa on his western Kansas cropland.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:00 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

American Whitetail Authority: Hunting With a Camera?

Credit thetruthaboutguns.com

Howdy Folks!  Today, I’m talking with David Fort, president of the American Whitetail Authority.  You know, there’s all sorts of tournaments, but the AWA tourney is unique.  It’s a whitetail competition series, but the unique aspect is that you’re hunting with a camera mounted on a gun.

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:00 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

High Plains Grasses Provide the Palette of Autumn

Credit hutchrec.com

The palette of autumn colors in western Kansas dazzles me every year.  I know many folks think foliage tours in eastern states reveal the best seasonal color, but I wish they would drive across the prairie with me.  The colors may not be quite so obvious as the hardwood forests in the East, but anyone with a good eye can enjoy our fall hues.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Xeriscaping: Planting blooms and color that last spring through fall

Skip Mancini (L) and Tom Gillan (R)
Credit Cindee Talley

Skip sits down with Tom Gillan, Owner, Native Nursery

  The xeriscaping conversation continues with Tom Gillan, owner of Native Nursery.  Today, the discussion focuses on planning a landscape that gives color and texture from spring until fall.

Weather
8:00 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Construction Is The Silver Lining of the Amarillo Hailstorm

Credit wunderground.com

The May hailstorm in Amarillo was the 10th costliest storm in the history of the state of Texas with an estimated price tag of $500 million.  With most of 2013 in the rear view mirror, the good news is that construction in Amarillo is up, and repairs from the spring storm is a significant part of the pie.  As a matter of fact, 43 percent of construction projects in the city are roofing according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Playas - Nebraska Landowner Story

Dave Hilfterty grows dryland winter wheat and irrigated corn in Perkins County, Nebraska. Dave had a challenge that was perfect for Wetlands Reserve Program assistance. Amongst his five irrigation circles there's a lagoon, which he got tired of trying to farm through.

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Harvest Public Media story
8:32 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

Beyond Community Gardens to Edible Parks

Stephanie Syson of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute looks at plans for a proposed food forest in Basalt, Colo.
Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Community gardens dole out small plots of land and encourage people with limited access to fresh produce to grow their own. Now, there’s a new twist on that model springing up across the country: edible food forests.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:00 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Even I Miss a Shot Now and Then

The one that got away- note the arrow under the feeder.

Howdy Folks!

This week will be short, because I am packing my gear to head back to the Dale River Ranch.  This past weekend, I was not successful.  It happens to the best of us.  I shot from a vertical angle that I don't practice much, and believe you me, when I get back to the ranch, it will be a shot I'll be practicing before I head back out to try again.

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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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