HPPR Environment

hydrology (water, aquifers, rivers)
fauna (wildlife)
climate change

Management & conservation
water conservation
soil conservation
wildlife protection
policies & regulations

Houseplant Basics

Jan 28, 2015

A look at some of the most popular and easiest houseplants to keep you in greenery for the cold season.  Skip looks at the four basics needs of a healthy houseplant, and how to create a suitable environment in often overheated winter homes. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Healthy rangelands help the long-term sustainability of the landowner and the Lesser Prairie-Chicken.

Practices that bolster the bird's habitat  are also good for ranching, and can lead to improved rangeland health. NRCS provides technical and cost-assistance for grazing management programs under the Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative.


Christian Hagen
Science Advisor
NRCS LePC Initiative
Bend, OR

Jon Ungerer
Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative Coordinator
Marysville, KS

There’s a new study that says antibiotics used to treat livestock and antibiotic-resistant genes that pose a threat to humans can be carried by the wind from large livestock operations reports Politico.

Researchers at the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University say they found six veterinary antibiotics in dust samples downwind from 10 large beef cattle feedlots in Texas. 


The Kansas Aqueduct Committee recently met in Salina to discuss the viability of taking water out of the Missouri river and diverting across the state to Western Kansas.  This report comes from Kansas Agland.

The conversation flowed smoothly until Committee member Tim Rhodd, expressed disapproval of the concrete-lined ditch.  Rhodd is the chairman of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.  He says the project will push his region into the same water crisis facing the western part of the state. 

Luke Clayton

"What's for supper tonight, Luke?"    Give me twenty minutes and we will be eating gumbo!

This week, Luke tells divulges his quick and easy method of making  "Instant Gumbo"!

Begin cooking a couple gallons of gumbo stock which contains all the baiscs, ie.  tomaotes, okra, celery, bell pepper and onion. This can be preserved by canning in quart jars or freezing in quart freezer bags.


Bonsai is an ancient, living art form that never is completed.  It requires focus, balance, and composition.  Bonsai live for a hundred years, so many times plants are passed from one generation to the next.  Bonsai are never centered, but always placed to one side or another.  The plants are trained to an asymmetrical balance. 

This kind of gardening teaches patience, introduces the glories of solitude, and opens the mind to thoughts about size and scale, and the importance of a single leaf or action.


Thank goodness for houseplants. Without them, gardeners might have a hard time making it through the hard times of winter.  Jade is a natural-born houseplant perfect for busy people who want a bit of winter greenery, but don’t want to take on a major houseplant commitment.  

Lori Potter / Kearney Hub

The NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program targets funds to priority resource concerns such as a lack of wildlife habitat, erosion control, water quantity, and water quality. Partners, like water conservation management districts, submit proposals to help producers install and maintain conservation activities in select project areas. These proposals often included innovative or experimental approaches.

Luke Clayton

Hello Folks!

The last buck of the season brought a big surprise to this ole boy.  I was set up in my ground blind, the last day of deer season, the last hours of the day, when movement caught my eye.  And, there was a big ole tom bobcat.  I thought he'd just look around, and then go on his way, but the rascal headed right for the door of my blind.  He was about six feet away when I shut the door.  There simply was not enough room for ole Luke and that cat in the blind.

That really got me going!


Already, flu and pneumonia have been a factor in more than 500 deaths in Kansas reports KPR’s Bryan Thompson.

 People older than 64 or younger than five are being hit the hardest. The CDC is advising people with chronic conditions, pregnant women, senior citizens, and small children to take antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu, if they become infected. Dr. Mike Munger, at St. Luke’s South Primary Care, in Overland Park, says the drugs need to be taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms to minimize the severity of the flu.


Organic farming may be just as healthy for the farmers who practices it as it is to their consumers reports the Center for Rural Affairs.

Researchers at the National Institute of Health recently completed a 20 year study on the connection between pesticides and depression in farmers.

A long-lived garden

Jan 7, 2015

This was the year that keeps on giving when it comes to the garden, except for the beets that I replanted three times with no results.

I'm hoping to have a few last salads in the New Year with my remaining tomatoes. 


Producer Joel Bergman of Loomis, Nebraska, talks about how he switched from labor-intensive canal and gravity irrigation to pivot and underground drip systems on his 1500-acre operation. The Bergman farmstead prevents one pivot system from sweeping 360 degrees, bypassing the pie-slice where the farmstead is located. Bergman proposed putting in a wiper center pivot and 20-acres' worth of underground drip irrigation.

Getting off the chemical treadmill

Jan 4, 2015
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

Farmers engaged in an epic struggle with “superweeds” – weeds that don’t die even when sprayed with herbicide – are looking for help from a new super chemical that’s about to hit the market.

Currently the last line of defense against weeds not felled by other herbicides, the new chemical could be defeated if it is overused and farmers could be left in even worse straits.  

Pigweed Problem

Herbicide-resistant Pigweeds are marching north into soybean and corn fields across the Midwest from the southern U.S. where they choked cotton fields so completely that the land cannot be farmed They can grow up to seven feet tall and produce more than half a million seeds per plant, per season.

Quentin Hope

A report on water use for fracking in Texas finds that it is not the only or even the most significant contributor to the longstanding problem of water use in Texas. 

The policy brief by The Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy at Texas A&M University is based on a study that looks closely at water use in the Eagle Ford Shale formation in south Texas where fresh groundwater aquifers are overdrawn by nearly 2.5 times their recharge rate.  Hydraulic fracturing operations there make up the third largest use of groundwater, well behind irrigation, the primary use.  However, hydraulic fracturing does requires large amounts of water, roughly five million gallons, for each well.

Kevin Rolle flickr/creative commons

The Kansas Biological Survey at KU has been awarded a $2.1 million contract to play an essential role in the Lesser Prairie Chicken Range-Wide Conservation Plan, a program resulting from the bird being listed as an endangered species in May of last year.  Companies that enroll in the plan, pay mitigation fees and follow recommended conservation measures are exempted from provisions of the Endangered Species Act and protected from penalties.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is partnering with regional agencies in promoting meaningful actions for water conservation. Certain areas over the aquifer have experienced more groundwater depletion than others. Kansas producer Gary Moss received help through the local groundwater management district to revert part of his irrigated operation to dryland and meet his water consumption goal.


A guide to the care and watering of  the plant that says "Christmas" no matter the time of year.

Kansas Pheasants & Quail Forever

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.

Christmas Cactus

Dec 12, 2014

It takes special care to get this holiday favorite to bloom at the right time.  Skip tells you how.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!  Join me this week as I travel to east Texas to hunt aoudad and wild boar with my long time friend Mark Balette who owns B & C Outfitters

On this hunt, I put more meat in the freezer with the with a good eating wild boar and Aoudad Ram.  I used my Darton Crossbow  for the hog hunt and a new big bore air rifle that will be on the market next month for the ram.

Courtesy of UT's Cockrell School of Engineering

Fracking has unleased massive reserves of natural gas in the United States.  The environmental impact of gas is a hot topic reports KUT News.

Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA)

With winter on the High Plains comes the season of the tumbleweed.  The Russian thistles that dried and snapped from their roots in the fall now rove the western plains with the winter winds, leaving their seed for next year’s crop.  As a given part of winter, they’ve made their way into the seasonal holidays as well.

Harvest Public Media

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.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!  This week, we're headed west to the canyon country of southwest Texas.  I'm meeting Steven Ray.  He's an expert antler rattler, and the creator of Rattling Forks.

This hunt brings in one of the nicest bucks I've seen in years.

Hop in my truck, and let's go!


  The oil and gas boom is boosting economies on the high plains, but it’s also putting small towns in danger reports ProPublica

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.


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.


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.

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.