High Plains Public Radio

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

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks! In this weeks version of High Plains Outdoors, Luke takes us to Lake Fork to fish for white bass with his friend guide Seth Vanover www.lakeforkcatandcrappie.com . Seth is usually fishing the Sabine River this time of year for spawning white bass but the river is currently almost out of it's banks which making fishing tough. The whites at Lake Fork are in pre spawn mode and biting like crazy. Seth and Luke will show you what to look for on your graph when targeting winter "whites" and, how to catch them. White bass are in pre spawn and holding tight to bottom now. A small Rat L Trap or slab worked very slowly within inches of bottom is the ticket to some fast paces action.

Holly Schwarting / Kansas Agland

From Kansas Agland : Many people assume nothing is going on with the alfalfa weevil during the winter months, or maybe that any eggs present will die during cold weather. That is not the case. Alfalfa weevils are cool-weather insects. Adults lay eggs in alfalfa fields in the fall or even the winter. Most of these eggs survive the winter, and continue to develop at temperatures above 48ºF.

Wikipedia / Creative Commons

Wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power.” The implication is that wind energy is now cheaper than coal and gas power nationwide. But that’s not exactly right, reports The Rural Blog . In most of the nation, traditional power sources are still cheaper, if only slightly. But Obama was right to mention Iowa and Texas. In those states, wind power is in fact cheaper. That’s due in large part to the sheer windiness of the two states. Developers there are finding ways to take...

Thomas Bougher / Texas Tribune

Texas has lost its bid to block the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, reports The Texas Tribune . A federal appeals court has denied the Lone Star State’s request to put a stay on the environmental emissions legislation. The judge’s ruling leaves the controversial climate change rules in place as a legal challenge continues to make its way through the courts. The two-page order was an early victory for Obama and those who support the effort to combat climate change. The Clean Power...

fpat / Creative Commons

It was a comparatively mild year weatherwise for Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle, reports Amarillo.com. Globally, 2015 was by far the hottest year in 136 years of recordkeeping. The worldwide temperature exceeded the 20th century average by 1.62 degrees. However, in Amarillo the temperature never rose above 100 degrees. That hasn’t happened since 2002. Meteorologist Lance Goehring explained: “El Nino for … Amarillo normally means our high temperatures are a little cooler and our low...

Citizen Science: eBird

Jan 26, 2016
planetofbirds.com

eBird was launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. It helps bird-watchers keep records of observations. It's another example of citizen science. eBird aggregates millions of bird sightings, which is very useful for scientists studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds.

Muhammed / Creative Commons

Over the past few years, bees and other pollinators have been disappearing from America, reports The Rural Blog . Last year the Obama administration called for a national strategy to protect these insects. Bees are essential to many crops, and most states agreed to develop pollinator protection plans. However, according to the Pollinator Stewardship Council, which tracks the process, few states have followed through on their promise. Of High Plains states, only Colorado has developed and...

Luke Clayton

Hello Folks! I had a great time at Caddo Lake with my long time friends Billy Carter and Phil Zimmerman. Billy and I have fished for good eating yellow bass for the past couple of decades. Billy was one of the first fishing guides that introduced the public to the yellow bass. They are hard fighters and, in my opinion, one of the best eating fish in freshwater. Billy and his wife Dottie have several rental lake houses at Caddo. Billy also offers fisherman cabins at Johnson's Ranch Marina .

Jim Hill / KUNC

The governor of Colorado made a big announcement this week for hikers and nature lovers in the state. John Hickenlooper said the state will connect and build 16 hiking and biking trails in all parts of Colorado. The new plan will make it easier for people to access open space and parks, says member station KUNC. The idea is part of Governor Hickenlooper’s Colorado the Beautiful initiative, which he unveiled last year. The governor said he thinks it's especially important to make sure more...

arbyreed / Creative Commons

The federal government’s Clean Power Plan has caused a seismic shift in the way High Plains states approach their energy policy. The plan, unveiled last year, gives states flexibility to achieve its mandates for reducing pollution. It sets ambitious but achievable goals. And it allows states to meet these goals in creative ways, instead of dictating the methods. The Clean Power Plan also provides credits for innovative ideas. These credits have already spurred new renewable energy development...

KFOR.com

A well-known resident of an Oklahoma nature reserve has been killed, reports KFOR. Visitors to the J.T. Nickel Preserve near Tahlequah were often greeted by an 8-year-old bull elk, known as “Hollywood.” But last week someone illegally poached Hollywood. His carcass was found, but his head was missing. The elk had been something of an Oklahoma celebrity, and he could usually be found lounging near the road. The director of the J.T. Nickel Preserve remembered Hollywood, saying “He was not just...

StateImpact Oklahoma

Last week more than 300 angry residents packed an Edmond, Oklahoma, ballroom to voice concerns over a dramatic rise in earthquakes. Now 14 Edmond residents have filed a lawsuit against a dozen oil and gas companies, reports StateImpact Oklahoma . The lawsuit claims the companies acted negligently. It asserts that companies’ use of disposal wells constitutes an “ultrahazardous activity” that “causes or contributes” to earthquakes. The lawsuit stems from two widely felt quakes that struck near...

Caninest / Flickr Creative Commons

Colorado officials are resisting a new wolf policy, reports ABC News. The federal government is expanding plans to restore endangered Mexican gray wolves to the Southwest. The attempt to import the predators has now spread to Colorado. About 110 Mexican gray wolves already roam portions of Arizona and New Mexico . The presence of the animals has been contentious in those states for years. New Mexico is resisting proposals to release more wolves. And Arizona lawmakers have failed in requests...

Aaron Marineau / Kansas Agland

Two cattle mutilation cases in McPherson and Harvey counties have law enforcement officials still searching for answers – even delving into cases from more than 40 years ago. So far, there have been no leads in the cases, which includes a bull found dead in Harvey County Dec. 18 , with its genitalia removed, followed by a Jan. 1 case near Canton in which a pregnant cow was found dead with its eye harvested. Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said he received the toxicology report on the bull...

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS LTD./ALAMY

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.

USDA.gov

From Kansas Agland : ELKHART – The Cimarron National Grassland implemented an emergency closure of part of its property in December after seven cattle were found dead. The 108,000-acre Morton County grassland imposed the Dec. 18 order due to the potential hazardous airborne conditions that may be present. It includes four sections – roughly 2,600 acres – including Stirrup Oil Field, located along the Cimarron River corridor north of Rolla. The closure involves all motorized and nonmotorized...

Luke Clayton

More than 50,ooo people from across the globe streamed into the Dallas Convention Center last weekend to attend the granddaddy of all outdoor expos reports KERA News. The Dallas Safari Club's Annual Convention is a place you can find smokers, custom boots, leather cell phone cases, electric buggies, four-wheelers, insulated deer blinds, taxidermy services, hunting trips, guns, and High Plains Outdoors' Luke Clayton. Luke says you need a couple days and a good GPS to find your way around. He...

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media : Advocates for listing the monarch butterfly as threatened under the Endangered Species Act are tired of waiting for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make up its mind. "We filed a notice of intent to sue so that they have to give us a date to make that decision on whether or not they're going to protect the monarch," says Tierra Curry, senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity which, along with other groups, petitioned the federal agency in 2014...

LPCI: Grazing Management for Lesser Prairie-Chicken

Jan 12, 2016
McRoberts / USFWS

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.

Making Energy from Waste: The Other Natural Gas

Jan 11, 2016
Rebecca Jacobson / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media: Every day, a facility on the outskirts of Grand Junction, Colorado takes in 8 million gallons of what people have flushed down their toilets and washed down their sinks. The water coming out the other end of the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant is cleaner than the Colorado River it flows into. The organic solids strained from that water are now serving a new purpose - producing fuel for city vehicles. The solids at Persigo have been processed for decades so they...

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! I...

KFOR.com

Last week’s cluster of earthquakes in Edmond, Oklahoma, have revealed a previously unknown fault line, according to NewsOK. This new information could mean more earthquakes in the future, says seismologist Daniel McNamara. Researchers have been using oil and gas industry data to identify previously undocumented fault lines in the state. But sometimes faults are revealed when a series of earthquakes fire off with epicenters in a linear pattern. This is what happened last week in Edmond....

An Awesome Autumn

Jan 6, 2016
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

A look back to the past year brought grateful thoughts and many thanks for the abundant rainfall that helped make autumn 2015 a blaze of foliage and color. And a review of some old-fashioned weather forecasting observations brings some humor and perhaps a bit of truth to the outlook for the months ahead.

Jim Bickel / The Oklahoman

Oklahoma had more earthquakes in 2015 than every continental state combined, reports Oklahoma City station KOCO. 49 U.S. states—excluding the massive Alaska—recorded a total of almost 1,600 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater last year. Of those, almost 900 were in Oklahoma. The other states had a combined total of 729. The Sooner State has been shattering its own records every year. In 2013, the state had just over 100 earthquakes, 72 more than the year previous. Then, from 2013 to 2014,...

mcdarius / Flickr Creative Commons

Beginning early next month Kansas Geological Survey crews will begin studying almost 600 Kansas wells. The research is part of an effort to measure changes in groundwater levels, reports KAKE. The study is conducted annually in western and central Kansas. In addition to the geological survey, the Kansas Department of Agriculture's Division of Water Resources will measure about 830 wells. 90 percent of the wells to be measured draw water from the massive High Plains aquifer system. This system...

Landowner Story: Deferred Grazing on Grissom Ranch

Jan 5, 2016
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Rancher Grady Grissom discusses the lessons he's learned from deploying a deferred-rotation system of managed grazing on his 14,000-acre ranch. But he doesn't like the term "grazing system." He says you don't choose a "system." You graze toward a goal.

KFOR.com

An animal shelter was at the epicenter of an Edmond, Oklahoma, earthquake last week, reports ABC 13 Houston . The 4.3 magnitude quake rattled the building around 5:40 a.m. last Tuesday. The shaking earth sent tile and light fixtures crashing down on top of cages and cracked cinder block walls. Kenny Stevenson of Edmond Animal Welfare, told local station KFOR , that if the animals could talk, "they would have stories to tell." None of the animals were hurt, but they were definitely spooked....

kansas.com

Some people like cities. They like the anonymity of blending into a crowd. They like choosing where to shop, dine, and have fun. Being unknown to a server is a relief rather than a blessing. For these folks, the intimacy of living in a small town where everyone knows your name and your business is too personal. On the other hand, there are people like me who love going into a local eatery where the wait staff knows my name and what I’m going to order. These establishments are the heartbeat of...

New Modular Home Takes Water Efficiency to Next Level

Dec 31, 2015
NexusHaus.com

The Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon competition this fall was focused on renewable energy. But BuilderOnline reports that one Texas team chose to build a house that took resource conservation a step further. The University of Texas at Austin ’s team constructed a home that is net zero usage for energy as well as water. Called NexusHaus , the dwelling is one of the country's first water-independent dwellings. The design could have major ramifications for home builders in drought-prone...

ls2.com

Howdy, Folks! This week I'm cooking rabbit and divulging one of my recipes for making crisyy fried rabbit and... smothered rabbit with mushroom gravy. In recent years, many newcomers to the sport of hunting have concentrated on big game but small game such as rabbit and squirrel are excellent eating and provide a very challenging hunting experience. I'll be back next week with more hunting and fishing, and until then... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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