HPPR Environment

Science news

Oklahoma Grazing Lands Conservation Association

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. But rangeland researchers and managers are awakening to the benefits of burning.

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Drought conditions have been downgraded for portions of eastern Colorado.  

Home-cured Ham

Jan 3, 2014
Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!

This week, I'm walking you through the steps to cure and then smoke ham.  You can do it with ham you buy at the store, but the ham you see to the right is a wild boar I got a couple weeks ago.  Take a listen.  This is delicious!

Until next time, enjoy the great outdoors!

Winter Morning Shadow Plays

Jan 3, 2014
nps.gov

One of my favorite childhood memories or maybe even adult memories involves casting finger shadows of rabbits, birds, and other creatures onto a blank wall. One morning, I noticed Mother Nature playing her own shadow games on Big Creek below my kitchen window.On weekend mornings, I look forward to seeing what sorts of fun the “old girl” can concoct using barren branches, agile squirrels, and flitting birds.

Dave Powell / USDA, Forest Service

This episode of Playa Country is a report on 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 are invading uplands. Tom Hartman of Grand Island manages the family ranch at Scotia, NE, and faced an onslaught of ERC.

comerecommended.com

Howdy Folks!

I have some great ideas of ways to spend time outdoors during the coming year.  If you've been wanting to get out of that rocking chair, and into the fresh air, take a listen.  You might hear an idea that appeals to you!

Until next time, enjoy the outdoors!

thegardenhelper.com

A giant bulb can bring blooms to brighten the holiday and with a bit of attention they'll usually stay around long enough to banish the "after holiday blues".  Today we'll also cover the minimal care and feeding of your amaryllis throughout the rest of the year, so that you can have a repeat success for many Christmas seasons to come.

CDC

Texas is among the states hardest hit so far by an early-striking flu season, and H1N1 is the strain most commonly reported among diagnoses this year.

Flu season this year is less severe elsewhere on the High Plains. Oklahoma is reporting a moderate flu season as of mid-December, while Colorado and Kansas are experiencing only localized or regional flu outbreaks, according to KUT Austin.

What Are Invasives?

Dec 23, 2013
Hillebrand Steve / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Biologists and rangeland conservationists discuss problems caused by the aggressive invasions of native and exotic shrubs such as Tamarisk, Russian Olive, Eastern Red Cedar and reeds on western Great Plains rangelands. These pests adversely impact ag economics, the ecology and native wildlife on the Plains.

Eagles: A Legal Casualty of Wind Energy

Dec 22, 2013
sfgate.com

A new federal rule allows wind farms to obtain 30-year permits allowing the legal killing of bald and golden eagles reported Dan Frosch for the New York Times.  

latimes.com

Howdy Folks!

If you have some extra time this holiday season, I have a great outdoor idea.  Head on down to Texas, and go hog hunting.  It's economical; most hunts are around $150 per day and that includes lodging.

The internet is a great place to arrange your trip.  I do have a friend, Mark Ballette, at East Texas Exotics, and he'd be glad to help you out.

Until next time, enjoy the great outdoors!

vernabob.com

During a week when holiday blooms appear at every turn, we'll look at the history of the giant amaryllis bulb and pause from our shopping long enough to ask, "What's in a name?"  And then we'll learn about the confusion between South African and South American blooms that ultimately became world travelers with multiple monikers.  But no matter, because whatever they've been called over the past five centuries, they still say 'Season's Greetings' around the world.    

survivorpediatrics.wordpress.com

A recent report released by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, gave Colorado the best ranking of high plains states for its ability to prevent and control infectious disease outbreaks.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research / Dr. Qingwu Xue

Drought tolerance in wheat has been increased through breeding over the years, but a group of Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists in Amarillo wanted to determine what plant physiological characteristics were making the biggest difference.

Lori Potter / Kearney Hub

Jerry Stevens enrolled in the Rainwater-Basin Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program, which restores and protects wetlands in fields under production by allowing center pivots to cross the rainwater basins. It's win-win. The program protects a wetland, and allows the producer to farm the circle around it.

What Climate Looks Like in the Texas Panhandle

Dec 15, 2013
NASA

NASA provides a bird’s eye view that shows how climate change and increased population has changed some geographic features in Texas.  

publicdomainpictures.net

 Howdy Folks.  I've got a special treat.  My ole buddy, James "Dubb" Wallace, took some time to talk with me on the phone about spending his Christmas vacations camping in the mountains of the Texas/Mexico border.

Santa Claus Melons

Dec 11, 2013

Melons are most often thought of as summertime treats, and many High Plains gardens offer them up during the hottest part of the growing season.  But our subject today is a melon type that produces in the heat but has the staying power to become a  prized centerpiece for holiday tables.  Santa Claus or Christmas melons have a few things going for them that set them apart from regular cantaloupes or honeydews, and that's the reason they can last so long off the vine.

Texas District 31 Primary: North versus South?

Dec 10, 2013
texasalmanac.com

Incumbent Sen. Kel Seliger, R- Amarillo, will have a Republican challenger from the south in next year’s primary election reported Enrique Rangel for the Amarillo Globe-News.  

High Tech Comes to Feral Hog Extermination

Dec 10, 2013
inhabitat.com

Feral pigs are pests.  Every year they cause an estimated $1.5 billion of damage to crops.  Texans are trying to shoot them from helicopters to control their numbers, but that method is not effective.  Pigs are smart, and soon learn to hide from the noisy choppers.

Kansas Ground Water Management

New legislation in Kansas makes it possible for producers to work within water conservation districts to create Locally Enhanced Management Areas (LEMAs) and agree among themselves how much groundwater use they can curtail. Brad Oelke talks about the first LEMA, which began in January 2013, and how NRCS may be able to help irrigators reduce consumption.

Luke Clayton

Merry Christmas Folks!

Today I’ve got some unique gift ideas for the hunter on your list, and I guarantee you will not find these things in every store. 

stillwaterweather.com

Although the cause is under debate, the fact is Oklahoma ranks second in seismic activity in the continental United States according to analysis done by EnergyWire. 

Gardening Gifts

Dec 5, 2013
wehavethetools.com

This week we'll look at items both from and for the garden, with some special attention given to finding gifts that might make gardening chores a bit easier for senior gardeners.  We'll also look at some 'gifts from the soil' that don't really require soil, thus making them ideal holiday items for those who miss not having a garden of their own anymore.    

oklahomafarmreport.com

Realizing the vital importance of the Ogallala Aquifer to the High Plains, The Natural Resources Conservation Service launched the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative. Playa lakes recharge the aquifer, and because of that, NRCS provides ways, through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, for producers to rehabilitate playas in cropland. NRCS Conservationists can help landowners develop a conservation plan that meets their goals, using this and other USDA conservation programs.

Sam Greenwood, Getty Images / kfyo.com

The Phillips 66 and WRB Refining in Borger, Texas has agreed to a penalty and compliance plan related to a migratory bird kill in August of 2012 reported KFYO.  

lindyfishingtackle.com

Howdy, folks! 

Today we're wrapping it up with Bill Dance; talking about how he moved from bass fishing tournaments to television.  When one door closes, a window opens.  That's the story of Bill's life.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

As farmers across the Midwest have simplified the landscape and plowed up grassland to grow more corn and soybeans, habitat for pheasants, quail and other grassland birds has become increasingly scarce and their numbers are falling.

In Nebraska, wild pheasant concentrations have fallen 86 percent since their peak in the 1960s. The pheasant harvest during hunting season in Iowa is off 63 percent from the highs reached in the 1970s. In areas that used to be overrun, you’ll struggle to find a pheasant now.

Jerod Foster / texastribune.org

Standing on a sprawling ranch where drilling rigs, cranes and bobbing stripper wells form a makeshift skyline, Jimmy Davis is not thinking solely about sucking up oil. It is not the only precious liquid that is pumped from under the land that he manages according to a recent article in the Texas Tribune.

How are High Plains Kids Doing?

Nov 26, 2013
stapletonscoop.com

The Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released its annual KIDS COUNT Data Book. 16 indicators are tracked. This year’s report revealed that children in the United States continue to make gains in education and health despite a growing poverty rate. The report was expanded to include American’s youngest children.  

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