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

Farmers Like Trump But Worry About The Farm Bill

Aug 15, 2017
CCO Creative Commons

A new Farm Futures survey, as Politico reports, has found that 55 percent of farmers would give President Donald Trump an “A” or “B” if they were assigning a grade to him on domestic issues. 

The survey of 1,200 growers found that farmers are mostly good with the Trump administration’s domestic policies so far.

poplinre / Flickr Creative Commons

As the dog days of summer continue, the chances of encountering a rattlesnake on the High Plains remain elevated.

But, as The Sacramento Bee explains, rattlesnakes aren’t as dangerous as you may think. Attacks aren’t as common as some may believe, because rattlers aren’t aggressive. They generally only bite when they feel threatened.

However, humans sometimes mistakenly think a snake is being aggressive when it’s simply trying to find a cooler place to lie.

Luke Clayton

Many people think that for a catfish bait to be effective, it has to smell to high heaven. Not so! A few years ago, catfish guide Bradley Doyle began experimenting with a catfish bait that actually has a pleasant smell and... CATCHES CATFISH!

Doyle named the bait Catfish Bubblegum and began using it on his guide trip on lake Conroe in Southeast Texas.

It worked so well that he put the bait on the market.

LT. SETH FRIZZELL / HOLCOMB COMMUNITY FIRE DEPARTMENT

Kansas ranchers impacted by wildfires could receive more than $18 million in federal funds for fencing lost in the Starbuck wildfire, which began in Oklahoma and spread into southwest Kansas on March 6.

As The Hutch News reports, the fire burned over 660,000 acres in Kansas and Oklahoma and 500,000 acres in Clark, Comanche and Meade Counties making it the largest in Kansas history.

Today on Growing on the High Plains, I'll investigate the history of food fads. 

From gelatinous meats to Amazonian sweets, we'll explore a few consumable crazes from the American archives, as well as edible trends of today.

There's more behind these trendy treats than meets the tongue -- like the environmental impact and the politics of production.  

New Natural Gas Discovery Found In San Juan Basin

Aug 9, 2017
Wikipedia

A new natural gas discovery was made earlier this week by oil giant BP.

As The Denver Post reports, the company made the discovery in the Mancos formation of the San Juan Basin near the Colorado border – saying a new well it drilled averaged production of 12.9 million cubic feet of gas per day in its first month - the highest achieved by a well in that area in 14 years.

Creative Commons CC0

Some dairy farmers worry that President Donald Trump’s immigration policies may be bad for business.

As KUT reports, immigrant labor is vital to many Texas farms and ranches, which have found themselves trying to determine how changes to immigration policy will impact their businesses and also how to deal with it when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows up at their farms to check employment records.

sheppard.af.mi

Dove hunting season begins in Oklahoma on Sept. 1 and this year hunters will have more places to hunt and view wildlife.

As The Oklahoman reports, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will open new areas this year for hunting.


TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL oil pipeline, is scheduled to go before the Nebraska Public Service Commission next week, the final hurdle before the agency decides whether the pipeline’s path should be approved.


Sarah&Boston / Flickr Creative Commons

After a bit of a seismic hiatus, earthquakes returned full force to Oklahoma last week, reports KOTV.

Beginning Tuesday night, Oklahoma was pummeled by at least 11 different earthquakes of magnitude three or higher, according to the United States Geological Survey.

No major damage was reported.

Luke Clayton

Deryl Markgraf is an expert in all types of night hunting equipment and on this week’s High Plains Outdoors, he discusses the different types of night hunting scopes that are available.

For those who are interested in hunting predators or wild hogs at night, today’s show will help you choose the equipment to best suit your needs.

THEOGEO / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

The House Agriculture Committee held a farm bill listening session July 31 at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, where farm industry leaders and others shared their input about the upcoming markup of the farm bill, which is set to expire Sept. 30, 2018.

TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL oil pipeline, is scheduled to go before the Nebraska Public Service Commission next week, the final hurdle before the agency decides whether the pipeline’s path should be approved.

Get a tissue, because I'm about to set your sinuses ablaze.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering disaster assistance to dozens of counties in western Kansas which were affected by a late spring snowstorm.

The storm dumped heavy snow, and straight-line winds up to 60 miles per hour created drifts and knocked downed power lines and trees. The snowstorm affected 27 counties, mainly in western and northwestern Kansas, from April 28 to May 3.

FEMA will reimburse state and local governments, agencies and nonprofits for recovery projects.

Promised gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Batten / Wikimedia Commons

An upcoming documentary on the Discovery channel will explore a new grassroots conservation movement in America—a movement based on stewardship of the land, and centered on those who live and work on the land.

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman tells the story of four stewards of the land in the U.S., including a Kansas farmer, a Montana rancher, and a fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico. The film is narrated by Tom Brokaw and based on a book of the same name.

Pixabay / Wikimedia Commons

 A new report reveals which states have fully embraced renewable energy—and the states in the HPPR listening area are among the top in the nation.

As CBS News reports, the state of Texas now produces more wind energy than most countries - and a healthy portion of that energy is produced by wind farms in the Texas Panhandle.

Kansas continues to be one of the leading states in renewable energy, especially with wind power.

Kansas is the fifth state to have at least 5000 megawatts of wind power capacity installed. The state is behind California, Oklahoma, Iowa and Texas, which has a capacity of a whopping 21,000 megawatts.

Kansans get 30 percent of their power from wind and solar. California is at 16 percent.

Luke Clayton

Big game seasons will be here before we know it. Summer is a great time to get out and do some shooting.

Ranges are usually much less crowded this time of year and now is the perfect time to spend some time during the morning hours or late afternoon and perfect our shooting skills.

Tune in this week and learn how Luke gets "pretty close" with only one shot, which is a great way to save ammo and get bullet placement close enough for some "fine tuning" shooting. 

Of all the expensive machinery Tom Giessel worked during the 2017 wheat harvest, his favorite sits in the office of his home.

It’s a microfilm machine, the kind found in a high school library. Giessel uses it for his work as the historian of the National Farmers Union, the nation’s second-largest farm group.

Valarie Smith / High Plains Public Radio

All Cody Crockett ever wanted to be was a cowboy. And for a short time, he got his wish.
Crockett worked on the 9,000-acre Franklin Ranch, about 70 miles northeast of Amarillo, where on March 6, a massive wildfire broke out.

Cody, his girlfriend Sydney Wallace, and rancher Sloan Everett, were killed while trying to rescue livestock.

Texas Monthly features the trio in an article that also includes photos and video.

Would a pepper by any other name taste just as sweet? Or spicy? Or seasoned? On today's Growing on the High Plains, let's tip our caps to the Capsicum, blow a horn for the peppercorn, and find out "what's the dilly" with the chili. Though different as they may be, these three cousins often answer to the same name: pepper.

Gellscom / Flickr Creative Commons

In the 1970s, Texas utility companies funded research that showed that burning fossil fuels harms the environment.

Yet as The Texas Observer reports, despite awareness of the damage their activities were causing, electric utilities spent the next three decades publicly denying the results of their own studies, and attempting to undermine climate science.

Hundreds of Midwest farmers are complaining of damage to their crops allegedly caused by the herbicide dicamba. The total number of damaged acres may come to more than 2.5 million acres, according to data compiled by a University of Missouri researcher.

Most of the damage has been found in the Midwest and South, with complaints of more than 850,000 damaged acres in Arkansas and more than 300,000 damaged acres in both Missouri and Illinois.

You Can Learn How To Drive A Steam Train

Jul 25, 2017
CC0 Public Domain

People on the High Plains can learn how to drive a steam train, just by taking a day trip to the Colorado-New Mexico border.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, the Cumbers and Toltec Scenic Railroad dates back to the 1880s and is the highest and longest steam-operated railroad in the country – a National Historic Landmark – that ferry tourists between Chama and Antonito Colorado every day during the summer and fall seasons.

Luke Clayton

For the past seven years, Luke and a friend have outfitted archery elk and bear hunts in northern Colorado. This is a busy time of year with lots of preparation for the high country hunting. Luke is busy curing and smoking ham and grinding sausage for the three weeks in elk camp.

There’s nothing more tasty than a big breakfast with cured hickory smoked ham when in that cool mountain air. For more information, visit the Hunting East Texas website

After decades of alarming headlines, Kansas may be on the verge of preserving an ancient groundwater resource that helped make it an agricultural powerhouse.

Since the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s, researchers have warned that farmers were pumping water from the part of the massive Ogallala aquifer that underlies Kansas faster than nature could replace it.

But a new emphasis on conservation spearheaded by Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is starting to reverse that longstanding trend.

When curating one's seasonal planting, most veteran gardeners have their favorites. Time-saving green thumbs often prefer perennials, while those attracted to a regular change of scenery might opt for annuals. 

CC0 Public Domain

The oil and gas industry in Colorado over the past four years has put millions of dollars into campaigns for politicians and for public relations.

As The Denver Post reports, the oil and gas industry has poured more than $80 million into Colorado to shape public opinion and influence campaigns and ballot initiatives, creating a political force that has had broad implications throughout the state.

Kansas Geological Survey

There is hope for the Ogallala Aquifer.

That, according to the Garden City Telegram, is what Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said when they visited Garden City Tuesday.

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