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

Wikimedia Commons

When America adopted the bald eagle as the national symbol in 1782, there may have been 100,000 nesting eagles. But the eagle population declined, in part due to pesticides.

kgs.ku.edu

Water rights holders in Western Kansas counties recently rejected a plan to conserve the Ogallala Aquifer.  Groundwater Management District No. 1 board members asked its voting membership to approve a measure to that would cut irrigation use by 20 percent reported Amy Bickel for Kansas Agland.

artofmanliness.com

In Victorian times, people of good breeding with time on their hands apparently went “calling.” As either a pass into another’s home or as a token of the visit, guests left behind a reminder of the visit in a lovely dish placed on an entryway table. These ornately engraved name cards held special significance if one bent the left top corner one way and another meaning if the deliverer tore a different place. 

freedomsfrontier.org

Recent rains came just at the right time to spur and explosion of wildflowers across the Kansas Prairie.  Along roadways and in pastures flower paint the prairie with splashes of orange, red, purple, blue, white and yellow reported the Wichita Eagle.

Cindee Talley

Techniques that make every drop of water count in your xeriscape beds include how much, how often, and how to apply that gardener's liquid gold.  The importance of soil preparation is also discussed this week.  

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The North American Breeding Bird Survey is a cooperative effort between the United States and Canada.

amarillo.com

The Pantex Plant generates tons of paper that has to be destroyed in a manger that protects classified information about the facility’s top-secret nuclear weapons operations.  The material used to go into a landfill because it had to be shredded so finely, it couldn’t be recycled.  Then about 10 years ago, a waster operations employee thought turning the paper into compost would be the perfect solution according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

Cindee Talley

This week it's Matt Lutz's turn to give a 'favorite five' for a xeric garden.  He decided to highlight shrubs that will thrive in a near-desert climate.   

deltafarmpress.com

No-till farming alone won’t build soil carbon.  Recent research revealed that conservation tillage practices don't have any advantage over conventional practices reported Adele Phillips for the Center for Rural Affairs.

Powdermill Nature Reserve

How do scientists get the data they need to study birds? A lot of data is collected by volunteers, "citizen scientists," through bird surveys and bird banding.

blogs.dickinson.edu

For weeks, I eye-balled a dead deer lying in a nearby wheat field. Each time I passed, I saw carrion eaters had whittled the carcass further. When I first spotted the broken body, I hoped a highway crew would clean it up, but after observing how many meals it provided not only to crows and magpies, but also to other scavengers, it served a better purpose where it was.

Cindee Talley

Horticulturalist Don Lonnberg gives us five of his favorites that will do well in a low-water, high-heat garden.

pitch.com

The Environmental Protection Agency announced its plan to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants nationwide.  States will decide how to meet the goals set by the EPA according to the Kansas Health Institute.

wrecklessfaith.com

The drought is hammering fields, pastures, the Ogallala Aquifer, and Galveston Bay?  StateImpact Texas reported researchers suspect drought is causing the massive fish die off.  Millions of shad have washed ashore recently.

dallasnews.com

Increased methane levels in Texas water wells cannot be linked to nearby drilling activity according to a report released by the state’s oil and gas regulator said a recent article from StateImpact Texas

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR

Oklahoma experienced very wet weather recently.  That seems to have improved drought conditions, but only in the southwest according to the latest updates from The U.S. Drought Monitor noted a recent article by StateImpact Oklahoma

idahoweedawareness.net

Living in the same region and sharing roads, doctors, schools, and hair stylists doesn’t mean people see a common experience from the same perspective. Everything that’s happened to individuals prior to those events colors their interpretations. It’s true of two kids who grow up in the same house with the same parents but tell two different stories about their upbringing. People spin their own explanations. 

thehibbitts.net

Howdy Folks!

Axis deer are a big deal down here in Texas. They came to the area on exotic ranches. Some of those rascals got loose, and now they free range across the state.

forgetmenotmmm.blogspot.com

Thomas County had the most rain in the state of Kansas this month, but overall, it’s not alleviating the drought according to the Garden City Telegram.

Are the vast seas of corn and soybeans killing bees?

hppr

Today Skip begins a series on xeriscaping by introducing some people who will be our guides as we travel down the road to survival during the dry times.

Scott Bauer / USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Western Kansas is a semi-arid region, with yearly precipitation at 17-19 inches. Progressive farmers understand their biggest challenge is capturing and holding every drop of moisture they can.

landscapingnetwork.com

 This week begins a series about xeriscaping.  Sometimes our growing conditions leave us feeling as if we’re living in the desert.  Today, Skip will teach us what kind of landscaping thrives in heat without much water.  

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Mark Hilliard of Hale County, Texas, says, "This is cotton country. It's rare to find a pristine playa lake."

wodumedia.com

Millard Fowler is a centenarian from the panhandle of Oklahoma.  He remembers the 1930s when he was a young, newly married farmer. 

colostate.edu

The fire outlook for Colorado was recently released by the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control.  The document shows the areas with the greatest potential wildfire danger are the plains of Eastern Colorado reported Laura Palmisano for KVNF

southwestfarmpress.com

Increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation may not be cyclic.  Dr. B.A. “Bob” Stewart recently released an analysis of data from 1895-2013 for the Texas High Plains.  He found the area is getting warmer and drier, and the recent drought is not a temporary state according to a study by Dr. Stewart for WTAMU.

texastribune.org

The depleting of aquifers and endless drought has spurred discussion, debate, and even court cases about who owns the water.  Groundwater and rain are familiar disagreements, but in Texas wastewater has stepped on stage. 

stevegarufi.com

This week GHP looks at the best way to insure success with shade trees, starting at the very beginning with good ideas on planting.  We've turned to Master Gardener and long-time tree grower Shirley Buller to line up some simple tips and techniques to get your trees started down the right road to a long, healthy, and shady life.

wikipedia.org

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill this week that tells the U.S. government it has no authority to regulate prairie chickens within the state of Kansas.  The bill also threatens lawsuits against federal conservation efforts in an escalating dispute over reversing the population decline of the lesser prairie chicken according to a recent article from the Topeka Capital-Journal.

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