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

It won't be long until it's time to chalk up the old box call and get our turkey hunting gear in order for the opener of spring turkey season.

In today's show, Luke "talks turkey" and discusses some of the challenges of getting a big old long beard with a shotgun or bow range.

If you enjoy hunting turkey in the spring, it's definitely not too early to begin making plans! 

Our Turn At This Earth: As If No Tomorrow

Feb 15, 2018

When, as a young woman, I had the good fortune to stay for a few days in the home of a Hopi farming family, I saw many similarities between my host, James, and my own father. Both men had spent virtually every day of their lives outdoors, tilling soil and caring for crops. And they both did this in a dry place—in James’s case the northern Arizona desert, and in my father’s, the high, dry plains of western Kansas.

They say there are three things that matter when making decisions about real estate: ECHOLOCATION, ECHOLOCATION, ECHOLOCATION. And I suppose this especially rings true even when you're setting up a new residence for hometown bats.

"Orphan" Oil And Gas Wells Costly To Colorado

Feb 14, 2018
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Improperly abandoned “orphan” wells are costing the state of Colorado about $75,000 each and as The Denver Post reports, there are about 300 inactive wells in the state that were supposed to be plugged with cement to prevent contamination of soil and water.  

This has concerned state officials, who revealed on Monday that they are having trouble taxing the oil and gas industry at the levels needed to deal with those and other environmental impacts.

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The Amarillo region has now gone 124 consecutive days without any measurable precipitation.

Luke Clayton

On this week’s show, Luke talks about hunting javelina on Ranger Creek Ranch  in Knox County Texas. javelina season runs until Feb. 25 in northern Texas and is open year around in many southern Texas counties. 

Many hunters are not aware of the large number of javelina in northern Texas around Knox County, thinking they must travel to extreme southern Texas to do their hunting.

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Colorado’s main utility company is featured in a New York Times article for its embrace of solar and wind energy.

A Feb. 6 article outlines Colorado’s largest power company, Xcel Energy’s plans to replace two large coal-burning units with renewable energy and possibly some natural gas.

Calisphere/University of California

When I was a young woman, a friend who assisted the Hopi Indians with their causes invited me to join him on a visit to Hotevilla, the most traditional village on the Hopi Indian reservation. The Hopi descended from ancient Pueblo cultures that emerged in the desert Southwest around the 12th Century BC. They dwell in the region we now think of as northern Arizona. Their ability to stay in one place through the seasons, decades, and centuries rests on the domestication of corn on this continent seven thousand years ago.

A big, leafy-green high five to two of Amarillo's favorite urban farm-to-table advocates: Brady Clark, Executive Director of Square Mile Community Development, and Danny Melius, Founder & Market Gardener of Nuke City Veg. 

They say, “Every rose has its thorn,” but not the beautiful blooms cropping up on today’s Growing on the High Plains. Nor do they require watering, pruning, or pest control—and yet they give new meaning to the word “perennial!”

CC0 Public Domain

While the solar industry, as a whole, lost jobs between 2016 and 2017, Colorado saw growth in solar energy jobs. 

According to Greentech Media, the solar industry lost 9,800 jobs between 2016 and 2017 – the first drop recorded since the National Jobs Census began collecting data in 2010.

Lawsuits filed in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri against the makers of the herbicide dicamba will be centralized in the federal court in St. Louis.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Ligitation decided Thursday to centralize the 11 cases, which allege the herbicide caused significant damage to soybean crops. 

Shelby Knowles / The Texas Tribune

Dozens of small and rural utilities in the state have for years provided water that contains illegal levels of radiation, lead and arsenic. Lack of resources is largely to blame — but there's more to it than that.

From The Texas Tribune:

Luke Clayton

In today's show, Luke talks about a recent hog hunt he enjoyed with his friend Jeff Rice on Jeff's ranch, The Buck and Bass.

Jeff's ranch is located on the upper end of Lake Fork in East Texas and is home to countless wild hogs. Luke connected with a fat 100-pounder and turned the backstraps into what he describes as, "The best pork I've even eaten".

Here's Luke's recipe: 

From Texas Standard.

In 1941, Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie published The Longhorns, the definitive book on the quintessential Lone Star State livestock. Dobie was unsparing in his description of the breed, calling them bony, thin-flanked, some even grotesquely narrow-hipped, but also uniquely suited for the Texas terrain. They were built for survival, not show, which makes them quite different from their modern relatives.

In a time when good news and brotherly love sometimes seems to be at a low ebb, it's nice to know there are brilliant ideas still soaring through the minds of gifted innovators. Today's Growing on the High Plains shares the story of a British aeronautics engineer that's exploring novel methods to provide food aid to those in need. Spurred by war or natural disasters, critical food shortages have become all too common in our troubled times, but this man's solution warmed my gardening heart.

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If you live on the High Plains, you’re likely familiar with grackles.

In Amarillo the birds can often be seen in prolific numbers, lurking in trees above strip mall parking lots, like an image out of a postmodern Edgar Alan Poe spoof.

KTRK recently published a few facts about the black birds, courtesy of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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The Texas Panhandle is in the middle of one of its longest dry spells ever.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the Amarillo area hasn't received measurable rainfall in more than 100 days. The Panhandle is the most severe example of a larger problem. According to the latest data from the U.S. Drought Monitor, 40 percent of Texas is now experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions. And things aren’t expected to improve anytime soon.

Luke Clayton

Deer season is a done deal for this year so it's time to hang up the rifle or bow, but now is perfect the perfect time for breaking out the camera and "long" lens and taking some great photos. Camera equipment doesn't have to be expensive, an aftermarket 200mm or 300mm lens can be purchased for a few hundred dollars or ... a few thousand for the top-of-the-line professional lens.

Colorado State University

In the mid-1980s, when I returned to western Kansas after a sixteen-year absence, I was shocked by the changes irrigation had brought to our once dry-land wheat farm. Many of the wheat fields and pastures of my childhood had been replaced by irrigated corn. The water that made this more lucrative, but very thirsty, crop possible came from the vast Ogallala Aquifer, which underlies western Kansas and portions of seven other states.

When Texans – mostly farmers and ranchers – sat down to write the state Constitution in the 1800s, they didn’t see the need for an elected agriculture commissioner.

That oversight was quickly remedied.

Every High Plains gardener knows that moisture maintenance can be a trying task in the unpredictable weather patterns of our region--and that's as true for our wild winters as it is for the sweltering heat of summer.

National Centers for Environmental Informaiton / Public Domain

Last year was the second hottest year in recorded Texas history, reports The Texas Observer.

When it came to warm temperatures, 2017 ranks only behind 2012 in terms of hotness in Texas. Furthermore, six of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred in the 21st century.

National Park Service

Lake Meredith—a recreation area that was once one of the most popular in West Texas but has fallen on hard times in recent years—may be on the rebound.

As The Amarillo Globe News reports, the lake near Fritch in the northern Panhandle had its highest number of visitors in over a decade and a half last year. In 2017, Lake Meredith National Recreation Area received 1.3 million visits-the most since the dawn of the 21st century.

Wikimedia

Some hunters believe that if a deer they hunt doesn’t appear sickly, then it’s ok to eat the meat.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, however, that reasoning could be risky when dealing with deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

The recent frigid weather across the Midwest has slowed river barges carrying grain to shipment ports, especially those destined for the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi, Ohio and Illinois rivers.

Luke Clayton

This week, Luke visits with Will Herring, owner of Wild Boar Meats in Hubbard, Texas and discusses putting wild hog meat to good use. Herring's processing plant buys thousands of wild hogs each year and puts the meat to good use in the form of pet food.

The demand for wild hogs is so great that the plant is currently expanding so that more hogs can be utilized.

EPA To Assist With Rural Colorado Landfill Issues

Jan 18, 2018
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The Prowers County Commission in Lamar Colorado was given insight by the Environmental Protection Agency this week about ongoing challenges that rural communities face in complying with landfill regulations, as well plans to address some of those issues.

Our Turn At This Earth: Homecoming

Jan 18, 2018
Julene Bair

Those who, like myself, leave the places where they grew up at a young age almost always think they will never look back. But they almost always do. In my case, the inevitable look back began after I’d been living in San Francisco for eight years. Camping trips in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Mojave Desert reawakened me to the outdoor life I’d had as a child. In fact, I became downright nostalgic over my Kansas childhood.

A rose is a rose is a…snack? Wait, that’s not how the line goes…but maybe it should!

Today’s Growing on the High Plains takes a close look at the blushing, bulbous berry known as rosehips, the edible fruit of the rose. You’ve likely seen this curious word posted on products geared toward health and wellness—sold as vitamin supplements, herbal teas, tinctures, and more. They are indeed rich in health benefits, and they make a tangy treat to boot.

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