RICHLAND – WSU’s KTNW premieres “In Steppe” this Thursday, May 1, at 8 p.m. In the Tri-City area, viewers can catch the program on channel 31 or cable channel 10.

Lucy Luginbill, host of “Just a Minute,” is the brainchild of the new show. 
 
“’In Steppe’ is a play on words,” Luginbill said. “It’s about getting in touch with the people and the landscape of this incredible region, the shrub-steppe. If you live in central Washington for any length of time, you develop a love and respect for this habitat. The people and the animals have many qualities in common: patience and tenacity among them.
 
“Each monthly program will feature interviews and stories that are ‘in step’ with people, places, issues, and the communities we serve,” she said.
 
The inaugural program features Ted Poston, a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory research scientist, giving an overview of the steppe region. 
 
Also included in the May 1 show line-up are segments with Yakima Bluffs Environmental Park representatives Donna Lucas and Shannon Hays-Truex who discuss open space preservation in an urban area; and Oasis School founder Cheryl Cannon, student Rose Wilhelmi, and former student Sean Truex who worked to clean up and plant native plants in Richland’s McMurray Park. 
 
Other guest appearances include:
•  “People Speak” segment with field reporter Susan Bauer, formerly with PNNL and who has an anchor-reporter background — Bauer asks person-on-the-street question:  “What is a steppe?”
• Gov. Chris Gregoire who talks about the shrub-steppe.
• “Mr. Movie” segment with Tri-City Herald film critic Gary Wolcott who reviews DVDs and gives recommended “bags of popcorn” ratings for “Enchanted.”
 
“In Steppe” airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays and is repeated Sundays at 10 a.m. and at 7 p.m.