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Welcome to the Dallas Group of the Sierra Club

General Meeting Program - Tuesday, October 13, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30

A picture of hydraulic fracturingFracking's effect on environmental quality
Learn about the relationship between fracking and environmental quality.  Dr. Zac Hildenbrand will present the results of recent studies about fracking and its effect on water, air, and soil quality.

Advancements in unconventional drilling techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing and shale acidization, have made the extraction of natural gas and oil from previously inaccessible deep shale formations both practical and economically advantageous. Hydraulic fracturing involves a highly pressurized injection of water, proppants, and chemical additives to expand fissures or fractures in the shale formation to release the trapped hydrocarbons. Despite the effectiveness of this technology to liberate previously sequestered natural gas and oil, it is not without environmental risk. Concerns over environmental stewardship have provided the impetus for multiple investigations designed to characterize the relationship between unconventional drilling and environmental quality. Presented here are air, soil and water quality data that has been collected over the past 5 years in an effort to understand the relationship between unconventional drilling and the environment. Snap shot and time-series analyses both implicate specific components of the shale extraction process to having contributed to the emission of volatile organic carbons species into the air and the penetration of rogue chemicals into underlying aquifers. This data can be used to point source contamination events and to develop novel remediation technologies.

Dr. Zachariah Hildenbrand received his Bachelors of Science and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at El Paso, completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and is a Faculty Research Associate at the University of Texas at Arlington where he is a lead scientist and project manager for several research studies analyzing groundwater quality in the Barnett and Cline Shale formations.  He is also the founder of Inform Environmental, LLC, an environmental consulting company whose goal is to provide comprehensive groundwater analyses and monitoring services for the energy sector, water conservation groups, municipalities, and concerned citizens.

The Hadrian's Wall Path - A Walk Through Time in the English Countryside
Hadrian's Path in EnglandEnglish country walking is for the most part a much different experience than hiking the American national parks and forests.  Following the route of the 84 mile wall built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian to separate England from Scotland is as good excuse as any for this type of walking.  Get a flavor for walking the hills, moors, farms, river valleys, estuaries, cities, and villages of Northumberland and Cumbria with a bit of ancient history along the way.  The logistics of doing a hike like this are quite different as well, and will be discussed.

Mike Rawlins is former chair of the Dallas Sierra Club, former Conservation Chair, and occasional outings leader.  He currently serves as the County Chair of the Collin County Democratic Party, trying to elect environmentally friendly candidates.

Everyone is welcome.  FREE!  You don't have to be a Sierra Club member.  Just show up.  We'd love to meet you.

Our General Meeting starts at 7:00 pm, but come at 6:30 for snacks, information and fellowship.  Click over to our General Meeting page for more information and a map.

Fall Outing at Beavers Bend State Park Oct 16 - 18. Reservations Now Open!

Beavers Bend State ParkCelebrate fall and join us for this relaxing event in the beautiful mountainous region of southeast Oklahoma. The weekend is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and stages. Families, couples, singles, all are welcome. We have the group compound all to ourselves, complete with your choice of rustic cabin or tent camping, dining hall with kitchen, optional catered dinner and (drum roll please)... yes, even a bathhouse with hot showers and flush toilets! On Saturday we'll offer various levels of hikes or you can be on your own to enjoy many fun activities offered by the park. Plan an active weekend or hang out on the porch, whichever you would enjoy. Cabin requests are on a first come basis so make your plans now! Click here for more information and required registration forms. Don't wait to sign up.  Last year this event sold out quickly with over 100 participants.

Shuffle, Shuffle, Shuffle. Shuffle Off to Buf-fa-lo . . .

Okay, I learned this lyric’s a tap dance number from a 1933 musical, 42nd Street, but it fits.  Get your trail runners or boots ready for this October knock-your-socks-off trip to Buffalo National River, Arkansas—our first-ever bus trip EAST.  It’s a national park in the heart of Li’l Abner-land!  That’s right, the U.S. National Park Service developed and maintains a scenic river with far more miles of trails than you’re going to walk in one weekend.  Our moderately strenuous hike option (one of four itineraries) covers 30 miles of the flagship “Buffalo River Trail” that parallels the scenic river.  Three shorter backpacking options of easy to moderate difficulty hike four days and camp three nights in other parts of the park, exploring the natural beauty and human history of this lovely valley.  These hikes all visit historic cemeteries and cabins, hollows, falls and bluffs along the river.   All trail elevations are below 2,200 feet, so there should be no high-altitude discomfort issues.  (All right, the optional spur hike thrill on the infamous “Goat Trail” is a “Don’t tell Mom” thrill, but thoroughly safe if you don’t do something stupid.)

Buffalo RiverTo maximize daylight time to enjoy the park and to eliminate the need to shuttle vehicles to trailheads, we’ve chartered a sleeper bus to transport us, leaving at 9 pm Wednesday, October 28.  We’ll return to Dallas by 9 pm on Sunday, November 1.  The last weekend of October is usually the premier week of the year for fall color at Buffalo River, says Arkansas trails guidebooks author Tim Ernst.  The trip cost is discounted to $240 if received by October 10.  For details and registration click this link.

More Outings

Sierra Club HikersFor a complete list of scheduled outings and outdoor service events, click here.

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Click here to subscribe online to our monthly email newsletter and to one or more of our more specific email lists (Conservation, Outings, Inner City Outings, Sierra Singles or our National email newsletters).

What's Going On

Oct 10 White Rock Lake Clean-up

Oct 10-11 Beginner Backpacking Trip to the Caney Creek Wilderness

Oct 13 Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting

Oct 16-18 Beavers Bend State Park Annual Fall Gathering, Oklahoma

Oct 21 Outings Committee Meeting

Oct 24 Day Hike at River Legacy Park, Arlington

Check out the full list on our calendar

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