Dallas Sierra Club

Dallas Sierra Club News - January 2014

In This Issue. . .


General Meeting Program - January 14, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30

Movie Night: John Muir Movie

John MuirWe will furnish popcorn, drinks, and snacks. Watch a movie about John Muir, the legendary explorer and writer who inspired people to protect wilderness areas. Muir immigrated from Scotland to Wisconsin when he was 11 years old and eventually settled in California, where he explored the Sierra Nevada, helped establish Yosemite National Park, and founded the Sierra Club. He also traveled to Alaska and around the world, writing about the need to protect places of special beauty and wildness. Learn about this fascinating man and his impact then and now.

Everyone is welcome. 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. Our meeting takes place at REI, 4515 Lyndon B Johnson Freeway, Dallas, TX 75244. Click over to our General Meeting page of our website for more information and a map.


Chair's Column

Happy New Year to all Dallas Sierrans. The year 2013 witnessed more solid victories for all of us who want a clean safe community to live in. We also saw some very hopeful movement from our elected leaders who are finally getting the message that providing a clean safe community is a non-partisan issue everyone can be 'for.'

Your club also held its annual holiday party at El Fenix and about 70 of you showed up to claim their free margarila and hope for the winning number for those great door prizes. We also announced the winners of our 2013 environmental hero awards. Congratulations to the following:

  • Unsung Hero: Walt Sunday
  • Outings Leader Extraordinaire - Ze'ev Saggi
  • Conservation Hero - Dick and Chris Guldi
  • Political Master - David Griggs

Please let these people know you appreciate their dedication to the cause and let's keep rolling in 2014.

Also, mark your calendar for January 18, 2014 for the leader's retreat where brain storming will be at its best. Even if you are just thinking about moving into a leadership role with the Dallas Sierra Club, join us for a day of discussion and action items. If you are interested, just see me at the John Muir 'movie night' meeting on January 14th.

Your Dallas Chair
Wendel Withrow


Wild River Trail

Join Us for Our Annual Bus Trip to Taos, New Mexico

Don't miss this hassle free opportunity to enjoy one of our favorite areas in its winter beauty. No schlepping a backpack, we'll have two comfy nights at our wonderful hotel near the Taos Plaza. Your choice from several activity options (easy to more strenuous) including hiking, snow tubing, snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding. Or you can just relax and explore on your own the galleries, museums, historical sites, shops and restaurants this cozy town has to offer. All transportation, hotel, breakfast and even a Saturday evening wine and cheese social are included. Did I mention the large hot tub! Rental gear, boots, snow pants and jackets available so don't let lack of wardrobe stop you! Discounted price for and reservations requested by Monday, Feb. 3rd. For complete details about the trip and reservation information, see the trip write up (pdf).


Earthquakes and Fracking - Help North Texans Be Heard

In early January, a meeting was held in the City of Azle (just a few miles northwest of Fort Worth) where more than 800 residents came to express their concerns regarding the fact that the town had 16 earthquake in 3 weeks this past November. Most of the residents, including the Mayor, believe that the recent earthquakes are related to fracking and the injection wells that accompanies most natural gas drilling operations. The injection wells are used to get rid of fracking waste.

Texas Railroad Commission officials (who regulate the oil and gas industry) came to Azle and limited the 800 residents to only an hour and a half of testimony.

Between 1970 and 2007, the area around the Texas town of Azle (pop. 10,000) experienced just two earthquakes. The peace and quiet began to change, however, at the start of 2008, when 74 minor quakes were reported in the region.

The Dallas Sierra Club has decided to join others to help citizens in Azle continue their efforts to be heard by Governor Perry and the Texas Railroad Commission with a bus trip to Austin. If you would like to donate to these efforts, please send a check to Dallas Sierra Club at P.O. Box 800365, Dallas TX 75380-0365. To get more information on efforts to help Azle or on fracking, contact Rita Beving at rita.beving@gmail.com or Molly Rooke at mollyrooke@sbcglobal.net.

In additon to the bus trip to Austin, there is a community meeting Monday night (January 13) in Azle, a follow-up to the inadequate meeting held by the state oil and gas regulatory agency (the Railroad Commission), about the earthquakes and fracking waste injection wells. Join us there if you can. See details here.


Victory at Dallas City Hall - A Very Strong Gas Drilling Ordinance

Just before the Christmas holidays, the City of Dallas gave its residents and the region a great gift -- one of the strongest gas drilling ordinances around. This was a hard won victory, the result of many long years of work by a core group of dedicated activists, with the assistance of hundreds of others. To all who attended hearings, meetings, rallies, sent e-mails, wrote letters, made calls, staffed info tables, posted to blogs---THANK YOU! The victory on the drilling ordinance was a Dallas Morning News front-page headline and it was on just about every local evening news show, as well as news far beyond the metroplex, including Russian coverage. A quick google news search for "Dallas gas drilling" brings up media coverage from over 50 publications across the country.

This issue isn't totally settled yet - there are a few loose ends we're still going to work on, but, for now, enjoy the win. Also, please send a thank-you email to Mayor Rawlings and the 8 Council members who voted to pass the ordinance:
mike.rawlings@dallascityhall.com, sandy.greyson@dallascityhall.com, scott.griggs@dallascityhall.com, philip.kingston@dallascityhall.com, adam.medrano@dallascityhall.com, monica.alonzo@dallascityhall.com, carolyn.davis@dallascityhall.com, jennifer.gates@dallascityhall.com, dwaine.caraway@dallascityhall.com

To see links to some of the news coverage about this new ordinance, click here.

There's a community meeting Monday night (January 13) in Azle, a follow-up to the inadequate meeting held by the state oil and gas regulatory agency (the Railroad Commission), about the earthquakes and fracking waste injection wells. Join us there if you can. See details here.


Beginner Backpacking Class - Saturday, February 1 - Start Your 2014 Adventures!

Always wanted to stay a night or two out on trail but not sure how or what you need? This class is great for everyone wanting to learn all about backpacking or refresh your backpacking knowledge and skills. The class discussions cover all the important topics you'll need and the instructors are experienced Dallas Sierra Club leaders who will not only help guide you through the basics but also talk about budget considerations and the "wish someone had told me that before" helpful hints from their years on the trail. Class participants also have the opportunity to sign up for easy one or two night trips designed just for them. For more details please see the calendar below or visit our website.


Advanced Backpacking Class - Wednesday, February 12 - Explore More of Our Special Places

Great - you have a few weekend backpacks under your belt; now you want to do more challenging backpacking to explore special places that are more remote or involve more technical or weather related considerations. This class will cover tips and skills for more advanced backpacking including discussions on planning for week+ long trekking, winter camping, fly-drive trips, and the gear, equipment, clothing, food planning, bear barrel packing and other issues to prepare. For more details please see the calendar below or visit our website.


Wilderness Navigation Class - Tuesday & Thursday, March 4 & 6 - Learn How to Find Your Way in the Wilderness

Learn the fundamentals of finding your way in the wilderness in this comprehensive two night class. Among the subjects covered are: looking for and purchasing different type maps, how to read maps, different kinds of compasses and how to use your compass, how not to get lost and what to do if you do get lost, There will be some discussion about GPSs, but our main focus is learning how to use a map and compass so you're not trusting your navigation (and life) to something that takes batteries. For more details please visit our website.


Calendar

Here is our calendar for the next two months. For complete listings, visit us at www.dallassierraclub.org.

Service Outing IconJan 11 (Sat) White Rock Lake Cleanup
Walk and talk while helping to pick up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM at the Love of the Lake office on the Northeast corner of Garland Rd. and Buckner Blvd. Look for a crowd of people drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. The lake and your karma will thank you. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash Send Email 214-824-0244

Meeting IconJan 11 (Sat) Learn how to install a solar energy system on your house
Learn about adding a solar energy power system to your home. Plano Solar Advocates will demystify getting a PV system installed on a homeowner's roof. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon at the Irving West Library. Full details are at NTREG events page

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconJan 14 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
Movie Night! John Muir movie Watch a movie about John Muir, the legendary explorer and writer who inspired people to protect wilderness areas and helped establish national parks. Everyone is invited to the Dallas Sierra Club's General Meeting. Full details are on our home page now.

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconJan 15 (Wed) Outings Committee Meeting
Meet upstairs at REI (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch), at 6:30 PM. Bring your ideas for future outings. We'll be planning local outings and bus trips. Outings leaders, future leaders, and people interested in outings are welcome. Ask Mark to be placed on the email list for an agenda. Organizer: Mark Stein Send Email 214-526-3733

Service Outing IconJan 18 (Sat) Trails Upgrading at Cedar Ridge Preserve
Happy New Year everyone! It's fun and it's helpful to get out to the Cedar Ridge Preserve to help upgrade some of the beautiful walking trails just south of Dallas. The address is 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249. It's a great morning workout, and the scenery is exceptional. No tools are required, (maybe gloves) just show up and be ready to lend a hand or two. We'll work from 9 AM to 12 or earlier, and then walk around the preserve and admire the wildflowers and fauna! Bring a friend or two. Its on Saturday the 18th of January, 2014. Please see the website at www.audubondallas.org/cedarridge.html for directions and info. The number is 972-709-7784 See you then! If you wish to carpool, then let me know, and we'll arrange a meeting spot. Come on out and stay green, people! Organizer: Ginger Bradley Send Email 469-223-7902

Backpack IconJan 29-Feb 2 (Wed-Sun) Hike the Big Bend Outer Mountain Loop and Climb Emory Peak
Soak in the beauty and grandeur of Big Bend in the winter. We will camp Wednesday night in the Chisos Basin and enjoy dinner in the Lodge restaurant. Thursday we will hike up to the Boot Springs area, set up camp and then dayhike up Emory Peak. Friday we will follow the Juniper Canyon to reach the Dodson Ranch trail and the desert floor. We will camp along this trail. Saturday we go on to the the Wilson Ranch and camp at the beginning of the Blue Creek trail. Sunday morning we are up early, so we can be back in the Basin and ready to start for home by 2:00 PM. This is a desert. Be able to carry six liters of water. Daily distances will be around eight miles with some elevation gains, particularly on Day 1 and Day 4. Please have recent multi-night experience. Prior approval by the leader is necessary to go on this trip. Leader: Bill Beach Send Email 214-662-3224

Announcement IconJan 30 (Thu) Movie: Unacceptable Levels (about chemicals in our bodies)
Unacceptable Levels is an award-winning documentary about the chemicals in our bodies, how they got there, and what we can do about it. Chemicals are everywhere -- in our food, our water, our clothes -- and nobody knows exactly what they are doing to our bodies or the environment. AMC Valley View 16, 7:30 p.m. Buy tickets and get information here.

Day Hike IconFeb 1 (Sat) 4th Annual Super Weekend 10k Dayhike
Hike 10K (6 miles) on the Lake Ray Roberts Greenbelt Corridor. This is an easy trail running along side the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. No reservations required, just show up. Well behaved pets on a leash will be allowed. Bring water and a snack as we will be hiking all morning. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Hwy 380 Trailhead Park. Admission to the park is $7.00 per person or free with a Texas State Parks Pass. There will be an optional lunch afterwards. The Park is on US Hwy 380 2.1 miles west of Hwy 377 or 2.8 miles east of Loop 288 in Denton. Hwy 380 can be reached from Central Expwy,Preston Rd., or the Tollway. Bring extra shoes in case the trail is muddy. The trip will be canceled if it is raining at the trailhead. Leader: Mark Adams Send Email 972-658-1281

Class IconFeb 1 (Sat) Beginner Backpacking Class - Join us one and all !
picture of backpackersWant to explore the wilderness in the new year, but need some help to get started? This comprehensive class is ideal for everyone wanting to learn all about backpacking or to refresh backpacking knowledge and skills. We'll cover several topics, including backpacks, boots, outdoor clothing, tents, sleeping bags, cookware, food (menu planning, food suggestions and packing), water treatments, wilderness ethics, preparing for a trip and even a short breakout session to discuss men's and women's outdoor 'issues'. Instructors are experienced Dallas Sierra Club leaders who will not only help guide you through the basics but also include budget considerations and the "wish someone had told me that before" helpful hints from their years on the trail. There will be time for questions and a hands-on look at outdoor gear and food items. You will also have the opportunity to learn about, and sign up for, upcoming beginner backpacking weekend trips designed specifically for those in the class. A class booklet and lunch of backpacking food are included. (Feel free to bring anything else you prefer to eat.) Please bring your refillable water bottle. The fee is $20 for Sierra Club members and $30 for non-members. No reservations - just show up. Payment by CASH or CHECK, please. The class meets in the Guadalupe Peak room, 2nd floor of the Dallas REI store, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Welch and Midway). Arrive around 10:15 AM to register and get settled. The class will begin at 10:30 and end about 4:45. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan Send Email 214-368-230

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconFeb 5 (Wed) Dallas Sierra Club Executive Committee Meeting
The Executive Committee (or Excom) is the elected governing body of the Dallas Sierra Club and meets at REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch) at 6:30 pm. Contact the Dallas Group Chair for more information.

Service Outing IconFeb 8 (Sat) White Rock Lake Cleanup
Walk and talk while helping to pick up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM at the Love of the Lake office on the Northeast corner of Garland Rd. and Buckner Blvd. Look for a crowd of people drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. The lake and your karma will thank you. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash Send Email 214-824-0244

Day Hike IconFeb 8-9 (Sat-Sun) Weekend of Hiking on the Lone Star Hiking Trail, Southeast Texas
Winter needn't be a dead season for hiking. February is a prime month for hiking on the 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, after hunting seasons have ended and before the bugs come out. Much of this hiking adventure will be under a canopy of oaks and pines in the Sam Houston National Forest. The adventure begins Saturday morning at Trailhead #8, southeast of Huntsville. Participants have options to camp Friday night at Huntsville State Park (12 miles from the trailhead, reservations probably not essential) or a motel in Huntsville. The Saturday hike will be the Four Notch Loop (10 miles), with relatively more topographic variation than most of the LSHT and pretty Niederhofer Lake. Camp or lodge where you please Saturday, possibly where you stayed the previous night. Sunday morning, we'll gather at Trailhead #4, north of Montgomery, to hike the South Wilderness Loop (13 miles), largely in the Little Lake Creek Wilderness. Click "read more" for information about difficulty, maps and clearance to participate. Leader: Mark Stein Send Email 214-526-3733

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconFeb 11 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
(1) Find out what GMOs are and why they are a controversial subject, and learn about the impact they have on our health and our planet. (2) Learn about the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, which recycles water for municipal water supplies, provides habitat for fauna, and provides a sustainable water supply. Everyone is invited to the Dallas Sierra Club's General Meeting. Full details will be on our home page about a month before the meeting.

Class IconFeb 12 (Wed) Advanced Backpacking Class - Explore farther, hike longer!
BackpackingGreat - you have a few weekend backpacks under your belt; now you want to do more challenging backpacking to explore special places that are more remote or involve more technical or weather related considerations. This class will cover tips and skills for more advanced backpacking including discussions on planning for week+ long trekking, winter camping, fly-drive trips, and the gear, equipment, clothing, food planning, bear barrel packing and other issues to prepare. The class will meet from 6:30pm - 8:45pm in the Guadalupe Peak clinic room (2nd floor) at Dallas REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch). Handout materials provided. The cost for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (payment by cash or check, please). Please bring water bottle and writing utensil to take notes. No reservations - just show up. Contact: Liz Wheelan Send Email 214-368-230

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconFeb 19 (Wed) Outings Committee Meeting
Meet upstairs at the REI Dallas store on the north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch at 6:30 PM to participate in planning trips. Outings leaders, prospective leaders, and people interested in outings are welcome. Ask Mark to be placed on the email list for an agenda. Organizer: Mark Stein Send Email 214-526-3733

Bus Trip IconFeb 27-Mar 3 (Thu-Mon) WINTER FUN - TAOS, NM Bus trip
Wild River TrailJoin us for this great opportunity to enjoy one of our favorite areas in it's winter beauty. Leave Dallas on our sleeper bus the evening of Thursday, Feb. 27 and return early on Monday, March 3, staying two nights at the wonderful El Pueblo Lodge, near the Taos Plaza. Activity options include snowshoeing (for beginners and those more experienced), downhill skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing (it's a blast!), canyon hikes in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area (shorter and longer hike options, probably w/o snowshoes) and - new this year - plans for hiking the Orilla Verde section of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. You can also visit historical sites (Taos Pueblo, old Mission Church) or relax and spend time on your own to experience the museums, galleries, shops and food of this scenic and historical town. A Saturday wine and cheese social is included. Activity ratings range from easy to strenuous. Rental snowshoes and waterproof boots, skis and ski gear including jackets are available. Trip includes transportation to/from Taos, Taos Ski Valley, trailheads and leader led activity sites. Discounted price for reservations requested by Monday, Feb. 3rd. Full details about the trip, including cost and reservation forms are in this PDF. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan Send Email 214-368-230

The Dallas Sierra Club News e-newsletter, sent monthly (and occasional for late-breaking news or events), keeps you up-to-date on meetings, activities, issues and special events. Visit us at www.DallasSierraClub.org.
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