Dallas Sierra Club

Dallas Sierra Club News - May 2015

In This Issue. . .


General Meeting Program - May 12, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30_

Movie Night! We will furnish popcorn, drinks, and snacks.
See Yosemite Through the Eyes of a Buffalo Soldier, a film featuring National Park Service Ranger Shelton Johnson as a 1903 Buffalo Soldier and his observations as one of the first "park rangers" to serve in Yosemite's vast wilderness. We see Yosemite through his eyes and feel his growing Shelton Johnson, Park Rangeraffection for this new world. The film blazes a trail to an important history that was nearly lost, and provides an opportunity to ride with the Buffalo Soldiers through the Range of Light.

This unique film by Emmy Award winning filmmaker Sterling Johnson provides a window to Yosemite's past, and was shot entirely in the Yosemite of today and yesterday. Jeff Southwick's musical compositions feature Shelton Johnson's spirited improvisations on Native American Flutes, providing a high note beneath which Southwick's lyrical explorations offer an inspired music score.

Ranger Shelton Johnson is an award winning and internationally known storyteller at Yosemite who is featured in Yosemite Theater as well as theater and television appearances nationally, including Ken Burns' film The National Parks: America's Best Idea. Click here for a 30 second trailer of the movie.

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 Brookhaven College, Building H, 3939 Valley View Ln in Farmers Branch. Click over to our General Meeting page of our website for more information and a map.

ALERT - PARKING for TUESDAY'S GENERAL MEETING:
Our usual parking area at Brookhaven is under construction. Not to worry, instead of parking in front of building H where our meeting is you'll park a little farther east in front of building S. Enter from Valley View Lane. Where you used to come to a 4 way stop you can now only turn right. Turn left into "P3" parking as soon as you can. You'll be in front of building S and our building H will be to your left. You can shorten the walk by cutting through building S, then turn left/west and follow the sidewalk to building H which is next door. See you there! It's not as bad as it sounds. Check out the campus map on our General Meeting page.


Upcoming Meeting_

Mark your calendar for our June meeting. It is one you will not want to miss.

Texas Nature and Environmental Centers
Dan Moulton will highlight the distribution of Texas Environmental Centers, the types of programs that are offered, and descriptions of some of the more unusual Centers. He will talk about outdoor programs for people of all ages -- guided hikes and activities, summer camps, handicapped-accessible trails, outreach programs, family programs, and many more. Dan's presentation will be based on his Texas Nature and Environmental Centers Guide, which is an excellent resource for fighting "nature-deficit disorder" by facilitating visits to nature and environmental centers throughout Texas.

Daniel W. Moulton is a wildlife ecologist with a B.A. in biology, a M.S. in wildlife ecology, and a Ph.D. in wildlife science. He has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Maryland Wildlife Administration, and for over 20 years at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. After retirement from TPWD, he taught for over six years as an adjunct professor of environmental science and biology at several colleges in the Dallas area.


Texas Legislature Passes HB 40 Threatening Dallas and N. Texas Drilling Ordinances_

The Legislature is in it's final weeks and unfortunately bad bills have passed that threaten Dallas and other local ordinances in the N. Dallas area. One of the worst bills, HB 40, made final passage the Senate this week and will now head to Governor Abbott's desk.

Simply stated, the bill maintains that oil and gas operations are the exclusive jurisdiction of the state "preempting" all other political subdivisions. This new legislation threatens to not only gut a municipality's ability to retain, create, or enforce rules with oversight of oil and gas drilling, but also threatens the ability of counties, groundwater districts, or any political subdivision's ability to do so.

The bill is seen as an over-the-top reaction to the Denton fracking ban. The new legislation stacks the deck in favor of industry and places the burden upon cities to prove if their ordinance is "commercially reasonable."

About 60 municipalities currently have some form of a drilling ordinance limiting drilling or fracking. The new legislation will undo almost 100 years of local home-rule authority. For years, Texas courts have consistently recognized municipal authority to regulate oil and gas. The newly passed legislation will now tear down a long-standing tradition of shared authority between the state and cities inviting endless legal challenges with operators rather than providing clarity on what municipalities can regulate.

With the passage of HB 40, not only are setbacks and traffic regulations challenged, but also all subsurface ordinances are completely preempted. Many cities have regulations regarding whether deep injection wells can be located within city limits. Cities and counties may be preempted to regulate drilling and boring under roads if not deemed "commercially reasonable" by industry.
Besides Texas, Oklahoma is now contemplating legislation similar to HB 40 to limit or ban a cities' ability to devise ordinances to limit fracking or deal with concerns over water disposal, well maintenance and other activities. Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Mexico have also grappled with putting limits on local ordinances.


Mark Your Calendar for Chapter Awards Banquet on July 18_

Dallas will mark the site for the 2015 Lone Star Chapter Awards Banquet Saturday evening, July 18 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. These awards recognize and applaud folks in the Sierra Club and other organizations statewide who are doing extraordinary work for the environment. This is also an opportunity for those of us in N. Texas to show our hospitality and meet fellow Sierrans around the state.

The banquet will be held at Blue Mesa in Addison on Montfort Dr. just south of Beltline. Tickets are $45 per person for a wonderful buffet complete with your choice of a margarita, sangria, wine or beer. Your ticket also helps underwrite the honoring of the awardee. We are looking for sponsorships and donations for this event. For more information, contact Dallas Sierra Club member Rita Beving at http://texas2.sierraclub.org/ or call her at 214-557-2271.


Summer Outings_

We have put together three special outings for this summer. Check them out and sign up for a fantastic trip.

Southwest Texas Explorapalooza Trip - May 23-25
Come join us for a unique trip to the Llano River area that is unlike any of our usual bus trips! This Memorial Caverns of SonoraDay Weekend we're going to enjoy Texas scenery at an easier pace, camping in a developed campground with running water and hot showers, or there's an option to stay in a motel nearby. There will be no backpacking, nor sleeping on a bus! We'll explore the Caverns of Sonora, learn about Texas history at Fort McKavett, float the South Llano River, and see one of the largest colonies of Mexican free-tailed bats emerge in the evening from Devil's Sink Hole. We've allotted time for exploring our home base of South Llano River State Park, which has excellent hiking, birding, and swimming opportunities.

We have 14 campsites reserved at the state park that are all in close proximity to running water bathrooms. If you'd prefer a bed, there's a room block reserved at the motel a few miles up the road where our bus driver will also be staying. We've chartered a new comfortable bus, so you don't have to worry about driving- just relax and enjoy the camaraderie. Our bus leaves early Saturday morning May 23rd arriving around lunch time at our first destination and returns to Dallas Monday evening May 25th after dinner, so you can get back refreshed and relaxed without using up your vacation time!

For complete details, costs and sign up instructions, please see this PDF.

July Backpacking Adventures in Colorado's San Juan Mountain Range
Details of the Dallas Sierra Club July 19-24 backpacking outing in the San Juan Mountains of Red Lake TrailColorado are online now. See a description and photos by clicking this link. The San Juans are the range of the Rocky Mountains that form the Continental Divide from Chama, New Mexico to Telluride, Colorado and beyond. The outing has five itinerary options -- some in the South San Juan Wilderness Area, others in the Weminuche Wilderness Area. Unlike past trips to these areas, we're relying on private cars and car pools this July to reach trailheads. This minimizes your trip expenses, allows you flexibility to extend travel on either end of the Sierra Club outing dates and enables us to access more trailheads. Early registration is advised, particularly if you want space in our block of reserved cabins near Santa Fe on Saturday night, July 18.

Red, Gold and Wheeler, Labor Day Weekend Backpacking in Northern New Mexico -September 4-8
Information and the registration forms have been posted for the Labor Day backpacking trip to the Wheeler Peak Wilderness and Wild Rivers Recreation Wheeler Peak WildernessArea near Taos and Red River, NM. Choose from five trips in the beautiful Rio Grande Gorge in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area or the Queste Ranger district of Carson National Forest in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Northern New Mexico. This is a bus trip with three days of backpacking and hiking in some of the most scenic areas of Northern New Mexico. The bus will depart Dallas at 6:30pm Friday evening, Sep. 4 and return about 6:30AM Tuesday morning, Sep. 8, and since this being Labor Day weekend, for most of us it will not use vacation time. For a description of the trip with photographs and the registration forms follow this link.


Calendar_

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

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconMay 12 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
Movie Night! We will furnish popcorn, drinks, and snacks. See Yosemite Through the Eyes of a Buffalo Soldier, a film featuring National Park Service Ranger Shelton Johnson as a 1903 Buffalo Soldier and his observations as one of the first "park rangers" to serve in Yosemite's vast wilderness. Ranger Shelton Johnson is an award winning and internationally known storyteller who is featured in Yosemite Theater as well as theatre and television appearances nationally. FREE! Everyone is invited to the Dallas Sierra Club's General Meeting. Full details are on our home page now.

Service Outing IconMay 16 (Sat) Trail Maintenance at Cedar Ridge Preserve
Hello everyone. We look forward to seeing new smiling faces and hard workers to help out on the trails and flora and fauna. We meet at 9 AM on May 16th, 2015 down at the Preserve, and will work and walk until about 12 PM. It's fun and beautiful and we have ordered excellent weather 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 some water, for sure. It's on Saturday the 16th of May. Please see the Cedar Ridge Preserve website for directions and info. If you want to carpool down there, just text me or email me. Coordinator: Ginger Bradley Send Email 469-223-7902

Bus Trip IconMay 23-25 (Sat-Mon) Southwest Texas Explorapalooza
Enjoy a great outing this Memorial Day weekend. Explore the west edge of the Hill Country from a base at South Llano River State Park, near Junction, Texas. This park has new restrooms with flush toilets, hot water and hot showers! We've even arranged an option to camp in a motel in Junction. We've chartered a coach to transport you there Saturday morning and return you by 9:30 PM Monday (Memorial Day). Explore the Caverns of Sonora, historic frontier Fort McKavett and Devils Sinkhole State Natural Area (at twilight, to watch a tornado of three million bats fly from a limestone cave to search for insects). Monday morning you can rent a tube to float the clear South Llano River, hike some of the park's miles of trails, fish or sleep late before the party bus returns to Dallas. Trip details and registration forms are in this PDF. Bus trip leader: Annie Wilson Send Email 682-232-4980

Class IconMay 27 (Wed) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 1
Learn to find your way in the wilderness in this comprehensive two-night class. Topics include buying maps, how to read maps, how not to get lost, what to do if you do get lost, different kinds of compasses and how to use your compass. We'll discuss GPS devices, but our main focus will be how to use a map and compass so you're not trusting your navigation (and life) to something that takes batteries. If you have a compass, bring it to the class. If you don't have one, we will have an extra you can use and will show you what to look for when you purchase your own. The class is offered at the First United Methodist Church, Richardson, 503 N. Central Expressway, Richardson, TX, Room 230. Click here for directions to the location from Central Expressway. The class will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The total fee for the two-night class is $40 or $35 for Sierra Club members. Handouts are included. Bring a pen or pencil for taking notes and for navigation practice exercises. A reservation isn't necessary. Just show up. Part 2 of the class is the following night (Thursday, May 28), same time and place. A day hike with a class instructor will be offered to class participants who want to practice their new skills. Contact: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446

Class IconMay 28 (Thu) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 2
Part 2 of the two-night Wilderness Navigation class is tonight at the same place - First United Methodist Church, Richardson, 503 N. Central Expressway, Room 230. Click here for directions to the location. The class starts at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45. The fee for the two-night class is $40, $35 for Sierra Club members. Bring a pen or pencil. Contact: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconJun 3 (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 Brookhaven College, Building H at 6:30 pm. Contact the Dallas Group Chair for more information.

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconJun 9 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
Texas Nature and Environmental Centers Dan Moulton will highlight the distribution of Texas Environmental Centers, the types of programs that are offered, and descriptions of some of the more unusual Centers. He will talk about outdoor programs for people of all ages -- guided hikes and activities, summer camps, handicapped-accessible trails, outreach programs, family programs, and many more. Everyone is invited to the Dallas Sierra Club's General Meeting. Full details are on our home page now.

Service Outing IconJun 13 (Sat) White Rock Lake Clean-up
Walk and talk while picking up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM this second Saturday of the month at the Love of the Lake office, northeast corner of Garland Road and Buckner Boulevard. Look for the crowd drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. will be provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash Send Email 214-824-0244

Service Outing IconJun 20 (Sat) Trail Maintenance at Cedar Ridge Preserve
Hello everyone. We look forward to seeing new smiling faces and hard workers to help out on the trails and flora and fauna. We meet at 9 AM at the Preserve and will work and walk until about noon. It's fun and beautiful and we have ordered excellent weather 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. Bring some water, for sure. Please see the Cedar Ridge Preserve website for directions and info. If you want to carpool down there, just text me or email me. Coordinator: Ginger Bradley Send Email 469-223-7902

Backpack IconJun 21-26 (Sun-Fri) Beginner Long Backpack Trip In Columbine-Hondo Wilderness, New Mexico
A backpack trip several days in length is a very different experience from a weekend trip. But entirely too many people (replace this text with a short description of the image)restrict themselves to just weekend trips. Besides taking a leisurely trip to enjoy a newly designated Wilderness area we will try to introduce some new people to the pleasures of a longer trip. Our first day we will hike a short distance and spend the night to give ourselves time to adjust to altitude at 8,400 feet. The second day we'll travel another 3 ½ miles or so (with a climb of about 1,600 feet) to our base camp in a nice meadow at 10,000 feet. From there we will have 3 days to dayhike, explore one of my favorite areas, and just enjoy being there. There are two small lakes (one off-trail) that we can reach and, weather permitting, we might hike to the top of 12,115 foot Lobo Peak. We'll spend a total of 6 days and 5 nights in the Wilderness. If you want to see what a longer trip is like or just want to enjoy a leisurely trip in a pretty area, come along! If you want to see how many miles you can cover in 6 days this isn't the trip for you. Leaders: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446 and Sue Greer Send Email

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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