The Dacotah Chapter includes everyone in the State of North Dakota. We're engaged in carrying out the Sierra Club's motto: Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet! 

Our current focus is the National Monument status of the Elkhorn Ranch.  We are also helping to create a Management Plan for North Dakota's newest State Park,  the Nature Park on the Missouri.

Wildlands enrich our lives.

When Lewis and Clark passed through North Dakota, it was a vast expanse of wild prairie teeming with wildlife. In the two hundred years since then, much of the state has been plowed under or taken over by towns and cities with their networks of highways, power lines,  railroads, and oil and gas development infrastructure. A few wild places still survive in North Dakota’s National Grasslands where you can experience the awe that Lewis and Clark felt. 

The very same river that Lewis and Clark used as a guide through the Northern Plains has now been dammed, channeled and tamed.  North Dakota is home to one stretch of the Missouri River that looks much like it did when Lewis and Clark traveled through this region.  There are vast cottonwood forests and spectacular wildlife on the 87 miles of the river known as the Garrison Reach.  This stretch is increasingly threatened as development grows around the cities of Washburn and Bismarck/Mandan. Dakotah Chapter is trying to preserve a bit of what is left by proposing a new state nature park on the banks of the Missouri just south of Bismarck.  

Today, the badlands and prairies of the Little Missouri River country give thousands of people what it gave to Theodore Roosevelt in the late 1800s, an exhilaration: "the beat of hardy life in our veins," and a responsibility "to preserve all the living creatures of prairie, and woodland, from wanton destruction."  However, these wild places are threatened by oil and gas development and off road vehicle use.

Only 32,000 acres of our national grasslands still qualify for wilderness status. It's just a little bit of land in this big state. We need to act now to ensure the survival of our wild places for future generations. In the 1964 Wilderness Act, Congress promised  "to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring source of wilderness." 

But today, 50 years later, that promise has not been kept in North Dakota. We have the opportunity now to go down in history as the Dakotans with the wisdom to fulfill that commitment and protect these wildlands. 

We need your help! Contact Dacotah Chapter of the Sierra Club today. We need volunteers to stand up for North Dakota’s wild places.

Upcoming events and outings 

Please click on the Meetup logo or the Facebook logo on the upper right of this page or contact Wayde Schafer at 701-388-3942, for information on upcoming events and outings.

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The Dacotah Chapter enjoyed a summer outing at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  We camped in the Cottonwood Campground for three nights.  After arriving, we biked the challenging 30+ mile loop, although most of us were not able to complete the loop due to a herd of bison on the road.  Luckily, Ron D was driving his pickup as a 'sag wagon' and carried us through the herd.  The next day we traveled and hiked to the Petrified Forest--a slippery/slidy walk-- and Elkhorn Ranch.  On the last day, we canoed for three hours on the Little Missouri.  A beautiful trip with stunning views.  We then treated ourselves by going out to dinner and then being entertained at the Medora Musical.  Thanks to Rennae G of the Red River Valley Group for planning and coordinating another great summer outing.

Happy New Year 2016 hiking and/or snowshoeing

Several people from the Dakota Prairie Chapter of North Country Trail have decided to enjoy the winter beauty of Itasca State Park on January 1 & 2. We will be staying in the Douglas Lodge Itasca Suites (Four-season Six-plex). The number of units available for the night of the first is limited. We will be hiking--or snow-shoeing, depending on conditions--on the first and the second. We plan to start our Hike 100 Challenge hikes on those days (see if you are not familiar with this special event for 2016). 
To check for availability of a suite at Itasca, go to the Itasca State Park site, click on reservations, log in or sign up and then start the process of making a reservation. You can stop this process at any time before clicking the final "make reservation" button.
If you are not spending the night(s), you can still
begin your quest to hike 100 miles on the NCT in 2016 or to keep a New Years resolution, by joining us for a hike at Itasca State Park. Depending on the amount of snow, this may be a regular hike, or a snowshoe hike. We will meet at the trailhead just off of Highway 71, on the south end of the park at 11:00 on Friday, Jan. 1. We will be hiking east from the trailhead for about 3 miles, making this a hike of about 6 miles.
You may want to consider another hike beginning at the same trailhead on Sat., Jan. 2. Details about this hike are on Hike the North Country Trail in Western Minnesota meet-up site. You may want to bring a lunch considering the start time of the hikes. 
We hope to see you on the 1st and the 2nd to begin 2016 right!

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