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Guide to the Pandora Rose Environmental Activism Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Information:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: Pandora Rose Environmental Activism Collection
    Dates: 1972-2004
    Identification: MS-0410
    Creator: Rose, Pandora, 1957-2008
    Physical Description: 24.32 linear ft
    Language of Materials: English
    Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
    5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
    San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
    URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
    Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
    Phone: 619-594-6791

    Biographical Information:

    The Mountain Defense League (MDL) is a small non-profit organization that worked in San Diego County to preserve the natural environment often threatened by developers. In particular, the fights against developers on Middle Peak, Mt. Laguna, and Palomar Mountain were some of the MDL's most successful fights. The MDL was created in 1973 in direct response to action taken by developers at Middle Peak in the Cuyamaca Mountains. The league was a small, grass roots organization in which members of the local community had the opportunity to work together to protect San Diego County's natural landscapes. The founder and director, Byron Lindsley Jr., understood the limited resources of the group, and helped the MDL to pick and choose different areas and projects for its attention.
    Pandora Rose was born on September 14th, 1957 and became president of the MDL after Lindsley's death in February of 2003. Rose joined the league in 2001, and had become the assistant director by 2002. Under Rose's stewardship the MDL fought development of a new center at mission trails that did not require the park to set aside eighteen acres of undeveloped land. Rose, along with the MDL, supported and campaigned with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to pass the California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act from 2002 until the bill's passage in 2006. The most effective tool the MDL utilized during this time were flyers which communicated issues the MDL had focused on, and which listed the names and addresses of those officials and politicians who might help the MDL accomplish its goals. The flyers urged their readers to write a letter or make a phone call.
    The MDL fought for an emergency animal shelter in Lakeside which was in danger of losing its permits due to neighborhood complaints during Rose's presidency as well. The MDL and other individuals and groups helped Sally Lambert fight for her right to operate an emergency shelter for wild animals in a very rural part of San Diego County. She won that right and continued to provide a needed service for San Diego County's wildlife.
    In the early years of the league's history the MDL's efforts were more publicly aimed with campaigns and billboards but as the league's effective ability to preserve special areas in San Diego County grew, with a smaller and more committed band of activists, the need to operate in such a way dissipated. In the fight for Middle Peak in the Cuyamacas the MDL gathered eighty five thousand signatures in a petition to stop development there. Up until 1973, no other environmental group had secured that many petition signatures. For the most part MDL used legal acumen gained by the experience from Lindsley's father Judge Byron Lindsley and Lindsley's determined will and later Rose's to make change happen. The goal of the MDL was not to stop development all together but to preserve the special and unique natural areas of San Diego for future generations. Pandora Rose led the League until her death on January 30th, 2008.

    Access Terms

    This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Genre/Form of Material:

    Personal Papers

    Topical Term:

    Ecosystem -- Management -- California
    Environmental impact statements -- Law and legislation -- California
    Forest conservation -- California
    Green movement -- California -- Citizen participation

    Administrative Information

    Conditions Governing Use:

    The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. Permissions is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish.  Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    This collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation:

    Identification of item, folder title, box number, Pandora Rose Environmental Activism Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

    Related Materials:

    Sierra Club San Diego Chapter Records
    Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 Records
    Environmental Issues Collection

    Arrangement of Materials:

    I. Mountain Defense League Office Files, 1972-2004
    II. Environmental Research Files, 1973-2004
        1. Local Environmental Projects, 1978-2004
        2. General Plans, 1979-2002
        3. National Forests, 1990-2004
        4. Soil Surveys, 1973
        5. Publications, 1974-2003

    Scope and Contents

    The Pandora Rose Environmental Activism Collection documents the work of the Mountain Defense League (MDL) for its three decade existence, and Pandora Rose's work as president of the MDL from 2003 to 2008. The majority of the collection consists of records from a variety of federal, state and private organizations including legal documents, legislation, newsletters, annotated maps, brochures, general plans, soil surveys, environmental surveys and reports.  The MDL worked in conjunction with several federal agencies, most notably the Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The collection is divided into two major series: Office Files and Environmental Research Files. The Environmental Research Files series is divided into five sub-series: Local Environmental Projects, General Plans, National Forests, Soil Surveys, and Publications.
    The Office Files document the work of the Mountain Defense league from its inception in 1973 to the conclusion of Lindsley's presidency in 2002. Also heavily documented is Lindsley's tireless fundraising work. The first three decades of the MDL's work, in particular, are heavily documented. Materials documenting the MDL's work after the late 1990s are few. The series includes correspondence and news clippings. Records dated after 2000 are limited, likely due to Lindsley's failing health. The date of the first news article in the offices files actually predated the inception of the league by a year. Records in this series are filed in reverse chronological order.
    The Environmental Research Files document each project and development area that the MDL worked to prevent. They are the reference items the MDL used in its work against developers. The series is divided into five subject-based sub-series. Also included is the documentation of the MDL's decision making process regarding its focus and project selection. The first sub-series, Local Environmental Projects, documents several environmental issues in San Diego county from the 1970s to early in the 21st century, and consists predominantly of Environment Impact Reports (EIR), Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), biological or environmental assessments, management plans, legal action files relating to a specific topic within the project files, and records of decision for a few of the EIRs. It is arranged in alphabetical order based on the subject of documents. The second sub-series, General Plans, contain sections of the San Diego County General Plan. This sub-series also contains EIRs and legal action files pertinent to a specific portion of the General Plan are arranged alphabetically. The third sub-series, National Forests, largely document the MDL's work regarding the four major national forests in and around San Diego County: Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres, and San Bernardino. It is arranged alphabetically. The fourth sub-series, Soil Surveys, documents the potential development area's soil contents. It is arranged in numerical order corresponding to the map number listed on each soil survey map with the exception of the two volume bound text that precedes the maps in the sub-series arrangement. The fifth and final sub-series, Publications, document a wide range of conservation and environmental topics. Materials in this section include wildlife magazines, brochures, news articles, a few volumes of an out of print newspaper, book excerpts, federal registers, a census of agriculture, and legislation. Most materials date from the early 21st century, and are arranged in alphabetical order according to the document title with the exception of the photocopied book excerpts, which are filed according to the author's last name.