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Guide to the Tuolumne River Preservation Trust records, 1968-[on-going] (bulk 1981-1997)
BANC MSS 87/104 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Organization History
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Tuolumne River Preservation Trust Records,
    Date (inclusive): 1968-[on-going]
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1981-1997)
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 87/104 c
    Creator: Tuolumne River Preservation Trust
    Extent: Number of containers: 17 cartons, 1 box, 1 oversize box, 6 oversize folders Linear feet: 22.5
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: The Tuolumne River Preservation Trust records provide detailed documentation of the administrative and legal activities of the Trust, as well as all aspects of the campaigns to win Wild and Scenic status for the Tuolumne River and environmental protection for the Clavey River. The bulk of the collection dates from 1981-1997, although material dating from 1968 is found in the files.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights have been transferred to The Bancroft Library.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Tuolumne River Preservation Trust records, BANC MSS 87/104 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.
    Sound recordings have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Tuolumne River Preservation Trust records were given to The Bancroft Library by the Trust on March 13, 1987. Additions were made on September 1, 1998.

    Organization History

    The Tuolumne River Preservation Trust was formed in 1982 to mount a campaign for Congressional designation of the Tuolumne River as Wild and Scenic to meet the immediate crisis of the river's loss of legal protection in October of that year. Based in San Francisco, the Trust grew out of the Tuolumne River Coalition, which was built on the Citizens Action Project, an energy conservation group that coordinated the efforts of the Sierra Club, Friends of the River, and fishing and boating groups to oppose the City of San Francisco's continued involvement with the Clavey-Wards Ferry Dam project. The Trust was formed to act on the recommendations of the Tuolumne Study Team, whose 1979 proposal urged Wild and Scenic River status for the undeveloped portions of the Tuolumne.
    The campaign to preserve the Tuolumne from further commercial and hydroelectric development followed almost immediately on the unsuccessful campaign to protect the Stanislaus River under the federal Wild and Scenic program. Learning from the failure of that campaign, the Trust worked to establish broader public, media, and legislative support, and to develop a sophisticated legal expertise. The Trust drew its own leadership from established environmental organizations such as the National Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, and the Friends of the River.
    In its efforts to gain Wild and Scenic status for the Tuolumne River, the Trust made its public campaign a strong state and national issue through the use of direct mail and a broadly based grass roots environmental strategy. It established political networks, media outreach channels, and county-based environmental canvasses. The Trust organized rafting trips on the Tuolumne as a way to build public outreach and held raffles and dinners that combined publicity with fund raising. It developed extensive political mailing lists and used direct mail publicity to expand the donor network and to engage a broad cross section of the public in the issue. Richard Chamberlain lent his celebrity name for higher issue recognition, and played an active role in the Congressional hearing in May 1984.
    The campaign culminated during the 1984 congressional hearings and the passage of the Congressional bill gave Wild and Scenic status to the Tuolumne River in September of that year. After the initial round of celebrations, the Trust decided to continue its existence to oversee the drafting of the Management Plan for the Tuolumne River.
    In 1987, the Trust began a campaign to make the Clavey River dam-free. In March 1995, after an eight year battle, the Turlock Irrigation District withdrew its proposal for a $700 million, five dam, power project. The Trust promoted the dam project's impact on the environment, as well as the poor economics, and with the help of the Central Valley agricultural community and industrial interests, was able to force the Irrigation District to cancel the project.
    A settlement agreement was reached in January 1996 that commited $7 million and increased flows in the Lower Tuolumne, a plan that over the next ten years would aid in the recovery and protection of the salmon population. In its' efforts to continue public education and outreach, the Trust opened the Tuolumne Watershed Visitors Center in Groveland in June 1996. In August of the same year, the Trust established a collaborative project to design a management plan for the Clavey watershed. Working with the Forest Service, Department of Fish and Game, and environmental groups, the Trust will facilitate the plan to insure protection of the Clavey water quality and wildlife populations.

    Scope and Content

    The Tuolumne River Preservation Trust records provide detailed documentation of the administrative and legal activities of the Trust, as well as all aspects of the campaigns to win Wild and Scenic status for the Tuolumne River and environmental protection for the Clavey River. The bulk of the collection dates from 1981-1997, although material dating from 1968 is found in the files.
    The Administrative Records document some of the planning needed to establish the Trust and provide a detailed record of the memos, agendas, and minutes for the Board of Directors and its meetings. The correspondence of the Executive Director gives insight on campaign and long range strategies, while the correspondence of the Associate Director reflects daily office activity and the mechanics of implementing and coordinating the Trust's many projects.
    The campaign to save the Tuolumne River includes correspondence and other documentation relating to outreach, public programs, fund raising, promotional activities, river tours, fund raisers, and celebrations. The formation and implementation of the Trust's direct mail campaign is an important aspect of the collection. The documentation relating to the May 1984 Congressional hearing on Wild and Scenic status for the Tuolumne River was also instrumental to the success of the campaign. The decision of the Trust to oversee the Management Plan for the Tuolumne River under the Wild and Scenic program is also included.
    Material concerning issues and individuals involved in the campaign is also provided in the Subject Files. These document the breadth of citizen involvement as well as the participation of many other organizations, from the local groups that maintain family camps on the river to the complex legal proceedings against the Clavey-Wards Ferry dam and other hydro-electric projects. The Subject Files also illustrate the constant flow of information regarding the political positions of candidates, legislators, and other interest groups concerned with the fate of the Tuolumne River.
    Reports include the views of non-profit organizations, like the Environmental Defense Fund, as well as government interests, including the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior. Publicity and clipping files were maintained by the Trust to follow the progress of key legislators and issues in order to provide source material for reports and statements, and to provide supplements to their own updates and mailers to members and supporters.
    The campaign to Save the Clavey River includes many of the same elements and strategies found in the previous campaign. Correspondence is included as well as documentation related to management plans, outreach, direct mail, and fund raisers. The Clavey campaign Subject Files are arranged in the same manner as the Tuolumne Subject Files, and provide similar information. Reports illustrate various issues and document environmental concerns as well as government interests, while Publicity and clippings were used to provide souce materials and document political interests and issues.