Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter Records (MS-00289)

Abstract

The Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter Records (1951 to 2021) are composed of files from Sierra Club officers and environmental activists in the Southern Nevada (formerly Las Vegas) Group of the Toiyabe Chapter. The collection documents the involvement of the Southern Nevada group in a variety of environmental concerns, such as air quality, transportation, urbanization, and nuclear issues, in which the chapter has expressed interest. The records are comprised of correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes and agendas, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, pamphlets, press releases, legislation, recommendations, resolutions, and general information. Due to the group’s location in the heart of the Mojave Desert, the collection provides excellent case studies of significant changes in the post-World War II American environmental movement, notably the increased recognition of the worth of desert lands.

Date
1951 to 2021
Extent
24.82 Cubic Feet (24 boxes, 1 flat file (shared box))
22.71 Linear Feet
2.962 digital_files (14.100 GB)
Resource Type
Records
Creator/Contributor Links
Creator: Sierra Club
Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Where use copies do not exist, production of use copies is required before access will be granted; this may delay research requests. Arrangements must be made in advance to access digital files; please contact UNLV Special Collections and Archives for additional information.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.

Collection Type
Scope and Contents

The Sierra Club Collection at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (1951 to 2021) is composed of files from Sierra Club officers and environmental activists in the Southern Nevada (formerly Las Vegas) Group of the Toiyabe Chapter. A major portion of the collection comes from the work of Jeff van Ee, who has been active in the Sierra Club in Nevada since the early 1970s. The collection documents the involvement of the Southern Nevada Group in a variety of environmental issues. Comprised of correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes and agendas, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, pamphlets, press releases, legislation, recommendations, resolutions, and general information, the collection showcases the variety of environmental issues in which the chapter has expressed interest including nuclear issues, air pollution, wildlife conservation, and land conservation. The collection also includes digital files which include copies of documentary films, Sierra Club administrative files, and resources on transportation reform and air pollution.

Biographical / Historical Note

The Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club was formally organized in 1957, though a small coterie of grassroots environmentalists in Nevada had been meeting infrequently since 1954. The chapter covers the Eastern Sierra of California (north of Kern and San Bernardino Counties, and including portions of Alpine, Inyo, and Mono Counties) and all of Nevada. At the present, the chapter is divided into three groups: Great Basin, Range of Light, and Southern Nevada (formerly Las Vegas). The Range of Light Group covers the Eastern Sierra portion of California. The Great Basin Group covers Northern Nevada. The chapter formerly included all of Utah as well as other California counties; however, these regions eventually formed their own chapters.

The Southern Nevada Group has been exceptionally active since the mid-1970s. The group opposed the MX Missile Project, swaps of private and government land, the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, and off-road vehicle events that harm the desert ecosystem. It participated in the expansion of Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area and other local projects impacting the environment. The Toiyabe Chapter publishes a bi-monthly newsletter entitled Toiyabe Trails. The Toiyabe chapter is managed by an elected Executive Committee (ExCom), while the Southern Nevada group is managed by a panel of elected officers.

Source:

Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter Records, 1951-2021. MS-00289. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

1954
Interest in forming a Sierra Club chapter covering the lands east of the Sierra Nevada begins; meetings to discuss formation are held over the next two years.
1956 December
Petition for chapter status is submitted to national headquarters.
1957
Sierra Club Board of Directors approve formation of the Toiyabe Chapter. Chapter originally has 83 members, chaired by Les Gould.
1962
Uinta Group (Utah) is added to Toiyabe Chapter.
1963
Las Vegas Group added to Toiyabe Chapter.
1970s
Chapter's Uinta Group splits to form Utah Chapter and other lands previously part of the Toiyabe Chapter (the area east of the crest in El Dorado, Nevada, Sierra, Lassen, and Modoc Counties) become part of the Mother Lode Chapter.
1980s
The proposal to locate the MX Missile program in eastern Nevada and western Utah, combined with the appointment of James Watt as the Secretary of the Interior, spurs an increase in membership in both the chapter and national organization. The Chapter and Southern Nevada Group are active in lobbying the Nevada Congressional delegation to halt proposals to site the program in Nevada.
1986
Sierra Club successfully concludes lobbying for Great Basin National Park when the bill designating the park passes on October 27.
1989
Toiyabe Chapter, together with Friends of Nevada Wilderness, concludes efforts to designate more than 1.2 million acres of Nevada as wilderness.
1993
Chapter successfully concludes effort to establish Spring Mountain National Recreation Area.
1994
Several Toiyabe Chapter members conclude successful efforts to see passage of the California Desert Protection Act.
Arrangement

The records are arranged in six series:

Series I. Administrative records, 1976-1988;

Series II. Subject files, 1951-2003;

Series III. Publications, 1979-2006;

Series IV. 2003 addition, 1981-1990;

Series V. 2016 addition, 1987-2012;

Series VI. 2021 addition, 1997-2021.

Related Materials

The following resources may provide additional information related to the materials in this collection:

Jean Russell Janish Papers, 1883-1992. MS-00355. Special Collections, Lied Library, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jeff van Ee Papers, 1990-2000. MS-00470. Special Collections, Lied Library, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Preferred Citation

Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter Records, 1951-2021. MS-00289. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

EAD ID
US::NvLN::MS00289
Immediate Source of Acquisition

Records were donated in 1987 by the Las Vegas Group of the Sierra Club; accession number 87-96, records were donated in 1990 by Cheri Cinkoske; accession number 90-93. Records were donated in 1993, 2008, and 2013 by Jeff Van Ee; accession numbers 93-26, 2003-13, and 2008-06. Records were donated in 2016 by Jane Feldman and Peggy Pierce; accession number 2016-011. Materials were donated in 2021 by Jane Feldman; accession number 2021-103.

Processing Information

In 2016, Joyce Moore processed the collection and created the finding aid in ArchivesSpace. In 2021, Tammi Kim accessioned the 2021 addition, transferred digital files off of external media, and updated the finding aid. No access files were created for any files at this time.

Accruals

Additions are received periodically.

Finding Aid Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
English