1924 The San Francisco Bay Chapter is established to include San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and San Mateo counties. (San Mateo will later come under the Loma Prieta chapter.) The first Chapter Chair is Orwell Logan. The first subcommittees are: Membership, Trails, Local Walks Schedule, Education, and Entertainment.
Chapter adopts San Francisco Tuesday Dinners from the Club. Dinners are held at Clinton Cafeteria and chaired by Wanda Bernhard.
1925 For its Education Committee and Tuesday Dinner programs, the Executive Committee invests in a "projecting machine" and solicits members' photo negatives to make "lantern slides" of outdoor treks. Dinners begin to draw more people into local walks.
1926 The Sequoia National Park is enlarged after Chapter and other groups pressure congressional representatives.
The Chapter strongly opposes a road building plan to traverse the south side of Mt. Tamalpais. It also opposes plan to divide portions of Tamalpais open space into private cabin sites.
1927 The Chapter enlists the support of the Angeles Chapter to campaign for passage of Assembly Bill 677 which will create Mt. Tamalpais State Park. The bill passes both houses.
1929 The Chapter participates in dedicating a plaque in Muir Woods to the memory of William Kent who generously donated many acres to Mt. Tamalpais.
1930 Mt. Tamalpais starts operating as a state park.
1931 Francis P. Farquhar and Robert L. M. Underhill introduce the use of the rope in rock climbing on premier ascent of Mt. Whitney's East Face.
1932 Despite safety concerns, Executive Committee chair Lewis Clark succeeds in adopting the Cragmont Climbing Club into the Chapter as the Rock Climbing Section.
1934 The East Bay Regional Park District is established, cheered on by the Chapter and other conservation groups.
The Publications and Publicity Committee is established.
Chapter leaders Richard Leonard, Bestor Robinson and Jules Eichorn make the first technical Yosemite climbing ascent of Cathedral Spires.
1935 Legislation is introduced to establish Kings Canyon National Park.
1938 The first issue of the Yodeler goes to press: a hefty 75¢ subscription for one year.
1939 The first summit-climb of Shiprock in New Mexico is achieved by Chapter officers David Brower, Raffi Bedayn and two others with the first use of expansion bolts.
The Natural Science Section is formed (originally called the Nature Study Group).
1940 Congress establishes Kings Canyon National Park. This has been of major concern to the Chapter for some time.
1941 Club Vice President Bestor Robinson urges the Chapter's now famous Rock Climbing Section to "perfect and standardize" climbing techniques for U. S. Army mountaineers.
The Yodeler stages a central mail clearinghouse for Chapter families to correspond with loved ones overseas and for servicemen to continue a dialog with the Yodeler at home.
The Chapter enlists Cicely Christy to run its Harvest Camp in the Napa Valley to assist the war effort. On weekends and vacations many Chapter members replace enlisted farm laborers to harvest crops. St. Helena High offers its kitchen and showers to the group, which camps on the school grounds.
1943 The Chapter takes over the West Point Inn, saving it for future Mt. Tamalpais hikers. Nearly 1000 Sierra Club members are in the armed forces.
1944 The Advertising Committee and the Elections Committee are formed. Mountain gear and nylon climbing rope are developed by enlisted Chapter leaders for military use.
1945 The 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army returns home from the war. Many Sierra Club climbers are in this division. The Yodeler celebrates their return with a special Victory Edition on September 4, 1945. Chapter members resume their civilian lives and turn their attention to mounting threats to wilderness.
1946 The growing demand for lumber for post-war housing and dams for power alarm Sierra Club conservationists.
1948 Jack Sudall establishes the East Bay Dinners as social venue for educational programs.
1949 San Francisco Tuesday Dinners celebrates 25 years.
The Chapter urges members to protest the proposed aerial tramway up Mt. San Jacinto near Palm Springs to preserve wilderness.
1952 Kings Canyon National Park continues to be threatened with the building of dams: Tehipite Valley, Copper Creek and Cedar Grove in the park are targeted.
1953 The Secretary of the Interior recommends the immediate construction of Echo Park Dam and Split Mountain Dam in Dinosaur National Monument, galvanizing the Sierra Club into action.
1954 By this year, a Speakers Bureau, Hospitality Committee and Winter Sports Committee have long since been thriving as well as several Sections: Conservation-Education, Natural Science, Hiking, Knapsacking, Car Camping and River Touring.
1955 Chapter membership reaches 4,500.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is created by the California Legislature, the State's first regional agency dealing with air pollution.
Following an extraordinary Sierra Club publicity blitz, and with the aid of other conservation groups, Dinosaur National Monument is saved from damming.
1956 Ed Wayburn submits a plan to the State Parks Commission calling for acquisition of the whole bowl of Frank's Valley and Kent Canyon for Mt. Tamalpais parkland.
The Richardson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is established and will include over 900 acres of wetlands.
1958 The national Club and Chapter successfully oppose the proposed PG&E nuclear plant at Bodega Head, situated near an earthquake fault.
1960 The Sierra Club, National Audubon and affiliates continue to lease Leslie Salt's marsh and intertidal lands for wildlife sanctuaries as an innovative way to protect habitat.
1961 By this year, the Chapter is sponsoring more than 300 outings per year.
The Mountaineering Section is formed.
The Chapter supports establishment of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the official regional planning agency for environmental quality, transportation, etc.
Claudia Doerr revives the San Francisco Tuesday Dinners, which had discontinued in 1952. The first dinner costs $1.85 at the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Two hundred attend.
1962 Point Reyes National Seashore is established per legislation introduced by Rep. Clem Miller and California Senators Clair Engle and Thomas H. Kuchel.
The Chapter and voters support plan to construct BART.
1963 The Chapter raises funds to enable Laura Reynolds to produce an exceptional film on the beauty of Point Reyes. It is shown across the country to educate legislators and the public and to solicit land-acquisition monies for the seashore.
The John Muir National Historic Site at Martinez is established as a national park.
1965 Spearheaded by the Save The Bay movement and indomitable leaders like Sylvia McLaughlin and Kay Kerr, the McAteer-Petris Act is passed establishing the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). It is made a permanent agency in 1969.
The state passes the Williamson Act giving tax incentives to land owners to restrict their lands to agricultural and open space uses.
1966 Chapter membership rises to 11,648.
1967 The East Bay Regional Park District obtains title to 1,200 acres of additional land in Wildcat Canyon. Briones Regional Park, 3,100 acres, opens to the public in Contra Costa County.
1968 Redwood National Park is established preserving 58,000 acres, of which 8,990 acres are old growth redwoods.
1969 Sierra Singles is formed.
Chapter bicycle trips are begun.
Membership in Chapter reaches 20,000.
The Porter-Cologne Act is passed, which provides for regional water quality control.
The National Environmental Policy Act is passed.
The Chapter moves into its own small office (room 1043) of Mills Tower, San Francisco, down the hall from Sierra Club headquarters.
1970 The Legislature enacts the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The campaign to save Point Reyes continues and is a top priority for the Chapter.
Dave and Pat Michener take over editorship of the Schedule and continue almost 30 years.
1971 The Chapter is midwife to the birth of People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the organization which pushes successfully for the legislation to establish the GGNRA. (Ed Wayburn chair, and Amy Meyer co-chair.)
The Mount Diablo Regional Group of the Chapter is formed.
Save Mount Diablo is formed with the leadership of botanist Mary Bowerman, long a committee member of the Chapter's Natural Science Section.
Inner City Outings is formed to introduce inner city youth to the wilderness experience. This pilot program adopted by the Chapter spreads to cities across the U.S.
Dwight Steele and the Chapter celebrate the defeat of the Southern Crossing.
The 2,100 Marincello Development acres at the Marin Headlands are sold to the Nature Conservancy, thence to GGNRA.
The Coastal Zone Initiative is passed to establish the California Coastal Commission. This is the first time the Chapter is involved in a major statewide initiative.
The San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Act passes to protect a 20,000 acre wetlands habitat in the South Bay.
1973 Chapter membership reaches 27,500. Chapter moves to a new office and bookstore in Oakland.
EBMUD opens its lands for recreational use.
The Marin Regional Group of the Chapter is formed.
The original Tri-Valley Group (Livermore-Amador) of the Bay Chapter is formed and operates successfully for the next 15 years.
The Marin County Open Space District is established and will later purchase over 13,500 acres.
1974 The San Francisco Bay Chapter celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Chapter conservation chair Helen Burke wins election to the Board of the East Bay Municipal Utility District, where she serves for 16 years, beginning a tradition of Chapter leaders attaining public office.
1975 The San Francisco Regional Group of the Chapter is formed.
1976 Chapter activities continue to thrive, including Sierra Couples, Snow Camping, Solo Sierrans and Ski Touring (skiing is one of the oldest).
Steve Rauh begins his 12-1/2 years as Yodeler editor.
1977 In response to water concerns raised by drought, Chapter forms Water Committee.
John Shively becomes chair of the East Bay Dinners and organizes them with Jack Sudall and Jane Barrett.
Chapter helps persuade Alameda County Supervisors to reject Harlan Gelderman's plan for a "New Town" at Las Positas near Livermore.
Wildlife Committee helps in campaign to pass Suisun Marsh Protection Act.
1978 Yodeler prints a copy of the Clean Indoor Air initiative as centerfold.
Sierra Fest spring festival is biggest Chapter fundraising event ever; fills 62,000-square-foot building at Fort Mason with displays by Club sections and vendors.
It's a big year for the Chapter on land protection. The Golden Trout Wilderness is created, including 90% of the lands proposed. Redwood National Park is enlarged with 48,000 acres, protecting the watershed of the world's tallest trees. As the Army plans to close its base at the Presidio, the Chapter joins in a plan to make the former base into a national park.
Mount Diablo Group starts annual "beginners hiking series".
Car Camping Section is revitalized.
Chapter Office moves to 6014 College Ave. in Oakland. Volunteers work hard to remodel and set up.
1981 The Bay Chapter Yodeler conducts a series of interviews with local and national figures including Linus Pauling, Daniel Ellsburg, David Brower, and Dr. Helen Caldicott. Concerned with nuclear issues this series receives national attention and helps bring the Sierra Club to adopt a Disarmament Policy in 1981 after 18 months of debate.
More than one million petition signatures demanding the dismissal of Interior Secretary James Watt are gathered by the Sierra Club and other conservation groups.
1982 By now, the Chapter has 14 conservation subcommittees including Wilderness, Hazardous Waste, Transportation, Wildlife and Coastal.
1983 The Chapter establishes an Urban Creeks and Wetlands Task Force, chaired by Judith Goldsmith. This committee plays an important role in creating a regional movement for preservation and restoration of creeks.
Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, is forced to resign from office.
1984 Membership reaches 33,538. The Chapter opposes and closely monitors the proposed 18,000-home Las Positas development in Alameda County. The Chapter vehemently opposes plans for a massive basalt quarry near Sunol at Apperson Ridge, home to the golden eagle and prairie falcon.
1986 Proposition 65 is passed (Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act).
Gay and Lesbian Sierrans is established, the Club's first gay and lesbian section.
1987 The Bay Trail is created with Chapter support through the Lockyer Bill S.B. 100, referred to as "The Ring around the Bay."
The Delta Regional Group is organized.
The Chapter begins a major campaign to fight a plan for the East Bay Municipal Utility District to build a $190 million dam and reservoir in Buckhorn Canyon near earthquake faults. The dam is never built.
1990 The West Contra Costa Regional Group is formed.
The Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board is created to reduce landfilled solid waste by 75% over time and establish commercial and residential recycling.
Pleasanton Ridge is established as a regional park of over 2,000 acres after a long battle by Chapter leader Bob Walker and others to save it. Walker also leads campaign to double the size of Morgan Territory, which now contains a ridge named in his honor.
San Francisco Dinners celebrates 30 years of service (it had recessed from 1952-1961).
1992 The Northern Alameda County and the Southern Alameda County Groups of the Chapter are formed.
AB 754 makes the East Bay Regional Park District a state agent for acquisition and development of Eastshore State Park, to run from the Bay Bridge to the Richmond Marina.
The 11,000-home Dougherty Valley development is approved in Contra Costa County in the face of fierce opposition by the Chapter and other conservation groups.
1993 Mt. Wanda (326 acres) is added to the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez. Muir and his family often strolled there.
Vicky Hoover leads the Chapter's efforts along with the California Wilderness Coalition and others to pass the California Desert Protection Act. This monumental conservation achievement will preserve over 7 million desert acres.
Chapter membership reaches 35,593.
1996 Contra Costa County's Good Neighbor Ordinance passes (giving the county oversight of maintenance projects at Tosco, Shell and other refineries).
The Pleasanton Urban Growth Boundary Measure is passed to protect open space from development for the next 20 years.
1997 With leadership from Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and planning efforts by Michael Alexander and the Chapter's Presidio Task Force, the Presidio Trust is established, an executive federal corporation with responsibilities to oversee the Presidio.
Cynthia Patton, Margaret Tracy and others form a new Tri-Valley Regional Group of the Chapter. It had been inactive for some time but is revived with much enthusiasm.
1998 The Chapter is a major force behind the campaign to defeat Measure B, the Alameda County Transportation Sales Tax. We object because of its heavy funding of highway expansions and very limited funds for public transit.
East Bay Dinners celebrates 50 years of entertaining and educational programs.
Chapter membership reaches 36,282.
Urban sprawl and transportation issues mount and continue to absorb the San Francisco Bay Chapter.
The Chapter Wilderness Committee works with the California Wilderness Coalition to participate in the Wildlands 2000 project, a campaign to identify California wildlands for designation as wilderness.
1999 The Chapter celebrates its Diamond Jubilee.
San Francisco Airport proposes plan to fill up to two square miles of the Bay for runway expansion; the Bay Chapter begins major campaign to prevent this.
Chapter settles its lawsuit over expansion of Altamont Landfill; Waste Management agrees to reduce expansion from 80 million to only 40 million tons and to pay $65 million for habitat and open space, recycling education, and other compensations to communities impacted by its operations.
Parks and open space: The Chapter influences the East Bay Regional Park District to adopt a greatly refined park spending plan. The Chapter's San Francisco Group helps pass Measures A and C, providing significant funding for parks and open space in San Francisco.
Transportation: The Chapter plays a key role in the drafting of Measure B, a greatly improved plan for Alameda County's transportation sales tax, approved by county voters.
Chapter-endorsed candidates win nine out of 11 seats on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to establish a strong environmental majority.
Chapter revises bylaws to include a representative from each of its regional groups on the Chapter Executive Committee.
The year sees a major change in the Chapter's fundraising: instead of contracting out for telephoners, it brings its telephone outreach efforts in-house, so that phoners are Chapter staff and can make focused contributions to conservation efforts as well as raising money.
2001 Chapter helps elect new slow-growth majorities in Livermore and San Ramon.
Marin Group helps referendum campaign to stop development at Bahia.
Chapter hires Jonna Anderson for new role as volunteer coordinator, and achieves great increase in volunteer involvement.
Chapter Activities Committee establishes the Michener award, named for Dave and Pat Michener, who edited the Chapter Schedule for 30 years, to honor outstanding outing leadership. The Micheners this year step down as editors, and the Chapter makes the transition to new editorial procedures.
2002 After decades of efforts by the Chapter and the East Bay community, the State Park and Recreation Commission approves a plan for the Eastshore State Park that incorporates much of the Chapter's vision for the park.
Voters in Fremont pass Measure T, a Club-supported hillside-protection ordinance, and in San Ramon voters pass Measure P, which includes an Urban Growth Boundary.
Livermore City Council adopts Urban Limit Line for North Livermore.
Sen. Barbara Boxer introduces the California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act, incorporating the results of the Wildlands 2000 mapping project, and Congress passes and the president signs a bill incorporating the Big Sur portion of the act.
Chapter starts local chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition.
Yodeler holds first annual Photo Contest, featuring full-color photos in Yodeler and exhibits at venues in each of the Chapter's four counties.
Yodeler production goes all-electronic.
2003 San Francisco Board of Supervisors tells San Francisco Airport to drop runway expansion plan. Chapter leader Jane Seleznow, along with Richard Zimmerman of the Loma Prieta Chapter, has played a leading role in galvanizing the massive campaign to bring this outcome.
Chapter helps persuade the Water Transit Authority to drop the most objectionable features of its ferry plan.
Chapter helps persuade San Rafael to drop development plans for St. Vincent/Silveira.
Chapter's Environmental Justice Committee and West Contra Costa Group co-sponsor large community forum on North Richmond shoreline.
Chapter establishes Sierrans Outdoors in Accessible Recreation (SOAR) to sponsor and encourage outings accessible to people with disabilities.
Our big open-space successes of the year are in Contra Costa County. We achieve a settlement agreement for permanent protection of 1,354 acres of land in and adjacent to the Gateway Valley in Orinda. These valuable open-space lands, rich with streams and wetlands, complete a 20-mile-long corridor stretching from San Pablo to Castro Valley. In another settlement agreement we win significant improvements and limitations to development in the Tassajara Valley.
To save money, the Yodeler switches to a bimonthly format. The new, thicker format also allows the Yodeler to go into more depth about priority campaigns.
2005 A major victory, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission drops a plan to construct a fourth pipeline across the Central Valley.
East Bay Shoreline protection was enhanced when developers withdrew plans to build a casino across the street from Arrowhead Marsh.
In a first of its kind in the nation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approves a policy to relate funding of transit projects to the prior introduction of appropriate land-use policies.
The Chapter leads the campaign against four ballot measures brought by developers to get voters to authorize developments outside the Alameda County Urban Limit Line and the Contra Costa Urban Limit Line. The two bigger measures in Livermore and Brentwood are defeated. The upshot is 7,300 units rejected, and only 2,100 approved.
Our biggest victory this year comes when the Board of the East Bay Regional Park District votes to acquire most of Breuner Marsh through eminent domain. We see the success at Breuner as the springboard for a larger campaign to win protection for other open spaces and wetlands in North Richmond.
We celebrate many years of Bay Chapter efforts with the dedication ceremony on October 4th for the Eastshore Park.
The Chapter Wilderness Committee was one of many organizations that helped to get Congress to pass and President Bush to sign the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act, protecting more than 270,000 acres of wild lands in northwestern California.
Yodeler starts using color on most front pages.
2007 It's hard to pick one leading accomplishment for 2007 - the Sierra Club Bay Chapter seems to be active everywhere. In each of our four counties, along the shore and in the hills, in the greenbelt and in the cities, bringing green energy and planning land use and protecting endangered species - the Bay Chapter has become a key influence.
Wherever you live within Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, or Marin Counties, the Sierra Club Bay Chapter is active, and one of our major efforts is making a difference in your home town or very nearby. In 2007, our efforts are happening `everywhere' - and making a difference.
One of our highest-profile efforts is to address energy and global warming. Our aim is not just to do our local share in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases but to make the Bay Area a model for the nation.
Sustainable energy is one of the Bay Chapter's top priorities, and 2008 sees tremendous advances in San Francisco and Marin County towards sustainable clean energy. Many of our top election victories are largely about energy, in San Francisco in particular, the passage in June of Measure E to reform the city's Public Utility Commission, and the triumph in November of a pro-environmental majority on the Board of Supervisors.
Public lands is one of our perennial priorities, and our other biggest election victory in 2008 is passage of Measure WW in the East Bay Regional Park District, to renew its primary funding source for purchasing lands.
Water is another permanent top concern, and in 2008 the Chapter helped win major improvements in San Francisco's plans for its Hetch Hetchy water system.
Chapter members and participants under 35 found Bay Area Young Sierrans (BAYS).
The Northern Alameda County Group starts Green Friday series of potlucks and speakers.
2009 As the result of years of our campaigning, both Marin and San Francisco are close to starting community-energy programs. San Francisco also breaks ground on the largest municipal solar project in the country.
Chapter plays key role in shaping East Bay Municipal Utility District's Water Supply Management Plan.
The Chapter helps persuade Emeryville not to build a trail through the wildlife habitat of the Emeryville Crescent.
The Northern Alameda Group helps win anti-pollution rules for trucks at the Port of Oakland.
2010 The Marin Energy Authority begins delivering clean, green community-choice energy to consumers. The electricity comes almost twice as much from renewable sources as PG&E's. The Sierra Club was the leading organization in bringing this about.
In Hercules we reap the results of efforts begun by Club volunteers in 1991 to keep development out of Franklin Canyon: this June the Muir Heritage Land Trust completes its purchase of the canyon to protect as open space.
The Concord City Council approves a plan for the former Concord Naval Weapons Station that will make 65% of the land open space and will cluster development near the BART station.
In the November 2010 elections seven current or former Chapter leaders ran for public office (four as incumbents).
Chapter endorses 80 candidates and ballot-measure positions.
The Northern Alameda County Group starts a volunteer street-tree-planting program in Oakland. By then end of 2011 the Group will have planted 381 trees.
2011 Largely through our efforts, this fall all remaining cities in Marin County join the Marin Energy Authority, which now distributes the cleanest energy on the market to consumers all over the county.
The recreational-vehicle campground of Lawsons Landing at Tomales Dunes has operated for decades without a permit or appropriate regulation. We are part of a large group of environmental organizations that this year finally gets the Coastal Commission to issue a permit and begin the process of fixing some of the serious problems facing this unique ecosystem.
The Chapter succeeds in several campaigns to move local communities towards the goal of Zero Waste: Marin County passes a ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery- store checkouts, and places a five-cent tax on paper bags; San Francisco bans delivery of unwanted yellow-pages phone books; San Leandro prohibits use of polystyrene-foam prepared-food containers.
A glance at old Yodelers shows that the Chapter and the world were once very different. In fact, some pretty great changes have occurred in just the 30-some years that I've been active with the Chapter. With this much perspective, but limited time to study old Yodelers, let alone the boxes of Chapter historic records stored in the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, I welcome corrections and amplifications of this account. If there's somebody out there with historic and/or antiquarian ambitions, there is a treasure trove of documents on the Chapter's history, and Chapter old-timers are eager to reminisce.
Contact me at email@example.com