Kathleen Goddard Jones Papers, MS 119
Papers of environmental activist Kathleen Goddard Jones, including correspondence, clippings, research files, organization records, and 35mm slides, primarily relating to her efforts to protect the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes on the central coast of California, her participation in regional and national Sierra Club efforts, and other activities in defense of the ecosystems of California, donated by Kathleen Goddard Jones in 1993.
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- Title: Kathleen Goddard Jones Papers, 1933-2001 (1964-1994 bulk)
- Collection Number: MS 119
- Creator: Goddard Jones, Kathleen, 1907-2001
- Extent: 76 document boxes
- Language: English
Willis and Nellie Goddard's daughter, Kathleen, was born in Sacramento on July 2, 1907. A few months after her birth, her parents relocated to Santa Barbara, where her father was secretary of the YMCA. Her love of nature began on hikes with her family into the surrounding countryside and grew with her participation in Campfire Girls. "At the age of twelve I began to really hike," she recalled, "to go to the higher peaks and to learn to sleep outdoors and to cook outdoors, and to find that this was something that was important to me…and has continued to be one of the most important facets of my whole life: a kinship with the earth, a spiritual refreshment from moving easily along trails and over the contours of the earth."
Goddard Jones attended college in Santa Barbara for a year, then traveled in Europe with friends for several months. Upon her return, she enrolled as a English major at Mills College in Oakland. Cedric Wright, a music professor at Mills, was active in the Sierra Club and encouraged Goddard Jones to participate and introduced her to his friend, Ansel Adams.
She left Mills at the end of her junior year and was married to Ali Shirazi Parvaz. They lived in India, Burma, and Iran for several years. They returned to the United States, where Goddard Jones worked in radio, at NBC, for nearly eight years. Goddard Jones then divorced her first husband and returned to California, marrying Duncan P. Jackson in 1945. They adopted several children.
In 1949, Goddard Jones joined the Sierra Club, primarily so she could go on their annual trip to the High Sierra with her old mentor, Cedric Wright. It was on this two-week hike that many important relationships were formed with national leaders of the Sierra Club, including David Brower. Also in 1949, Goddard Jones helped found the Santa Barbara Group of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, which became the Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club in February of 1952. She served as chair for several years, and in 1956 became a delegate to the national Sierra Club Council, which she eventually chaired from 1956-1957.
Goddard Jones had moved to Paso Robles, where she once again helped form a new local Sierra Club group as part of the Santa Barbara Chapter. The Santa Lucia Group first met on November 9, 1961; the first outing was a hike shortly after the New Year through the Nipomo Dunes, near Oso Flaco Lake. The trip became a permanent annual outing, which Goddard Jones led from 1962 to 1995.
In October of 1968, the San Luis Obispo County members attained chapter status for the Santa Lucia group. Goddard Jones's most important efforts led to the preservation of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes. "I want everyone to know what a lovely place we have out here on the mesa," she said. "It is a wealth of beauty, and all of it is free." Goddard Jones's growing environmental activism led to a split with her conservative husband and the Jacksons were divorced in August of 1966. On August 21, 1971, she married Gaylord Jefferson Jones, who shared her love of the Dunes and the outdoors.
In the early 1960s, she saw a newspaper article announcing that utility company Pacific Gas & Electric had acquired dune land for a nuclear power plant. That article sparked Goddard Jones's campaign of 13 years, including meetings, letter writing, field trips, and political campaigns, to have the nuclear power plant relocated elsewhere and the dunes preserved.
In a 1967 statement before the Public Utilities Commission, Goddard Jones stated: "I am a native Californian…. I have been a member of conservation organizations since childhood and am presently a member of The Nature Conservancy, the Wilderness Society, the Audubon Society, the California Native Plant Society, the Planning and Conservation League for Legislative Action, and the most significant conservation organization in the United States, the national Sierra Club, which I am an unusually active member. For the Sierra Club I have participated in its program of growth during the past seventeen years on local, state, and national levels. For the past four years, I have been a full-time, volunteer conservationist and currently fulfill an appointment from the president of the Sierra Club as the Sierra Club Coordinator for the Preservation of the Nipomo Dunes on [San Luis Obispo County]'s south coast.
Among all conservation problems, my interest and energy have been chiefly centered in good land use, in wise land planning — and particularly in the dual challenge (here in our magnificent California) of promoting wholesome outdoor recreation and at the same time protecting and preserving significant scenic resources. But more important for this hearing is the fact that I know intimately the land of San Luis Obispo County: by airplane, auto, jeep, sand buggy and horseback…but best of all, on foot! The lands of San Luis Obispo County, of which I speak, are lands that I know!"
In 1974, PG&E sold 857 acres of dune land to the state for a park and sought another location for the nuclear power plant. Of this decision, Sunset magazine Matthew Jaffe wrote, "PG&E's eventual decision to build its plant in a little-known spot farther north, Diablo Canyon, led to criticism of Jones by both environmentalists (who opposed all nuclear power plants) and locals (who were angry about the loss of tax revenue and building contracts). But the process of saving the dunes had begun. That effort to preserve what Jones describes as "this incomparable coast" now includes players from a wide philosophical and administrative spectrum; among them are The Nature Conservancy, oil companies, off-road-vehicle advocates, the U.S. Air Force, and local farmers."
In 1983, the Regional Oral History Office at UC Berkeley interviewed Goddard Jones for their Sierra Club Oral History Series. Goddard Jones remained active on behalf of the Dunes until her death on October 2, 2001.
Social Security Administration, Social Security Death Index, Master File. Ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com, accessed 12 Sept. 2007
Anne Van Tyne, interview with Kathleen Goddard Jones, "Defender of California's Nipomo Dunes, Steadfast Sierra Club Volunteer." The Sierra Club Nationwide II, 1984 http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/ROHO/collections/subjectarea/natres/sierraclub.html
Sue Hagen, "A Guided Tour: Black Lake Canyon: The Mesa Fairyland." Five Cities Times-Press-Recorder [Arroyo Grande, Calif.] 16 June 1978
"Statement of Kathleen Jackson before California Public Utilities Commission on February 17, 1967, San Luis Obispo." Box 16 Folder 7, ts, Kathleen Goddard Jones Papers, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Matthew Jaffe, "California's Ultimate Sea of Sand — Nipomo Dunes." Sunset Oct 1992 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1216/is_n4_v189/ai_12884195
Scope and Content
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains the extant papers of environmental activist Kathleen Goddard Jones of Arroyo Grande, California. When originally appraised on site in November of 1992, the Goddard Jones materials consisted of an estimated 85 linear feet, including visual media. At her death, approximately 60 linear feet of material were transferred to the archives.
Plant samples were transferred to another depository. During processing, most duplicates were recycled, which reduced the collection size to 30 linear feet.
The provenance, or original organization, of the papers was haphazard. In order to simplify access to the collection for researchers, most materials were refoldered and reorganized, while some were shifted and renamed to more accurately reflect the contents.
The collection is divided into seven series:
- Personal and Professional Papers, 1933-2001
- Sierra Club Records, 1950-1993
- Non-Profit and Government Affiliations, 1954-1987
- Advocacy and Watchdog Efforts, 1949-1990
- Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Conservation, 1964-1990s
- Research Materials, 1955-1995
- Visual Media, 1960s-1970s
The Goddard Jones Papers are housed in 28 Hollinger boxes and 11 wardrobe boxes, with Series 2 - Sierra Club Records, 1950-1993 and Series 5 - Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Conservation, 1964-1990s containing the most extensive and unique portions of the collection. Series 4.A. contains the bulk of Goddard Jones's correspondence, with references to the wide range of her activities in environmental activism.