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Muir in 1872.
Bancroft Library Collection
 

Angeles Chapter History

Through his widely read magazine articles, naturalist John Muir became the nation's best-known advocate for the Sierra Nevada. In 1892, he and a number of prominent Californians incorporated the Sierra Club, whose purposes were: To explore, enjoy, and render accissible the mountain regions of the Pacific Coast; to publish authentic information concerning them; to enlist the support and cooperation of the people and government in preserving the forest and other natural features of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The infant Club supported the establishment of forest reserves and parks that would protect scenic resources throughout much of the Sierra Nevada; conducted surveys of potential long-distance trail routes;appropriated money for trail improvement and marking; produced a periodic journal (the Sierra Club Bulletin); and published maps of Yosemite and the KingsRiver region. Club members pioneered mountaineering routes throughout the Sierra, inaugurating a climbing tradition that would endure for generations.

1838 John Muir born April 21 in Dunbar, Scotland.
1890 Yosemite, Sequoia, General Grant National Parks established.
1892 Sierra Club founded in May (John Muir, president).
1899 Century's end balance in Club treasury: $46.05.
1901 First Sierra Club outing.
1905 Club byloaw amended to allow formation of sections (chapters).
1908 Sierra Club membership reaches 1,000.
1911 Southern California (Angeles) Chapter organized.
1913 Southern California Chapter completes Muir Lodge in Big Santa Anita Canyon. It was destroyed by flood in 1938. The damming of Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley was an issue which John Muir and the parent Club had already long opposed. The controversy peaked when indignant telegrams flowed from the 1,350 Club members, including many from the 600 Sierrans in the Southern California Chapter, to President Wilson and other federal officials in the unsuccessful effort to block passage of the Raker Bill, which doomed Hetch Hetchy to its present fate.
1914 40 participants from Angeles Chapter ascended Mt. San Gorgonio. John Muir dies December 24 in Los Angeles.
1916 With Club support, National Park Service Act passed by Congress.
1919 Stairway to Half Dome summit completed under Sierra Club auspices.
1921 Club-supported trail from Yosemite Valley to Park's northern wilderness partially completed.
1923 Evening Dinners Committee founded (disbanded 1997), and Ice Skating Section founded (disbanded 1987). Sierra Club float appears in the Rose Parade.
1924 San Francisco Bay Chapter organized.
1927 Ansel Adams publishes first photo portfolio, The High Sierras.
1930 Harwood Lodge, named after Southern California Chapter member Aurelia Harwood, the first woman president of the Sierra Club, was constructed two years after her untimely death in office.
1932 Riverside Chapter (San Gorgonio) in Southern California is organized..
1934 Rock Climbing Section founded. Clair Tappaan Lodge, at Donner Summit, constructed and dedicated.
1935 Ski Mountaineers Section founded, which built the Mt. San Antonio Ski Hut.
1936 Ansel Adams lobbies Congress on behalf of Kings Canyon NP. Pasadena Group founded.
1938 Keller Peak Ski Hut constructed by the Ski Mountaineers Section.
1939 Natural Science Section founded.
1941 Long Beach Group founded.
1944 Club successfully opposes construction of Kearsarge Pass Road in Sierra Nevada.
1945 Club establishes a Conservation Committee of local activists to advise Board on policy. This was the first step leading to the creation of Regional Conservation Committees.
1946 The Angeles Chapter's Conservation Committee was organized in response to both the Palm Springs tramway issue and the Club-s growing interest in environmental matters. Southern Sierran, the Angeles Chapter newsletter, first appears. Desert Peaks Section founded.
1948 San Diego Chapter established with 53 members.
1949 Preliminary edition of A Climber's Guide to the High Sierra published.
1950 Atlantic Chapter established, the first outside California. Great Lakes Chapter formed, serving 200 members in eight states.
1952 Los Padres (Santa Barbara) and Kern-Kaweah (Fresno/Bakersfield) Chapters established.
1953 Tehipite Chapter (Central San Joaquin Valley) established. West Los Angeles Group founded.
1954 Hundred Peaks Section and Local Hikes Committee founded. Club membership: 8,000.
1955 Griffith Park Hikes Committee (Griffith Park Section) founded.
1956 Sierra Peaks Section founded. Sierra Club Council created by vote of membership to deal with internal affairs.
1958 Club fails to prevent rerouting of Tioga Road in Yosemite backcountry.
1959 Mule Pack Section founded.
1960 Sierra Club membership hits 15,000. San Fernando Valley Group founded.
1961 Orange County Group and Basic Mountaineering Training Committee founded. The BMTC later became the Wilderness Training Committee (WTC).
1962 Annual Club dues raised from $7 to $9.
1963 Cabrillo Section (disbanded 2001) and East San Gabriel Valley Group founded. Club opens office in Washington DC.
1964 Wilderness Act passes Congress, creating National Wilderness system.
1965 Camera Committee and Palos Verdes-South Bay Group founded. Membership passes 30,000.
1966 Club loses tax-deductible status over Grand Canyon ads.
1967 Membership passes 57,000. First Sierra Club calendar published.
1968 Bicycle Touring Committee and Sierra Singles Section founded. North Cascades and Redwood National Park, Federal Wid and Scenic Rivers System founded.
1969 River Touring Section founded. First Inner City Outing for urban youth conducted. Activist news digest, National News Report, debuts.
1970 Club chapters represent members in every state in the U.S. International Community Section and Rio Hondo Group founded.
1971 Airport-Marina, Crescenta Valley, Verdugo Hills Groups founded.
1972 Mt. Baldy and High Desert (now Antelope Valley) Groups, and Trails Committee founded. Western Canada Chapter formed. The last High Trip to Kings Canyon.
1973 Nordic Ski Touring Committee and Santa Clarita Group founded.
1974 Backpacking Committee founded.
1975 20's-30's Singles Section founded. Membership at 154,000.
1976 Sierra Club Political Action Committee organized.
1977 Orange County Sierra Singles founded.
1978 Establishment of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area ranks as one of the Angeles Chapter's greatest accomplishments.
1979 Urban Environment Conference co-sponsored by Sierra Club and National Urban League.
1981 Wilderness Adventures Section and Alpine Ski Mountaineering Committee founded. Membership passes 200,000 in April, 260,000 by year end.
1982 Inner City Outings Committee founded.
1983 More than 1,000 attend Sierra Club International Assembly in Snowmass, Colorado.
1984 California Wilderness Act passes Congress. Sheep Mountain Wilderness created.
1985 Recreational Outdoor Accessibility for the Disabled Committee (ROAD) and Little Hikers Committee founded.
1986 Lower Peaks Committee founded. Chino Hills State Park designated.
1987 Backroad Explorers Section founded.
1988 Gay and Lesbian Sierrans Section founded. John Muir's 150th birthday.
1990 Club-supported bill to limit logging in Alaska's Tongass National Forest passes.
1991 Sierra Student Coalition founded. Cloub helps defeat Johnston-Wallop energy bill, protects Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
1992 Congress passes Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act. Sespe Wilderness created.
1993 Orange County (S) Sierra Sage Group and K-9 Hikers Committee founded.
1994 Central Group founded. California Desert Protection Act passed after massive Sierra Club effort. Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, Mojave National Preserve created.
1995 Easy Hikers Committee founded.
1998 Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park dedicated.
2002 Sierra Club membership reaches 750,000, of which 58,000 are Angeles Chapter members.

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