Butler Valley Dam Collection - Finding Aid
The Library, Special Collections
Humboldt State University
One Harpst Street
Arcata, California 95521
Edie Butler, MA, CA, and Suzanne Dunkerly
Date Collection Processed
Gordon and Billie Mason
Dates Covered by Collection
Size of Collection
.3 cubic feet
In the 1960s the Army Corps of Engineers proposed damming the Mad River in Humboldt County, California. The dam would have flooded the Butler Valley/Maple Creek area and impacted the middle Mad River watershed. Within the affected area Gordon and Billie Mason owned property that straddled the river. The collection is an assortment of reports, correspondence, articles, and news clippings that describe the project and the reaction from the community. The dam was never built.
The collection is processed and open for use by appointment.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Humboldt State University Library.
Gordon and Billie Mason owned property in the area that would have been affected by the dam. When Billie Mason sold the property in circa 2005 she offered the materials to the new owner who suggested that she donate them to a public repository. Billie Mason then donated the collection to Humboldt State University Library.
The collection is an assortment of reports, correspondence, articles and news clippings that describe the Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed Butler Valley Dam project and the reaction from the community. Gradually the opposition from the community, including the urban areas of the county, forced a suspension of the project schedule and finally the cancellation of the project.
During processing the unorganized papers were sorted into categories by source and type and then placed in thirteen archival file folders.
Box 1 (of 1)
- ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS DOCUMENTS
- "Your Land" - Booklet on how the Army Corps of Engineers purchases land from owners for a project. Dec 1, 1966.
- "Mad River, Humboldt, and Trinity Counties: Letter from the Secretary of the Army" July 16 1968 - Report accompanied by illustrations and papers on the Mad River project. 331 pages.
- "Dam &Reservoir Plans" - colored map of dam and its effected areas.
- "Reservoir Plans" - copy of above, not including map.
- Wiggins Ranch - Grid map and phone numbers.
- "Progress Report No.2 on Butler Valley Dam and Reservoir" April 29 1970 - Progress report with emphasis on real estate and the purchase there of.
- "Butler Valley Dam and Blue Lake Project Progress Report No.3" Dec 2 1970 - Map, cost estimate, and environmental effects of projected dam.
ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS - CORRESPONDENCE
- January 30, 1970 - To Mr./Mrs. Mason from Mr. Card, Army Corps of Engineers. Right of entry paperwork to be filled out.
- [January 30, 1970] “Right of Entry form” - Legal granting of entry onto land to be signed by owner and map of said land.
- March 26, 1970 - To Mr./Mrs. Mason from Mr. Card. Requesting right of entry forms.
- June 9, 1970 - To Mr./Mrs. Mason from Mr. Card. Again requesting the right of entry form.
- April 10, 1970 - To Mr./Mrs. Mason from Mr. Roberts. Notice of public meeting to discuss the Butler Valley Dam.
- November 3, 1969 - To Mr./Mrs. Mason from Mr. Roberts. Notice of latest developments on Butler Valley Dam project. (Two copies of letter; one original, one photocopy)
- April 7, 1970 - to Sir from Dan Jacobs. Asking for summary report on dam.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY - CORRESPONDENCE
- September 20, 1973 - To Colonel Lemmie from Paul De Falco, Jr. Review of environmental impact statement; two copies.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME - CORRESPONDENCE
- July 25, 1973 - To Mr. Rusher (Humboldt County Board of Supervisors) from DFG Director. Comments on public hearing. (2 copies of letter.)
HUMBOLDT COUNRY GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS
- "Butler Valley Dam Project hearing" July 18, 1973 - Agenda of meeting and facts concerning dam project.
- "Special meeting" July 18, 1973 - Public hearing on dam project. Agenda and list of those submitting comments.
- "Grand Jury County of Humboldt" 1972 - report and recommendations on dam. (2 copies)
- "Synopsis of a portion of the Data Related to the Butler Valley Dam Project and the Proposed Service Area" April 10, 1972 - Letters and presentations about dam project. (2 copies)
CONCERNED CITIZENS COMMITTEE BUTLER VALLEY DAM CITIZENS’ ADVISORY COMMITTEE
- Four page question and answer pamphlet on dam cost, taxes, est. (2 copies)
- [Dam drawing] Fall 1972 - hand drawing and notes on back of Eureka Adult School flyer.
- "Times Printing Co" January 13, 1972 - message for pick up.
- "Yellow note" - Note of names and numbers on yellow paper.
- "Sticker" - bumper sticker against raising of taxes due to dam. (2 copies)
- "Concerned Citizens Committee" July 18, 1973 - Letter to community asking to vote against dam.
- "The Dam Truth" 1973 - Publication on Butler Valley Dam issue. Published by Concerned Citizens.
- "Butler Valley Dam Citizen’s Advisory Committee" February 3, 1972 - Minutes of meeting.
- "Report of Butler Valley Dam Citizen’s Advisory Committee" 1972 - Rough draft.
MAD RIVER- PROPERTY VALUE INFORMATION
- Two newspaper clippings of real estate values around Butler Valley; Sterling Peterson Reality.
- January 2, 1970 - Letter to Mr. Mason from Mr. McCartney of Oren and McCartney Attorney at Law.
- "Notes taken at public meeting" April 29, 1970; states number of owners of affected property and how said property will be appraised for sale.
- Envelope note - Hand written note on yellow envelope with drawing.
BUTLER VALLEY DAM - Article by Richard Harris
- "Dam Mad" Fall 1973 - Overview on Dam project and debate in Golden Gate North.
THE OSPREY - BVD SPECIAL ISSUE
- Osprey issue devoted to Butler Valley Dam proposal and debate October 31, 1973.
PAPER: LAND ACQUISITION POLICY OF THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
- "Land Acquisition Policy"- 50 page paper on how the Army Corps of Engineers acquires land for projects; author unknown.
AMERICAN FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRIES’ REPORT: GOVERNMENT LAND ACQUISITION
- "Government Land Acquisition: Summary of land acquired by federal, state, and local governments up to 1964."
PAID POLITICAL ADVERTISING- BONNIE BANZONELLI GOOL
- Ad by Mrs. Gool Oct 28, 1973 - Newspaper ad supporting building the dam.
NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS RE: Butler Valley Dam
- "Public hearing scheduled on Butler Valley Dam topic" - Vote on whether to call an election on Dam.
- "Anti-dam group picks officials" - Mr. Mason chosen to be official of Concerned Citizens Campaign Committee along with others.
- "Eel Delta Planning Money Sought; Okay Jetty Cash Request" - Description of proposed lake to be created by dam.
- July 10, 1968; "Butler Valley" - Picture and map of valley.
- Ca.1970’s; "Bay, Dam"; Map and incomplete article on dam.
- July 15, 1971; "Butler Valley Dam Recreation Probed"; More information needed on recreational prospects of dam before decision can be made.
- July 13, 1966; "Dam in north means water for southland"; re: California Water Plan.
- July 10, 1968; "1-2 Punch” Butler Valley project, Humboldt Bay Improvement OK" - Butler Valley chosen as best place for dam on the Mad River.
- August 3, 1968; "Butler Valley start possible in 3 years; bill before Johnson" - $38.6 million project okayed project waiting President Johnson’s signature.
- February 27, 1970; "North coast progress report 1970 Butler Valley" - Large article on proposed dam and its cost.
- June 11, 1971; "Butler Valley Dam Election May Not Be Needed."
- Jan 12, 1972; "Butler Valley Committee’s Chore Still Not Stipulated."
- February 11, 1972; "County Could Be Laden With Butler Valley Cost."
- July 3, 1973; "General plan" - Map of dam.
- December 31, 1973; "1973: Year of Environment and Other Controversies" - Dam not passed and other debates of the year.
Humboldt County (Calif.) -- History
Mad River (Calif.)
Butler Valley Dam (proposed)