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Guide to the Eau Claire Area Ecology Action Records, 1966-1984

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Overview of the Collection

Special Collections & Archives
McIntyre Library
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
P.O. Box 4004
105 Garfield Ave.
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004

Reference Code: USGZE AS155

Accession Number: 15-036

Collection Number: Archives Series 155

Creator: Eau Claire Area Ecology Action

Title: Eau Claire Area Ecology Action Records

Dates: 1966-1984

Quantity: 2.0 linear feet (1 archives box and 1 oversize box)

Location of Collection: D6/1e and A4/1e

Languages: Collection materials are in English.

Summary: Miscellaneous records including administrative material, newsletters, clippings, publicity materials, and minutes related to the Eau Claire Area Ecology Action and the National Environmental Teach-in.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Eau Claire Area Ecology Action (ECAEA) grew out of a local teach-in to observe “Earth Day” on April 22, 1970. While their first project focused on the water quality of the Chippewa River, their focus quickly turned to the issue of solid waste. In the spring of 1971, ECAEA began a recycling project on the university campus which grew to be a community effort that fall. With the help of ECAEA group members as well as community members, Eau Claire would open a recycling center which changed locations several times over the next few years before finding a permanent location. The group would later focus on the issue of solid waste again in 1975 when they attempted to get a “bottle bill” passed on the fall special election ballot. The referendum, which would have put a small deposit on throwaway soda containers to encourage the use of returnable bottles, failed by a two-to-one margin. In 1973 ECAEA shifted its focus to the issue of nuclear power. The group put together a study committee to research nuclear power in response to the planned construction of a nuclear power plant in Durand, Wisconsin which is situated along the Chippewa River. The committee concluded that ECAEA should oppose the purposed power plant and the group voted to come out against the plans. The group would become heavily involved in construction permit hearings for the plant in 1974 and tried to get involved in federal hearings.

The ECAEA would sponsor another teach-in for Earth Day in 1971 with a much smaller turn out than the prior year. The group would also sponsor a series of workshops and speakers for Earth Day in 1975. ECAEA started publishing a monthly newsletter called “ECO News” in 1973. The last issue of “ECO News” in the collection (Volume 4, no. 6) indicates that between February and June of 1976 the Eau Claire Area Ecology Action became Northern Thunder, an ecology organization which remains active to the present day. The renaming of the group also came with a renaming of its newsletter which started publishing under the name “Hard Rain”. As a new group, Northern Thunder committed to a greater range of issues and increased its focus from the Eau Claire Area to all of northern Wisconsin.

Content Description

Newspaper clippings, newsletters, administrative material, letters, papers, speeches, reports, posters, and photos related to environmental issues; information on alternative environmental courses and workshops; Earth Day Teach-In; the newsletter--"ECO News" and "Hard Rain"; by-laws, constitution and membership rosters; miscellaneous correspondence; challenges in Wisconsin's New Water Resources Act; Eau Claire Ecology Action Report on nuclear power; environmental analysis of the Eau Claire Area: I. Flowing Waters; Evaluating Project Sanguine: A Non-Scientist's View.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Donated to the Special Collections & Archives, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire by Kate Hale and Northern Thunder in Fall 2014.

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public.

Use Restrictions: Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C.

Processing Note: Processed by Stephanie Much in September 2021.

Arrangement: Flat.

OCLC #: 13440648


Corporate Names:

Eau Claire Ecology Action
Northern Thunder (Wis.)
University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire—Students

LC Subjects:

Ecology—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Conservation of natural resources—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Environmental protection—Wisconsin—Eau Claire—Citizen participation
Student Movements—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Students—Political activity—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Student activities—Wisconsin—Eau Claire

Detailed List of Contents






General Clippings on Environmental Issues




Information on Alternative Environmental Courses & Workshops




Earth Day Teach-In




Newsletter- “ECO News” and “Hard Rain”




By-Laws, Constitution, and Membership Rosters




Miscellaneous Correspondence




Challenges in Wisconsin’s New Water Resources Act




Eau Claire Ecology Action Report on Nuclear Power




Environmental Analysis of the Eau Claire Area: I. Flowing Waters




Evaluating Project Sanguine: A Non-Scientist’s View




Environmental Reports, Senator Gaylord Nelson Speech, Environmental Analysis of the Eau Claire Area II, Newspaper Clippings, Recycling, “The Parrot”




“History of Northern Thunder”, Copper Sulfide Mining Posters, Copper Mining Photos, Northern Thunder Press Conference Photos

1977, Undated Posters, Undated Photos

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