Holway R. Jones was a prominent leader of the conservation movement in the Pacific Northwest from 1963, when he moved to Oregon, until his death in 1986. Jones was a librarian but he spent much of his time working on conservation issues. He served on the Sierra Club's Board of Directors, 1973-1976, was chairman of the Publications Committee, 1974-1976, and of the National Wilderness Committee, 1972-1974, 1976-1978. Jones was one of the early advocates of the Oregon Wilderness Coalition, serving as its president 1976-1978, and served in other conservation groups in the Pacific Northwest. This collection is in fact only a section of Jones's papers. Those files pertaining to his career as a librarian and his activities in the field of urban planning were donated separately to the University of Oregon Special Collections & University Archives. Represented in the papers described in this inventory are Jones's activities in the many national and local conservation organizations in which he participated. It should be noted also that the Jones papers contain papers that originated in the files of other conservation leaders, including Karl Onthank, Ted Snyder, and Richard Noyes.
Karl William Onthank (1890-1968) joined the University of Oregon staff in 1916 and held various posts until he became associate dean of students in charge of job placement in 1948, a position he held until his retirement in l957. In 1954 Karl and Ruth Onthank, together with other outdoor and conservation activists, formed the Friends of the Three Sisters Wilderness (F3S). He served as president of the Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs from 1955 to 1957, and helped organize the Save the McKenzie River Association and served as its vice-president. The Karl Onthank Conservation Papers include materials relating to the proposed Beaver Marsh hydroelectric project, the Oregon Dunes National Seashore proposal, the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, and Waldo Lake. The collection also includes documents relating to a number of associations and committees with which Onthank was involved, and correspondence that records in depth the plans and projects in which Onthank participated.