Friends of the Earth-United States Records, 1969-2009

Overview of the Collection

Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth-United States Records
1969-2009 (inclusive)
66.15 cubic ft. (67 boxes)
Collection Number
The Friends of the Earth records contain materials and files related to a multiplicity of environmental and human rights issues.
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming
American Heritage Center
University of Wyoming
1000 E. University Ave.
Dept. 3924
Laramie, WY
Telephone: 3077663756
Access Restrictions

Dated folders remain restricted until 25 years after the folder date. Undated folders are restricted until March 30, 2035.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Friends of the Earth (FoE) and their cohort of 77 grassroots groups form one of the world’s largest environmental networks. FoE campaigns on current urgent environmental and social issues. Former Sierra Club director, David Brower, founded FoE in September 1969. FoE set up its headquarters in San Francisco with an office in Washington, D.C. (headquarters were moved to Washington, D.C. in 1986). FoE quickly expanded internationally with the 1971 creation of a loose federation of sister organizations designated “Friends of the Earth International.” FoE expanded further when the Washington staff spun off to form two new organizations, the League of Conservation Voters in 1970 and the Environmental Policy Center in 1972, which later became the Environmental Policy Institute (EPI). Both organizations were founded by FoE staffer Brent Blackwelder, who in 1994 became director of FoE. A large portion of the collection is Blackwelder’s research material and correspondence produced during his years with FoE. After its founding, FoE was quick to take on existing environmental issues by campaigning against the Alaska pipeline, the supersonic transport airplane (SST), nuclear power, and the use of the defoliant Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Later, FoE led the opposition to Interior secretary James G. Watt’s efforts to sell and lease public lands in the West and develop land adjacent to the National Parks. More recent issues have been cruise industry pollution, ozone protection, genetically engineered agricultural products, energy industry mining and drilling practices, and World Bank and International Monetary Fund funding of environmentally harmful projects worldwide. One of FoE’s more enduring efforts is the Green Scissors campaign which was launched in 1993 to cut anti-environmental federal spending from the budget. Another is the publication of its news magazine, Not Man Apart, which began in 1970 and continued until the 1990s. FoE has merged with other environmental organizations over the years including EPI and the Oceanic Society in 1989 and the Bluewater Network in 2007.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Friends of the Earth records contain materials and files related to a multiplicity of environmental and human rights issues, including correspondence, memos, newspaper and magazine clippings, Blackwelder's research files and correspondence, Board of Director meeting minutes as well as printed brochures intended to solicit public and private support for FoE causes.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright Information

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Preferred Citation

Preferred Citation

Item Description, Box Number, Folder Number, Collection Name, Collection Number, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Related Materials

Related Materials

There are no known other archival collections created by Friends of the Earth at the date of accessioning.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition Information

The Friends of the Earth records were donated to the American Heritage Center by Friends of the Earth in 2010.

Processing Note

Processing Information

The material was processed by Mary Ann Meyer in September 2010.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Minutes of Friends of the Earth Foundation meetings
Newsletters and other publications generated by the organization
Speeches by Brower
Membership lists of former board members
Board correspondence and Environmental Policy Center board correspondence
Computer media (visual)
Computer media (audio)
Professional audio recordings
circa 1994-2000
Pamphlets, flyers and books
3-7, 9-14
Professional research files
2004, 2007
1, 8, 14-60, 62-66
Topical files on various subjects

Additional Container ListsReturn to Top

The American Heritage Center is in the process of converting its older container lists to a more accessible format. This link is to an older version of a container list.

Container(s) Description

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Environmentalism -- United States.
  • Lobbyists -- United States.

Corporate Names

  • Oceanic Society
  • Sierra Club

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Blackwelder, Brent.