Monday, January 10, 2011
In his inauguration speech this week, Gov. Jerry Brown talked about his ancestors, who toughed it out on the frontier as they migrated to California. In the 1960s, the Brown family was still roughing it out over the land, but as enthusiastic campers who wanted to see the natural wonders of the Golden State. During his administration, Gov. Edmund “Pat” Brown took annual treks into the California wilderness. Joining him were his son and future governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown, Jr., and several state officials including Donald P. Loker, one of the longest serving supporters of California State College, Dominguez Hills and later, California State University, Dominguez Hills. The Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Student Union is named in honor of Loker and his wife. Also along on many of the elder Brown’s excursions was William E. Warne, who served Brown’s administration in many functions.
The William E. Warne collection arrived at the CSU Dominguez Hills archives a few years ago and was recently processed. A finding aid to the Warne Collection will be published with the university’s other 100 archival collections on the Online Archive of California. The Collection will help students research California water resource issues along with issues relating to Warne’s diplomatic career in Iran, Brazil and Korea during the 1950s.
During the processing of the collection, archivists came upon several photo albums of camping and horseback trips taken by Warne, Gov. Brown and others. In one of the albums, several photos of a young Jerry Brown holding his catch of fish were found. In the photos, the future governor is 22 years old and about to embark on his last year at University of California at Berkeley. Another album had photos of Loker.
Operation Trinity Alps was established by the California Department of Fish and Game for Gov. Pat Brown to get acquainted with various issues relating to fish and game conservation, located on Canyon Creek Lakes in Trinity County. The camping trip in the university’s photos took place in August 1960. The album was presented to Warne, then director of the Department of Agriculture by Walter T. Shannon, director of the Department of Fish and Game. Warne later became director of the California Department of Water Resources. The photo album from the trip contains approximately 75 snapshots of the Browns’ excursion with 18 other state officials and members of the press.
In July 1966, Loker in his role as Small Crafts Harbor Commission chairman joined Gov. Brown and Warne for the Governor’s Pack Trip between Wades Lake and Little Jamison Creek in Plumas County. Participants included state officials, television station newsmen, and other members of the media.
Warne was born in Indiana in 1905. He earned a degree in English from the UC Berkeley in 1927 and worked as a reporter for several California newspapers from 1925 to 1935. He then worked for the Bureau of Reclamation as an editor and chief of information until 1942, and served as its assistant commissioner from 1943 to 1947. He was then appointed to assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior and held that position until 1950. He was a U.S. diplomat to Iran (1951-1955), Brazil (1955-1956), and Korea (1956-1959). Warne also worked as director of the California Department of Game and Fish from 1959 to 1960, the California Department of Agriculture (now California Department of Food and Agriculture) from 1960 to 1961, and the California Department of Water Resources from 1961 to 1967. He served on many commissions and boards relating to water, development, and pollution control. Warne died in 1996.
- Greg Williams