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Iowa Citizens to Save the Ledges State Park records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0097

Scope and Content

This collection (1968-1978, undated) includes correspondence, the organization's constitution, environmental impact statements, legal materials, notes, printed materials, public statements, meeting minutes, plans, reports, publicity and news releases and clippings. The collection also contains records from other organizations involved in the fight against the dam, such as the Iowa Student Public Interest Group. Most of these materials can be found in the folder of plans, reports, and statements on plans (Box 3, Folder 9). The correspondence, notes by Hans Goeppinger, legal materials, and news clippings are the bulk of the records in the collection which document the activities of the Iowa Citizens to Save the Ledges State Park.


  • Creation: 1968-1978, undated

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


The Iowa Citizens to Save the Ledges State Park, Inc. was formed in 1972, with Hans Goeppinger leading the organization. The official abbreviation of the organization was Citizens to Save the Ledges (CSL), and Iowa Ledges Alliance was to be used to refer collectively to CSL and all other organizations which sought to "endorse and seek to promote the purposes of this organization" (from Article I of the organization's Constitution and By-Laws). According to Article II of its Constitution, the primary objective of the group was to alleviate and/or minimize the harmful effects on Ledges State Park by the Saylorville Lake Project, coordinated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The proposed dam caused a large amount of public outcry because its construction threatened to overflow Pea's Creek in Ledges State Park.

Arguments over what, if anything, was to be done to protect the Ledges occurred throughout the 1970s. The Corps eventually rejected the option of building a barrier dam around Ledges (on the basis that it was too costly), which had been the only option the Alliance had supported despite issues that existed with the proposed barrier dam. Governor Ray eventually proposed an increased release rate from the dam of 16,000 cfs during the snowmelt season, which had been recommended in an Inter-Agency Resource Council report. After Governor Ray announced his support of this proposal, the Alliance announced that it would concede the barrier dam option in support of the increased release rate. The Corps endorsed the governor's proposal, and Saylorville Dam's floodgates were closed in April 1977.

Other organizations involved in the fight against the Saylorville Lake Project included the Ames Reservoir Environmental Study, Citizens United to Save the Valley, the Environmental Council, the Governor’s Inter Agency Resource Council, the Iowa Citizens for Environmental Quality, Inc., the Iowa Conservation Commission, the Iowa Student Public Interest Research Group (ISPIRG), the Iowa Wildlife Society, and Keep Earth’s Environment Pure (KEEP).

For a more detailed description of the Saylorville Lake Project and Iowa Citizens to Save the Ledges State Park, read Places of Quiet Beauty: Parks, Preserves, and Environmentalism by Rebecca Conard (found in General and Special Collections, call number QH76.5 I8 C66 1997).


2.1 Linear Feet (5 document boxes)

Language of Materials


Items in related collections

MS-0075. Save the Ledges Coalition records, 1949-1977

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0097. Iowa Citizens to Save the Ledges State Park records, 1968-1978, undated
January 11, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672