Friends of Pyramid Lake Records

Identifier: 94-54

Scope and Contents

The records of the Friends of Pyramid Lake consist of administrative files, articles about Pyramid Lake, files related to similar organizations, subject files, and newspaper clippings.

The administrative files, Series 1, include minutes, agendas, position papers, correspondence, bylaws, board of trustees membership lists, reports, fact sheets and maps, and special events files. The bulk of this series is contained within folders which were simply marked "Friends of Pyramid Lake" by Elmer Rusco; they contain agendas, rough minutes, and correspondence mixed together. There is a small subseries of correspondence, including copies of letters sent by Rusco as president. All financial material is contained within those same files and is in the form of reports to board members. The series originally contained copies of some issues of Cui-ui, the FOPL newsletter, but they have been transferred to the serials section of the Special Collections book stacks.

Dr. Rusco and several others published a number of articles about Pyramid Lake and water issues; copies are included in Series 2.

Friends of Pyramid Lake maintained contacts with many other organizations concerned with the environment or specific geographic areas. Series 3 documents those interactions and often includes copies of their newsletters. Nevada-related newsletters were transferred to the serials section of the Special Collections. Other materials found within the files include correspondence and flyers.

The bulk of Series 4, alphabetical subject files, relates to water issues and conferences. Friends of Pyramid Lake sponsored a series of water forums; these files include papers presented at some of those events. Other materials include documentation of Nevada Senator Harry Reid's water legislation, information about the Lahontan wetlands, and the negotiated water settlement.

The last series contains clippings of articles related to Friends of Pyramid Lake, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and related water topics.


  • 1968-1997
  • Majority of material found within 1982-1997


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Administrative History

The charter meeting of the Friends of Pyramid Lake (FOPL), organized by Assemblyman Ted Bedrosian, took place on August 12, 1980 at the Center for Religion and Life in Reno. Although there appeared to be support for such an organization, no further action was taken to organize a group until two years later. Friends of Pyramid Lake was incorporated on May 20, 1982. The purpose was to support and work in concert with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe to protect and preserve for future generations the unique resources of Pyramid Lake and its environs and to bring public attention to the unique value of Pyramid Lake and its environs through educational programs. A non-profit corporation, the membership of Friends of Pyramid Lake is composed of a diverse group of concerned citizens. Friends of Pyramid Lake is governed by a 14-member board of trustees, which includes two members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Council.

In an undated position paper, the Friends of Pyramid Lake set forth their goals:

1.To secure enough water to maintain a lake level which will provide a viable environment for the endangered cui-ui, the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout, and the migratory bird populations which nest on Anahoe Island; 2.To prevent any further deterioration of water quality; and 3.To complete the legal framework which will provide for the protection of Pyramid Lake and of other communities and values dependent on the Truckee River system for water supplies. Friends of Pyramid Lake has sponsored fund-raising and consciousness-raising events to call attention to Pyramid Lake. They have lobbied on important water issues impacting the lake and joined as an amicus curiae in water litigation. They've also formed formal alliances with like-minded organizations such as the Save Mono Lake Committee and Friends of Mt. Rose to publicize their efforts.


3.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



"Friends of Pyramid" was a Nevada non-profit organization incorporated in 1982 to support and work in concert with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe to protect and preserve the unique resources of Pyramid Lake and its environs. Included are minutes, agendas, correspondence, position papers, membership rolls, special events files, articles about Pyramid Lake, correspondence with other environmental organizations, subject files, and clippings. Dates range from 1968-1997 with the majority of material found within 1982-1997.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Administrative; 2) Articles; 3) Organizations; 4) Subject Files; 5) Clippings

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by member and former President, Dr. Elmer Rusco, in 1994 and 1999.

Separated Materials

Photographs have been transferred to the Special Collections Department photo archive as collection number UNRS-P1998-08.


Guide to the Records of the Friends of Pyramid Lake
Susan Searcy and Rebecca Richards
May 12, 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)