[env-trinity] Re: The Passing of Ronnie Pierce
Segep at aol.com
Segep at aol.com
Thu Feb 17 07:28:21 PST 2005
Ronnie M. Pierce, Tribal sovereignty and Klamath water rights leader, passed
away in her home in McKinleyville Sunday afternoon Feb. 13, 2005.
Born on May 12,1942 in Nevada City, CA. to May and Ronald Pierce; she is
survived by her brother Terry Pierce of Manhattan Beach Ca. and nieces Lisa and
Susan Pierce and leaves behind her partner of 22 years, Elizabeth Finney.
Ronnie began her formal education at Healds Engineering College of San
Francisco in 1959 where she was the first woman to receive a degree in structural
engineering. She was responsible for overseeing certain aspects of the
construction for the Trans America building and several other developments within
the Bay Area. She then went to Old Dominion University , Virginia to receive
her Masters of Science in Marine Biology where she graduated Cum Laude in 1978.
Ronnie moved to Humboldt County in 1979 where she founded Pierce Fisheries
Consulting. For the past twenty years Ronnie has served as a consulting
biologist specializing in Klamath River Basin salmon management issues. She worked
within all aspects of Native American salmon management in the Basin relating
to Tribal rights issues in restoration, water, and harvest management.
As a tireless leader for Tribal rights issues, Ronnie worked closely with the
Karuk and Yurok Tribes, the Inter-Tribal Fish and Water Commission, Northern
California Indian Development Council and such federal agencies as the Bureau
of Indian Affairs and US Fish and Wildlife Service. The last years of her
career were spent towards dam removal within the Basin and retaining essentially
needed water for the Klamath River ecosystem.
As a descendant of Pender Harbor, Vancouver and native Squamish pioneers in
British Columbia, Ronnie enjoyed researching family history and visiting family
members. Besides her consulting work, Ronnie received awards for oil painting
and will be remembered by those who commissioned her work. She enjoyed life
to the fullest and spent many leisure hours working on restoring the classic
Chryslers that her brother Terry helped to design in Detroit. When not cruising
downtown, Ronnie could be seen cruising the tables in Reno or the slot
machines at local casinos.
Ronnie never buckled under pressure and was uncompromising in her demand for
truth. Her expertise was much sought after by Tribal leaders, legislators,
environmental leaders, researchers, educators, legal officials and government
officials just to mention a few. Always preferring to work behind the scenes, her
tenacity and bold spirit will continue to impact and touch the lives of all
of us on the North Coast. Though her work is still needed here, her memory will
guide those left behind.
“Thank you Ronnie for your years of dedicated service to protecting the
Klamath River and Tribal sovereignty..”
In Ronnie’s memory and dedication contributions may be made to the
Ronnie Pierce Scholarship Fund
PO Box 1449
Hoopa CA 95546
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