In memoriam

Remembering Ron Jensen

Ron Jensen

 Ron was our Chapter Lobbyist for several years back in the 1990s, and he helped our Chapter advocate for getting the abandoned C&NW Cowboy Line across northern Nebraska designated as the Cowboy Trail with Game & Parks given responsibility for its development. The Rails to Trails Conservancy helped with this project. Ron was a life-long outdoorsman, a world traveler, a published writer, an award-winning photographer, a licensed pilot, a student of the history of Nebraska.

Click here to see Ron Jensen's obituary.

Remembering Dick Boyd

Dick Boyd


Dick Boyd (1936-2022) was an active in the Nebraska Sierra Club since his retirement from a forty-year career in the insurance industry. He served many roles in the Nebraska Chapter ranging from Chapter Chair, Vice-Chair and Chair of several different committees including the Conservation Committee, the Energy Committee and the Endangered Species and Wildlife Committee. He served on the Missouri River Working Group and the National Council of Club Leaders. He was also a member of Friends of the Niobrara, the National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited, Wachiska Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited and the Great Plains Network. In addition to the above, he served on the Board of Directors of the United Nations of Nebraska, Friends of Wilderness Park, the Lincoln Track Club and Trail Trek. 

He was involved in activities in the Nebraska State Legislature on environmental issues. He spent two years lobbying Nebraska Congress for the United Nations. He was a true champion for environmental issues in Nebraska and beyond.

Here is a link to his obituary.


Remembering Tom Brown

Tom Brown, long time Sierra Club member from Hershey, Nebraska passed away on September 21, 2016 in North Platte, Nebraska.



     Tom was a founding member of the Nebraska Chapter of Sierra Club when they separated from the Rocky Mountain Chapter.  Tom became a member of Sierra Club when the Gerald Gentleman cold-fired power plant was proposed to be built a few miles from farmland he owned near the plant.  Tom and other people living in the area formed a local Sierra Club group to fight the plant.  Tom worked with other Nebraska Sierrans to form the Nebraska Chapter.
      Tom served for many years on the Executive Committee of the Nebraska Chapter and served for over 25 years as chapter treasurer.  During his time as treasurer, he helped to build up a healthy balance in the chapter savings account, which has served the chapter well during tight budget years.  Tom was also a generous donor to the chapter.
      Tom was a strong environmentalist.  He was known to advocate his views passionately and tell it like it is, with some salty language.  In recent years he even brought his grandchildren with him to the annual chapter dinner to expose them to the Sierra Club.
      Tom along with his wife Ruth had a successful farming operation in Hershey, Nebraska.  Tom put his environmental views to work in his farming operation.  He was also active in the Holistic Resource Management organization and was a member and donor to the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. For many years the Platte Valley Group would host one of the five yearly Chapter meetings. Tom believed the Chapter Meetings should be educational events as well as just business meetings.  A good example is the weekend of March 18 & 19, 1989. After the business meeting in Hershey Saturday, Tom made arrangements to spot a horse/cattle trailer next to the North Platte River. That evening, about 20 of us crowded into the trailer and used it as a blind to watch the fantastic display of the Sandhill Cranes arriving for their nighttime roost. Tom had staked out the spot in advance, and the location was perfect. Sunday we were treated to a tour of NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman Power Station and a visit to Tom’s calving operation to observe his conservation practices up close. Tom and his wife Ruth made arrangements with local Group members to lodge out-of-area guests for the weekend.

     The Nebraska Chapter has lost a loyal friend and supporter in Tom Brown.

Here is a link to Tom's obituary.


Remembering Dave Newell

     The Nebraska Sierra Club, and its allied conservation organizations, lost a champion on June 26, 2016. Dave Newell, 69, passed peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends after battling ALS. Dave played a crucial role in the Sierra Club political process. The Sierra Club, as a  democratic and transparent organization, maintains a rigorous process for endorsing political candidates. Candidates must be endorsed by a two-thirds vote at two levels  -- beginning with the most local organization. Dave provided critical data on candidates at both the Missouri Valley Group level and the Nebraska Sierra Club Chapter (state) level. He served on the MoValley Political Committee, the MoValley Board of Directors, the Nebraska Chapter Political Committee and the Nebraska Chapter Board of Directors.
     As one of the most seasoned politicians in Nebraska, former Nebraska State Senator and former Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, Dave not only provided critical data on candidates, but advised fellow members of the Sierra Club Political Committees on the most effective strategies to employ in endorsing and later supporting its endorsed candidates.
     Under Dave's leadership, the Nebraska Sierra Club became more effective. Dave shepherded improvements such as significantly increasing fundraising, endorsing many more candidates, and communicating more effectively with voters.  The impact of the Sierra Club in the 2012 and 2014 Nebraska elections was evident from comments by political insiders. The effect of the Sierra Club in the 2012 and 1014 Nebraska elections was evident from comments by political insiders.
     As a life-long Democrat, Dave served as the State President and National Committeeman for the Nebraska Young Democrats and as Chairman of the Nebraska Democratic Party from 1984 to 1985. He was elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 1977, representing Northeast Douglas County from 1977 to 1985. During his tenure, he served as the Chair of the Urban Affairs and Miscellaneous Subjects Committee and spear-headed the repeal of the sales tax on food. He went on to serve on the Board of Governors at Metropolitan Community College from 2002 to 2014, serving as Chairman from 2008 to 2009. He advocated tirelessly for affordable access to education, preserving the environment, and the rights of the less fortunate.
     Dave graduated from Bancroft Public High School in Nebraska. He earned an associate of arts degree from Norfolk (Nebraska) Junior College and a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he also did graduate work in history. He served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1976 and was a Vietnam veteran.

Here is a link to Dave's obituary


Remembering James Paul Beam


James Paul Beam (1947-2017) was an active Sierra Club member from 1988 to 1998, worked at Fontenelle Forest for many years, and participated in many of our Missouri Valley Group outings and meetings. He will be missed.


Remembering Maxine Fraber (1922-2019)

The photo above shows Maxine Fraber on the right. It was taken in 1990 on a Sierra Club outing shortly after the first section of the Keystone Trail opened between 78th & Cass (where the photo was taken) north to Democracy Park near Fort St.

Maxine Fraber had been a member of the Sierra Club since 1978 and was very active in club activities, especially outings, until several years ago when health issues slowed her down. Maxine Fraber died on February 6, 2019. She was 96. Her funeral was February 9, 2019, and a few Sierra Club leaders who worked with her were present – Sharon & Bruce Clawson, Jane Wilson and Mary Anna & Clyde Anderson. Fay Sitzman attended the visitation.