Obituary of Allan Eberhart
Allan Eberhart, a long-time environmental activist in the Northern California foothills, died on March 12, 2020, at his home in Grass Valley. He was 76.The cause was pancreatic cancer.Mr. Eberhart was active in a number of environmental organizations. He first helped as a Sierra Club volunteer to limit the environmental impact of electrical transmission lines in California. He served for decades on Sierra Club conservation and legislative committees, participated for the Sierra Club in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing proceedings around the Sierra Nevada Group, and signed the Club’s warning that the foundations for the Oroville Dam spillways were worrisome twelve years before the 2017 spillway collapse.
He began and led several local environmental organizations, including the collaborative Foothills Water Network. As a self-trained hydrologist, he mastered technical aspects of water management, working primarily on protection of local rivers. He and others prevented construction of a dam on the American River at Auburn and organized opposition to the Garden Bar dam on the Bear River. Allan combined steadfast advocacy with the social skills of a respectful diplomat. He was noted for listening carefully to all sides on controversial projects, seeking collaboration where possible. He mentored many of the next generation of environmental activists. In later years, his efforts were devoted to saving the Bear River from additional dams.Mr. Eberhart was a master carpenter who specialized in renovating historic homes in Nevada City and Grass Valley.Allan Robert Eberhart was born on January 14, 1944, in Topeka, Kansas. His father, Paul Eberhart, was a math professor, and his mother, Eleanor (Taylor) Eberhart, was a librarian.After graduating from Topeka High School, Mr. Eberhart earned a bachelor’s degree in American Civilization in 1966 from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He left graduate studies in English Literature at the University of Indiana in Bloomington to serve as a VISTA volunteer in Davis, California, and later, as a VISTA program officer.He married Alison Sweetser in 1983. She survives him. He is also survived by his sister, Jean Dubofsky of Boulder, Colorado, and two nephews and their children.
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