George James Memorial Fund
George S. James was born in Hazen, Nevada in 1908. At age 6, his family moved to Sutter County, California. Following high school, George entered the University of California, Berkeley, earning a degree in engineering in 1933. He received an appointment with the U.S. Forest Service Research department with the job of developing project plans to strengthen fire control activities within National Forests in California and Western Nevada. In subsequent years, George worked on National Forests in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and California. In 1949, he became Assistant Regional Forester in San Francisco and nine years later was appointed Assistant Regional Forester responsible for 11 southern states. In 1961, he was promoted to the Washington Office as Associate Deputy Chief for fire control engineering and land adjustment. The following year, he was promoted to the Regional Forester post in Milwaukee, WI where he administered 17 National Forests in a 20-state region from Minnesota and Missouri to Maine. In 1970, George retired and came to Sonora, CA to work for the San Francisco, Turlock, and Modesto irrigation districts. He retired again in 1975. George was an active Rotarian, volunteering in the classroom and supporting the Tuolumne County General Hospital. He was instrumental in founding TuCARE in 1988 where he was the director until his death. Over the years, he was a member of a variety of organizations including the Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, Society of American Forests, and the UC Alumni Association.
A belief in the wise management of our natural resources throughout his professional and retirement years was the basis of his dedication to educating the public about our country’s abundant resources. He firmly believed that, managed properly, we can both benefit from and enjoy our natural resources. This belief was based on the historic multiple-use philosophy governing the management of the National Forests. To honor his belief and dedication, TuCARE established the George James Memorial Educator Tours Fund to be administered by the Sonora Area Foundation. Because of his involvement with TuCARE’s Tours for Kids program and with much of his family involved with education, it is fitting that this fund was established in his memory to educate teachers about our natural resources.