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Papers of George William Sherk

 Collection
Identifier: WGWS

Scope and Contents

The Papers of George William Sherk consists of documents dated 1892 to 2019, with the bulk falling from 1980 to 2005. Subject coverage focuses broadly on water law, litigation, and policy, and more specifically on issues of water allocation, management, and interstate water compacts and related conflicts. The collection primarily contains articles, reports, and legal proceedings, along with correspondence, notes, presentations, and conference materials. The collection does not document the wide extent of Sherk's teaching positions or his work in recent years.

Dates

  • 1892-2019
  • Majority of material found within 1980-2005

Creator

Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection. However, it is stored off-site, so advance notice is required. All "confidential" markings on correspondence or other materials have been determined to be for administrative purposes, not national security information; therefore, these materials are open for access.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.

Biography

George William (Jerry) Sherk has had a full career as both an attorney and a professor, specializing in natural resources and environmental law and policy at numerous government agencies, private law firms, and universities. His main interests include interstate water compacts and state water laws.

Sherk was born in 1949 in Washington, Missouri. He earned his bachelor's (1972) and master's (1974) degrees in political science from Colorado State University. He then attended the University of Denver College of Law, earning his Juris Doctorate with a focus on natural resources and environmental law in 1978. In 2002, he earned a Doctorate of Science in Engineering Management from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at The George Washington University where he focused on Environmental Management and Health.

As an attorney, Sherk worked in various positions, with the longest being six years (1984-1990) as a trial attorney in the General Litigation Section of the Land and Natural Resources Division in the U.S. Department of Justice. He followed this with a position of counsel to the law firm of Will & Muys between 1990 and 1993, working as an assistant to and forming a close relationship with Jerome Muys, who was Special Master for Texas and Oklahoma vs. New Mexico. Later, Sherk was heavily involved in the water allocation conflicts over the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Basin (ACF) and the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River (ACT) Commissions, working with the state of Georgia (1994-1996) and LaGrange/Troup County, Georgia (1999-2003).

For over forty years, Sherk also worked as an associate or adjunct professor at multiple universities. He taught more than twenty different courses, including political science, engineering law, environmental law, environmental management, international law, natural resources, public land and resources, renewable energy, and water law and politics. He has also published widely, including articles, book chapters, legal proceedings, and books.

Sherk has received awards for teaching, research, and writing and is a member of several academic honor societies. He also holds five bar memberships, including the State of Colorado, Territory of American Samoa, and United States Supreme Court. His professional activities include service on committees for the American Bar Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Currently, he is consulting in both the United States and Canada, working as sessional on the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Regina and as an adjunct professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan.

Extent

58.5 linear feet (39 record cartons)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

George William (Jerry) Sherk (b. 1949) has had a full career as both an attorney and a professor, specializing in natural resources and environmental law and policy at numerous government agencies, private law firms, and universities. His main interests include interstate water compacts and state water laws. The collection consists mainly of articles, reports, and legal proceedings, along with correspondence, notes, presentations, and conference materials.

Arrangement

Sherk kept his voluminous files well organized, and that organization was largely maintained here. Sherk's groupings were labelled as series or subseries as listed below.

The collection consists of 3 series in 39 boxes:

Series 1: Writings by Sherk, 1966-2018 and undated

Series 2: Projects, 1892-2019 and undated

Subseries 2.1: ACF/ACT (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint/Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa), 1938-2009 and undated

Subseries 2.2: Billings, 1981-2007 and undated

Subseries 2.3: Compacts, 1925-2005 and undated

Subseries 2.4: Dundee, 1997-2002

Subseries 2.5: Lake Lure, North Carolina, 1925-2005 and undated

Subseries 2.6: State water laws, 1962-2004 and undated

Subseries 2.7: Topic files, 1892-1992 and undated

Subseries 2.8: Utton Center, 2002-2007 and undated

Subseries 2.9: Water/Energy nexus, 2004-2006 and undated

Subseries 2.10: Will and Muys (general files), 1989-1993 and undated

Subseries 2.11: Supreme Court cases, 1921-2019

Subseries 2.12: Other projects, 2012-2013

Series 3: Reference materials, 1967-2001 and undated

Acquisition

The Papers of George William Sherk was donated to the Water Resources Archive by him in October 2017, July 2018, and October 2018. The core of the collection is from 46 boxes, selected from 75 boxes, previously stored at the Washington, D.C., office of law firm Sullivan and Worcester. Sherk donated an additional box in July 2021.

Related Collections

On the topic of interstate water compacts, the Papers of Delph E. Carpenter and Family is closely related. Collections related on the topic of environmental law are the Papers of Tom Pitts and the Papers of Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr. Collections that also concern U.S. Supreme Court cases over interstate water disputes are the Papers of Charles W. Howe, Papers of Arthur L. Littleworth, and Records of the Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust, Inc.

Processing

Processing was completed in March 2019. Materials were retained in the order in which they were donated. Loose papers and materials in binders were inserted in acid-free folders, and the collection was reboxed in acid-free boxes. Paperclips and binder clips were removed, and folder labels were stapled on. Items marked as confidential were either cleared as possible or extracted for return to the donor. Computer media were reviewed as possible and removed if unnecessary, or they were backed up on a server. Some duplicate documents were removed. Processing of the 2021 addition was completed in August 2021 with the same basic actions.

Title
Guide to the Papers of George William Sherk
Status
Edited Full Draft
Author
Prepared by Demi R. Ball and Patricia J. Rettig; revised by Patricia J. Rettig
Date
Copyright 2021
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA
970-491-1844