to restore Hetch Hetchy
How many readers know
that in Yosemite National Park, a few miles north of Yosemite Valley,
lies the 1120 acre valley of the Tuolumne River, "a wonderfully
exact counterpart of Yosemite Valley. . . a grand landscape garden,
one of Nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples."
(John Muir) But this valley, the Hetch Hetchy, including 800 feet
of cascades and waterfalls along four miles of the Tuolumne River,
lies under 300 feet of water.
How could this have happened?
In an unprecedented action within a National Park, Congress narrowly
passed the Raker Act in 1913, which authorized San Francisco to
construct the O'Shaughnessy Dam and reservoir on the Tuolumne River
in the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park.
Good, Executive Director of RESTORE HETCH HETCHY, and local
activists meet with Representative Sam Farr in December. From
l to r: Martha Balogh, Barbara Mossberg, Rep. Sam Farr, Alayne
Meeks, Gabrielle Stocker.
This was in spite of
vigorous opposition by citizens across the nation, led by John Muir,
founder of the Sierra Club, who fumed, "Dam Hetch Hetchy! As
well dam for water tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for
no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man."
Muir died the following year, some say of a broken heart. The dam
was completed in 1923, and the valley was flooded under several
hundred feet of water.
RESTORE HETCH HETCHY,
a citizen group including expert naturalists, attorneys, engineers,
economists, public policy and public finance experts, artists, and
teachers is working to restore this beautiful valley. They have
recently completed a study exploring win-win solutions for Hetch
Hetchy and the San Francisco Bay Area water and power users. In
November Governor Schwarzenegger directed state agencies to undertake
a comprehensive study of the costs and benefits of restoring Hetch
Hetchy Valley within Yosemite National Park.
For further information
and to support this effort, visit www.hetchhetchy.org.
Thank Governor Schwarzenegger for ordering the restoration study
(See contact information below.)
Since the days of John
Muir, the Sierra Club has supported the preservation, and now the
restoration, of Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley. For more information
To view a photo of Campfire Girls enjoying Hetch Hetchy in 1919,
And, the next time you're
in Yosemite, visit the Hetch Hetchy site!
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