in the news
We regret we had to discontinue this section of our website.
Unfortunately, most news services no longer retain their
articles on their website, so links from here can quickly grow stale. We therefore discontinued listing articles here in 2006. Since then, there have been literally hundreds of magazine and newspaper artices about restoring Hetch Hetchy and op-ed pieces advocating the restoration of Hetch Hetchy. Many of these are very recent. Try googling "News" for the most recent of these.
Notice: It is likely that most of the links here are broken, but you may
be able to find these articles via other sources.
Star power joins debate
By Mike Morris
The (Sonora) Union Democrat (August 15, 2006)
Harrison Ford, star of such blockbusters as "Star Wars" and "Indiana
Jones," visited Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to narrate a documentary
that suggests O'Shaughnessy Dam be torn down.
Greens Call for Removing Dam to Restore Hetch Hetchy Valley
August 15, 2006
Reporting by Roddy Scheer
E Magazine (August, 2006)
Environmentalists are calling the new campaign to remove Yosemite National
Park’s O’Shaughnessy Dam and restore the majestic canyon of the
Hetch Hetchy Valley “a piece of unfinished work that John Muir left
to his heirs.”
Hetch Hetchy's Dam Shame
Bay Area folks claim L.A. stole the Owens Valley, but San Francisco has to
do some atoning of its own.
By Bill Stall,
Los Angeles Times (July 27, 2006)
SAN FRANCISCANS have long castigated Los Angeles for sneaking into the Owens
Valley a century ago and "stealing" its water. But Bay Area folks
become apoplectic when anyone suggests tampering with their water supply, the
source of which is a far greater infamy than the Owens Valley dust-up.... Los
Angeles has given up more of its own pristine supply of water for the sake
of the environment than the city of San Francisco uses from Hetch Hetchy. The
state study showed what everyone knew: Restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley would
be a massive, complex problem that would cost a lot of money and take a lot
of time... Californians
should never lose sight of that goal.
Editorial: Half a Hetchy study
State's review doesn't resolve debate
Sacramento Bee (July 20, 2006)
The Schwarzenegger administration's new analysis of restoring Hetch Hetchy,
the lesser known of Yosemite National Park's magnificent valleys, provides
ammunition for both sides in the debate.... This was never intended to be
an exhaustive, definitive, end-the-debate study. This study was supposed
to provide a road to clarifying the conflicting public values posed by the
choice of keeping the valley underwater or returning it to the American people....
What next? The National Park Service should have been a co-author of this
study. It sadly was not.A definitive study awaits the necessary partnership
of federal and state governments, stakeholders and a funding source. If philanthropists
and forward-thinking foundations are looking to fund a study of historic
proportions for a dramatic setting with conflicting public values, this is
it. Yosemite deserves to be managed based on the best possible analysis of
a solid set of facts, not by ignorance.
State Hetch Hetchy study says valley can be restored
By Mike Taugher
Contra Costa Times (July 20, 2006)
It is one of the biggest and boldest -- some say craziest -- ideas among
conservationists today: Drain San Francisco's water supply and restore Hetch
Hetchy to its previous life as Yosemite Valley's smaller twin. In the most
comprehensive study to date on the proposal, state officials say it can be
done... "It does appear
technically feasible to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley. However, it is premature
to evaluate its financial feasibility," the
study concluded. The proposal to restore the seven-mile-long valley in Yosemite
National Park has gained steam in recent years, rekindling passions from a
century ago. Then, John Muir railed that Congress might just as well flood
a cathedral. State officials caution that their study is a survey of existing
reports and that many issues remain unaddressed. Much more analysis, about
$65 million worth, needs to be done before any decisions can be made, they
said.... "The study confirms it is possible to restore the other Yosemite
Valley," said Assemblywoman Lois Wolk, D-Davis, whose committee on water,
parks and wildlife will hold a hearing on the issue. "The idea of having
a valley which is the equal to Yosemite is something that really stirs a vision
that most people would embrace."
State Agrees Restoring Hetch Hetchy is Feasible
(Restore Hetch Hetchy Press Release (July 19, 2006)
“The Schwarzenegger Administration’s report confirms earlier conclusions
by our organization and others that restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite
National Park is feasible and practical, and can be achieved with no harm to
San Francisco Bay Area water and power users and Central Valley irrigation
districts,” said Restore Hetch Hetchy’s Executive Director Ron
The State’s cost estimates as high as $10 billion appears to
include the cost of new and unrelated storage facilities not necessitated by
the elimination of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and the replacement of its water
and power delivery capability. RHH estimates the cost of its recommended alternatives
for removal of the dam, replacement of water and power supplies, and valley
restoration to be approximately $1 billion, and stands by that estimate.
Hetchy, almost hatched
State's review to surface at campaign time
Sacramento Bee (June 17, 2006)
Word is that state officials have authorized the printing of the long-awaited
study of the feasibility of restoring Yosemite National Park's Hetch Hetchy
Valley.... We have grown excited about the possibilities for restoring Hetch
Hetchy because of some potential flexibility in the Bay Area's water system.
Hetch Hetchy is but one of nine reservoirs in the system. Either by expanding
others, maximizing their use or storing water underground, the same supplies
may continue to be captured as Hetch Hetchy gets reclaimed. Even so, it is
important to remember that the discussion is very preliminary. The study that
the Schwarzenegger administration is about to release is an overall sketch
of feasibility. No matter what the study says, big details remain to be considered.
Hetch Hetchy Video Wins “Best Short”
Environmental Defense CA Update, (May, 2006)
A new video from Environmental Defense, Discover
Hetch Hetchy, was awarded the "Best Short" prize
at the 2006 Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival and played
to a packed Smithsonian theater during the Environmental Film Festival
in the Nation’s Capital. Documentary
filmmaker David Vassar (whose credits include The Spirit
of Yosemite, a stunning
23-minute introduction to Yosemite National Park shown exclusively at the
park’s visitor center) blends the human and natural history of Hetch
Hetchy Valley, as he documents this pivotal preservation battle and how the
valley could be reclaimed. Watch
a preview of the film or email firstname.lastname@example.org
for a copy.
Restore Hetch Hetchy
Welcomes Three New Board Members
Press Release, (February 8, 2006)
RESTORE HETCH HETCHY WELCOMES DISTINGUISHED
AND DIVERSE GROUP OF NEW MEMBERS TO ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Restore Hetch Hetchy
today announced that three new
members have recently joined its Advisory Committee. The new members are:
• DAVID CURRY
• NORMAN (“IKE”) LIVERMORE
• TONY ROWELL
“Restore Hetch Hetchy is indeed fortunate to have such a professionally
and geographically diverse group of
individuals on our Advisory Committee, as our organization moves forward
with its goal of restoring Yosemite
National Park’s Hetch Hetchy Valley to its natural state,” said
Ron Good, Executive Director of Restore Hetch
Hetch Hetchy's moment:
State, feds need to support further study of this Yosemite treasure's future
Sacramento Bee (January
The question for the public is: What is the highest, best use of this magnificent
valley? The answer can come only through a truly definitive study.... Count us
among those whose gut tells them that historic change is in order. In a future
California with perhaps 50 million people yearning for natural respites, Hetch
Hetchy is more valuable as a meadow surrounded by stunning waterfalls and granite
peaks than as a water tank.
Restore Hetch Hetchy Announces New Advisors
MyMotherLode.com, (December 19, 2005)
A local activist group has announced the addition of six new members to its
1 Carl Boronkay
of Tarzana is formerly of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Clark of Bakersfield comes from the Kern County Water Agency where he was
the General Manager until last year.
3. Larry Fahn of Mill Valley has been
working with a non-profit group focusing on government accountability issues
involving the environment and public health.
4. Dave Mihalic is a former
Superintendent of Yosemite National Park.
George Miller is the retired Chairman
of the Board of Capital Research Company.
Thomas Parker is Chairman of the
Board with the Hutton Companies and President of the Hutton Foundation.
San Francisco: On Hetchy, take citizens' advice
Sacramento Bee, (November 27, 2005)
the city's water department - unlike top city leaders - are not pooh-poohing
intriguing studies that show the dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley is unnecessary.
And they suggest that San Francisco cooperate:
"There are studies that
suggest that Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is not essential in providing water to
the City of San Francisco and its wholesale customer," reads a resolution
from the city advisory committee of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. "There
are studies that suggest that efficient, cost-effective, environmentally
friendly energy generation alternatives are available which, along with energy
conservation could replace that power lost by restoration of Hetch Hetchy
the commission on a vote of 10-1: San Francisco should "cooperate
fully with the Resources Agency of the State of California during its current
study, and to any future or follow-up requests by the State of California or
other public agencies."
over restoring Hetch Hetchy centers on question of cost
Estimates range from $500 million to $15 billion
by Glen Martin
Chronicle, ( November 18, 2005)
All of the participants at Thursday's debate at the Commonwealth Club of California
-- including Hodel, San Francisco PUC General Manager Susan Leal, and environmental
and business leaders -- agreed that it would be possible to resurrect the valley
from the bottom of the reservoir where it now reposes. But schisms quickly developed
over the financial feasibility... "Our estimate is that it will cost $10
(billion) to $15 billion," said Leal. Her agency opposes the proposal...
Her comment angered Tom Graff, the California director of Environmental Defense,
pegs the price at between $500 million and $1.6 billion to breach the dam and
provide other water and power facilities.
Podcast of the Commonwealth Club debate is available.
we must restore Hetch Hetchy
by Don Hodel
San Francisco Chronicle, November 13, 2005
Former Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan says: "For those
of you inclined to set your face against this opportunity, I urge you to
consider the following point: The arguments for restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley
are overwhelming. Ultimately, they will prevail. San Francisco may, for a
time, withstand the public and federal pressure and continue its unfair use
of this part of Yosemite National Park, but sooner or later the hammer will
to restore Yosemite's hidden wonders
Campaign is growing
to remove national park's dam and return valley to its natural state
by Dan Glaister
London Guardian (October 31, 2005)
A movement to remove the dam and return the valley to its natural splendour
is gaining momentum. Spurred on by a review initiated by the California governor,
Arnold Schwarzenegger, activists are optimistic that one of the most controversial
building projects undertaken in the western US may soon be reversed.... Ron
Good, executive director of the pressure group Restore
Hetch Hetchy, believes
the campaigners will win. "There's one thing Americans can agree on,
whether libertarians, Republicans or whatever," he said. "They
want what's best for our national parks. Just knowing that it is there is
very important to many Americans, even if they never go there."
Huell Howser's California Gold TV Series Features
KCET, the PBS affiliate for Los Angeles, aired Huell
Howser's California Gold program about Hetch Hetchy on October 27th and
Watch for additional showings throughout the rest of California.
by Huell Howser (above center) features modern-day scenes of Yosemite National
Park's Hetch Hetchy Valley, historical images, and interviews with Mark
Cederborg, Chair of Restore Hetch Hetchy's Restoration Committee (above
right) and co-author of our Feasibility
Study and our Executive Director
Ron Good (above left).
Into the Wilderness
Frist Center for the Visual Arts celebrates the Hudson River artists
by Michelle Jones
Nashville Scene, (October 13,2005)
Bierstadt’s “Hetch-Hetchy Valley, California,” completed
in 1840, is perhaps the definitive representation of the area before it
was altered in 1915 to accommodate the O’Shaughnessy Dam. Just as
this dam, with its perennial flooding issues, has been a much discussed
topic of late, the recent hurricane damage and concerns about drilling
in Alaska make revisiting the works of the Hudson River artists a particularly
timely experience. With their presentation of the natural world and—sometimes
overtly, sometimes by inference—the effect of man’s presence
on that world, the beautiful touring collection of the Hudson River School
Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art may well inspire
contemplation of environmental and ethical issues, as well as aesthetic
Restoring Hetch Hetchy can be a win-win for all
By Ron Good
Modesto Bee, (October 11, 2005)
Restore Hetch Hetchy Executive Director Ron Good responds with facts on
crucial issues relating to the proposed restoration of Hetch Hetchy: cost,
priorities, sources of funding the restoration, population growth and water
demand, reducing waste of water, flood control, economic value and job
creation due to restoration, size of Don Pedro Reservoir, and net expansion
for the Wild & Scenic Status of Tuolumne River. If the above link is broken,
on to restore oasis in Yosemite
is being restudied
By Michael Gardner
San Diego Tribune (September 26, 2005)
An uncelebrated gem, Hetch Hetchy rewards visitors with towering granite
cathedrals and cascading streams as postcard worthy as Half Dome or Vernal
Falls. It is an escape to solitude, where even day-trippers can relish
a true Yosemite experience without the bumper-to-bumper RVs and elbow-to-elbow
visitors jostling on the main valley floor a mere 15 miles away. But the
natural grandeur of Hetch Hetchy is spoiled by a very unnatural wall of
concrete rising up inside this world-famous park.
Movements to tear down the 82-year-old dam and restore Hetch Hetchy have
emerged periodically, only to be dismissed as a costly, sentimental homage
to a Sierra Club founder and eloquent defender of the valley, John Muir.
Stockton woman's film set for S.F. fest
Documentary is on Hetch Hetchy
By Brian McCoy
Stockton Record (September 26, 2005)
"San Francisco's Broken Promise," a half-hour documentary
Barbara Dunton produced with instructor Carol Lancaster Mingus is an examination
of the politics and profit behind the decision to dam Yosemite National Park's
Hetch Hetchy Valley, the movie will be screened Thursday at the second San
Francisco World Film Festival. In 1913, Congress passed the Raker Act, allowing
San Francisco to build a dam in the otherwise pristine valley with the proviso
that it would create a municipal power district. Instead, the city granted Pacific
Gas and Electric exclusive rights to sell the power generated by the dam and
pocket the profits. This policy continues today despite a 1940 U.S. Supreme Court
decision finding San Francisco in violation of the act.
Amend wild status of Tuolumne River in exchange for Hetch Hetchy Revival
Sacramento Bee (September 25, 2005)
A group seeking to restore Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley has its own technical
report on how to drain the reservoir for San Francisco that now entombs this
valley.... Restore Hetch Hetchy has suggested raising the big
dam downstream, New Don Pedro. Hetchy holds only 360,000 acre-feet of water when
full. In comparison, New Don Pedro holds more than 2 million acre-feet of water.
The average annual flow of the entire river, the Tuolumne, is about 1.9 million
acre-feet. San Francisco also owns two other upstream dams, Cherry and Eleanor,
that hold about two-thirds of what Hetchy can hold. There's lots of storage.
Restoring Hetch Hetchy, despite some silly claims from the Bay Area, doesn't
mean losing this water supply to the sea. It does mean, however, some modest
plumbing changes, some major political accommodations and an unknown amount of
money that would be necessary.... By suggesting to increase the height of New
Don Pedro, Restore Hetch Hetchy seems to be putting into play an amendment of
the upper river's wild and scenic status as a way to provide ample water supplies
and restore the valley. This is no small offer from a group that boasts members
who have upstream rapids named for them.... a growing state and nation could
use that second Yosemite valley. The environmental community offers a peaceful
solution that involves a compromise on something very sacred to them, the upper
Tuolumne River's wild and scenic status. The Hetch Hetchy restoration movement
is quite serious. It deserves serious and non-emotional debate in Modesto, Turlock
and the Bay Area.
Hetch Hetchy deserves thoughtful discussion, not fear tactics
Lois Wolk and Joe Canciamilla
Contra Costa Times, (September 25, 2005)
As legislators who represent flood-threatened communities in the Delta
we take the issue of flood control and levee protection very seriously.
We also support a thorough study of the feasibility of restoring the Hetch
Hetchy Valley and believe the two issues are entirely compatible. Neither
issue is simple. Both are important and complicated and deserve to be considered
based on the facts and the best scientific, engineering and economic analysis
we can muster. In an effort to bring more light than heat to the matter
we suggest Bay Area residents consider the following:
Dam (at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir) provides no meaningful flood protection
whatsoever to the Central Valley nor to the greater Bay Area.
responsibilities on the Tuolumne River are now placed with the downstream
Don Pedro Reservoir, which is nearly six times as large as the Hetch Hetchy
While Hetch Hetchy Reservoir's capacity is small by today's standards,
proposed water storage alternatives have the potential to provide more
reliable water supplies and improve flood control for Central Valley communities,
all while accommodating restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite
Proposals to restore Hetch Hetchy also include improving
drinking water quality for the Bay Area by requiring filtration of harmful
bacteria currently present.
Studies by the University of California as well as
the most reputable engineering, water and legal firms in the state
have made a strong case that restoring this unique valley within a
national park is compatible with achieving other environmental and
Responsible, engineering-based cost estimates of restoring
Hetch Hetchy Valley are in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion -- not
the totally unsubstantiated claim of $10 billion stated by Wunderman.
short, restoring Hetch Hetchy and improving flood control in the
Central Valley and Delta can and should be considered together as part
of a larger solution to California's water management and environmental
Hetchy restoration backers offer $1B plan
Don Pedro's height would grow 30 feet; utilities unconvinced
By Eric Stern
Modesto Bee (September 15, 2005)
"This reservoir is so famous, people think it must be very large and very
important," said Gerald Meral, a former director of the state water resources
agency who is working with Restore Hetch Hetchy. "Remarkably, (existing
systems) will recover 95 percent of the water … and over 70 percent of
the power." Meral said the people in Stanislaus County and San Francisco
who get water and power from the Hetch Hetchy system should not suffer any losses
if O'Shaughnessy were dismantled.... Supporters hope to keep attention on the
issue, to win over politicians and utilities — namely the San Francisco
Public Utilities Commission, which delivers Hetch Hetchy water to 2.4 million
Bay Area residents.
draining a possibility
By Heather Murtagh
San Mateo Daily Journal (September 14, 2005)
Practical, reasonably-priced solutions for draining and restoring Yosemite’s
Hetch Hetchy Valley were revealed in a study released yesterday in Sacramento.
The study, released by the Sonora-based nonprofit Restore
Hetch Hetchy, states
by diverting water from the Tuolumne River and a tributary into existing
pipelines, 95 percent of the water and 73 percent of the energy that would
be lost if the dam was removed could be retained. The plan calls for dam
removal, valley restoration, water filtration and replacement of water and
energy supplies costing in total about $1 billion.
Hetch Hetchy currently stores less than 1 percent of the state’s water,
and the Don Pedro and Calaveras dams could be enlarged to make up for it,
according to the group. The O’Shaughnessy Dam also creates 500 million
kilowatt hours of electricity, less than two tenths of 1 percent of California’s
electricity supply. Removal of the O’Shaughnessy dam would take five
years. During that time ecological restoration would begin. The valley would
appear restored within 10 years.
The study also suggests San Francisco begin
a filtration program immediately to increase the quality of water sent to
the Bay Area.
Environmental group claims Hetch Hetchy can be restored cheaply
San Francisco Examiner, (September 13, 2005)
It would cost far less than previously estimated to drain and restore a Yosemite
National Park valley that has longed served as a water and hydroelectric
power supply for San Francisco, according to a new report issued Tuesday
by an environmental group.
The new analysis by Restore Hetch Hetchy, which
claims the valley is a natural wonder on par with Yosemite Valley, said it
would cost less than $1 billion to complete the project, but Mayor Gavin
Newsom and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission officials jumped on
the estimate, saying it is unrealistic...
For Restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley
By Lyanne Melendez
KGO TV (ABC - San Francisco), (September 13, 2005)
video clip also available on above website)
The idea that just won't die has a bit
of new life. For years there's been talk of tearing down the O'Shaughnesy
Dam and restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley. If that were to happen, how would
the water supply that much of the Bay Area depends on be replaced? Many want
to reclaim a canyon floor which has been under 300 feet of water since 1923.
The group Restore Hetch Hetchy is leading the campaign.
Today they presented
their own study, put together by water experts, engineers and ecologists.
The study calls for getting rid of the O'Shaughnessy Dam and diverting some
of the water from the Tuolumne River by building a new pump station. The
water would flow into the tunnel system that already exists.
Jerry Meral [RHH board member incorectly identified as Ron Good by KGO],
Restore Hetch Hetchy: "And by doing this we believe it's
possible to replace 95 percent of the water and more than 70 percent of the
power that would be lost if the O'Shaughnessy Dam is taken down and the Hetch
Hetchy Valley is restored."
It would take five years to remove the
dam. Restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley would begin within a few years.
Cederborg, Hetch Hetchy Restoration Committee: "Within two years
you could walk through the valley and you would be wading through waist-high
grass and see restored wetlands."
Study on removal of dam released
By Mike Morris
Union Democrat (September 13, 2005)
A Sonora-based group leading the effort
to remove O'Shaughnessy Dam and restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley claims
it is possible to remove the dam within 16 years. An 86-page feasibility
study released today in Sacramento by Restore Hetch Hetchy says
the draining of Yosemite's eight-mile-long mountain reservoir could begin
in about 10 years. In doing so, the study claims, thousands of jobs will
be created. Millions of dollars also will be spent in Tuolumne County if
the valley is restored, the report said. Entitled "Finding the Way Back
to Hetch Hetchy Valley," the
study proposes enlarging Don Pedro Reservoir or Calaveras Reservoir in the
Bay Area to replace storage lost by the draining of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
Restore Hetch Hetchy's study states that restoring the valley will cost less
than $1 billion. The group believes the entire project can be paid for by
a combination of state bonds, federal funds and public donations.
is the jewel of the National Park Service and its crown jewel is sitting
under 300 feet of water waiting to be restored," said
Ron Good, executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy. "If the American
people get behind the idea, it will happen."
The Hundred Year War
Fighting to Save Hetch Hetchy—Again
by Dennis Pottenger
E Magazine, (September-October, 2005)
When Congress granted San Francisco the right to flood the Hetch Hetchy Valley
in Yosemite National Park to bring water and hydroelectric power to the city
in 1913, it was supposed to be the end of the discussion. But these days,
the fight to save Hetch Hetchy has been rejuvenated. Four major research
efforts—three within the past five years—all suggest the same
thing: that San Francisco’s use of Hetch Hetchy as its own private
water tank may no longer be the best way to bring water and power to some
2.4 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area.
California, a wide chasm over Hetch Hetchy Valley:
San Francisco resists pressure to dismantle dam
By Bobby Caina Calvan
(September 11, 2005)
When the naturalist John Muir came upon this valley of meadows, waterfalls,
and granite peaks a century ago, he beheld a grand landscape he described
as ''one of nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples." Muir,
a founder of the Sierra Club, declared the Hetch Hetchy Valley as Yosemite's
For generations, the floor of this narrow canyon has been submerged under
300 feet of water....
But a century after the first debates arose, another push has emerged seeking
to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, returning the valley floor to its natural
state and allowing the upper Tuolomne River to again meander.
''All these rocks, everything John Muir saw, are just holding their breath,
waiting to come back up to the surface, waiting to come back up for air.
It was a beautiful valley, and it will be again," said Ron Good, a
former staff counsel of the Sierra Club and now the executive director
of Restore Hetch Hetchy, one of several groups seeking to bring back the
O'SHAUGHNESSY DAM DEBATE
report on the battle over the one hundred-year-old O'Shaughnessy Dam's
existence in Northern California.
(Television news coverage: illustrated online transcript, and options for streaming
video or audio)
Reported by Spencer Michels,
Jim Lehrer News Hour, PBS-TV, (August 12, 2005)
This giant dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of California's Yosemite National
Park is the focal point of a battle between the city of San Francisco, which
built the dam nearly a century ago, and environmentalists who want it torn
down. It's the latest and probably the most contentious example of a growing
movement to eliminate dams in scenic areas around the nation. Ron Good founded
Restore Hetch Hetchy. Quoting Restore Hetch Hetchy's Ron Good: "For many
years, this has been a kind of private enclave for the city of San Francisco.
They get millions of dollars a year from the sale of water and power. But this
is a place in Yosemite National Park that belongs to all the American people
and it really should be returned to all the American people."
to Do About Hetch Hetchy
By John Garamendi, California State Insurance Commisioner
San Francisco Chronicle (August 5, 2005)
We can, and should, restore the magnificence of the Hetch Hetchy Valley in
Yosemite National Park. Today, there is great momentum to support this effort.
It is a window of opportunity that may not come again. Therefore, we must act
This Worth a Dam?
a movement afoot to pull down old or ecologically unsound dams, starting
with this one
By J. Madeleine Nash
Time Magazine (July 11, 2005)
Might the O'Shaughnessy Dam one day be dismantled and that drowned landscape
conjured back into being? That is the provocative question posed by an activist
group called Restore Hetch Hetchy, which five years ago launched
a spirited but seemingly quixotic campaign to convince the public that the
time has come to get rid of the unnatural bone lodged in the valley's throat. "This
was done by people, and it can be undone by people," says Restore
Hetch Hetchy's executive director Ron Good.
Hetchy Reclaimed: Water questions are always flowing
By Jay R. Lund and Sarah E. Null
Sacramento Bee (June 26, 2005)
If the Tuolumne River System can provide substantially similar benefits without
O'Shaughnessy Dam and the people of San Francisco come to support change,
the political and media controversy on this issue might well melt away, as
it did with the more drastic case of Mono Lake restoration. For restoration
to occur, a renewed Hetch Hetchy Valley, like O'Shaughnessy Dam 80 years
ago, probably must become a source of pride for San Francisco.
Officials Consider Restoring Yosemite's Twin To Former Glory
Hetch Hetchy Valley May Be State's Greatest Natural Treasure
by Conan Nolan, NBC TV (June 20, 2005)
For more than 90 years, San Franciscans have been getting their water from
the Hetch Hetchy Resevoir, but buried under all the water lilies may be California's
greatest natural treasure and what some call Yosemite's twin: the Hetch Hetchy
Valley.... Perhaps most galling to San Franciscans is having to follow the
environmental example of their rival to the south, Nolan reported. In 1941,
Los Angeles city officials began siphoning water from Mono Lake in the Owens
Valley. But water diversion stopped in 1994. "San Francisco has the
opportunity to do the right thing just like Los Angeles did with Mono Lake," [Restore
Hetch Hetchy's Ron] Good said. State officials are expected to conclude
that restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley is possible, without disruption
of water to the Bay Area.
HETCHY RESERVOIR: To drain or not to drain
Next months key in debate on state's epic environmental issue
By Glen Martin
San Francisco Chronicle (June 13, 2005)
The debate over the proposal to breach the Sierra's O'Shaughnessy Dam, drain
the reservoir behind it and restore Hetch Hetchy Valley to its former natural
splendor is apt to intensify this summer with the release of a California
Department of Water Resources study on the issue....
Hetch Hetchy not a pipe dream
By Stephen Baxter
San Mateo Daily Journal (May 20, 2005)
Activists lobbying to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir face many obstacles
as a $4.3 billion overhaul begins on San Mateo County’s main water
system, but the plan to restore Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley for
recreation might not be as far fetched as some believe....
The incredible shrinking valley
Sacramento Bee (April 17, 2005)
... Is Hetch Hetchy shrinking? Seeking a fair referee, we asked the U.S.
Geological Survey to review its Geographic Information System, a database
that overlays topographic maps, satellite imagery, vegetation analyses and
the like. Sure enough, the Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy valleys are identical
in length - 6.8 miles. Hetch Hetchy's valley floor is about 7 million square
meters. Yosemite Valley is 14.2 million square meters. So the Yosemite Valley
is about twice Hetch Hetchy's size. It's definitely not 12 times bigger...
the lost Yosemite
by Peter Golis
The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.), (April 10, 2005)
Last year, Tom Philp had a wild and crazy idea. If 2.4 million people who
live in and around San Francisco could find another source of water, he suggested,
one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, a valley said to match Yosemite
in its grandeur, could be reclaimed.
editorial writer wins Pulitzer Prize for series urging the restoration
of Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley
By Sam Stanton -- Bee Staff Writer
Sacramento Bee (April 4, 2005)
Sacramento Bee associate editor Tom Philp won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial
writing today for a series urging the restoration of Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy
Prize - 2005 Editorial Writing Winner
Awarded to Tom Philp of The Sacramento Bee for his deeply researched
editorials on reclaiming California’s flooded Hetch Hetchy Valley that
Hetchy Reclaimed Series by Tom Philp
the waters of what once was
Los AngelesTimes (April 5, 2005)
By Thomas Curwen
Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley has legendary status in California for being
the most beautiful glacier-carved gash in the Sierra you'll never see. Its
death by damming in the 1910s is said to have hastened the death of John
Muir, who vigorously fought for its preservation...
Los Angeles Times (April 5, 2005)
A short story by Greg Sarris
On Dec. 19, 1913, the Hetch Hetchy Valley disappeared. With the stroke of
a pen, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Congressional bill that authorized
the construction of the O'Shaughnessy Dam. Ten years later, the Hetch Hetchy
? 7 miles long and...
a national treasure: Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley
by Larry Fahn, Sierra Club president; and
Tom Graff, California regional director, Environmental Defense
The Yodeler (March-April, 2005)
Today's headlines hark back to earliest Sierra Club history. The newly minted
California quarter features Club founder John Muir, walking-stick in hand,
gazing up at Half Dome in Yosemite. At a time when America's rush westward
left little concern for conservation, Muir led the effort to protect Yosemite
Valley and the surrounding wilderness area as a national park.
Hetchy feasibility grows - so does resistance
By Tom Philp -
Sacramento Bee, (February 6, 2005)
Suddenly, notions of restoring Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley and restructuring
the San Francisco Bay Area's water supply don't seem so far-fetched anymore. "This
thing has serious political legs," said Susan Leal, the new general manager
of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. A transcript of a Jan. 20
meeting of Bay Area water leaders reflected her comments and her obvious vexation.
Hetch Hetchy Valley
Channel 30 Action News Television (ABC), Fresno, Calif.
(February 19, 2005)
(Text and/or Video)
The long battle to restore one of the most scenic spots in Yosemite National
Park is gaining momentum.
down a dam
By Melinda Welsh
Sacramento News & Review (January 20, 2005)
Hetch Hetchy was once magnificent, unspoiled wild land. It could have the same
splendor as its neighbor, Yosemite Valley, with the help of a grad student
and a dam demolition.
Shame: It's time that San Francisco let go of Hetch Hetchy
by Tim Holt
San Francisco Chronicle (January 16, 2005)
San Francisco, tear down that dam. The Bay Area can continue to hem and haw,
or even fight a rearguard action...The inevitable removal of O'Shaughnessy
Dam may take decades if you allow the supporters of the status quo -- the Bay
Area Councils and the Dianne Feinsteins -- to dictate your position. But you
will discover, sooner or later, that you have no more right to flood a valley
in Yosemite than farmers do to drain rivers and destroy fisheries. There is
a bull's-eye on O'Shaughnessy that is growing by the day.
grows for Hetch Hetchy rebirth
By Douglas Fischer
San Mateo Times (December 4, 2004)
Yosemite National Park may be turning a new leaf come spring. But some see
even greater restoration postential on the horizon: A remade Hetch Hetchy Valley
-- minus the reservoir that's kept the valley underwater for 80 years.
to do with Hetch Hetchy: Restore a Treasure
By Spreck Rosekrans and Nancy E. Ryan
San Francisco Chronicle (November 30, 2004)
Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it, too. In this case, we can have Hetch
Hetchy Valley and still drink the Tuolumne River's water. As San Francisco undertakes
a major revamping of its water system, the time is right to consider how to provide
reliable water and power without a reservoir in Yosemite National Park.
National Park: Underwater Wonder
If there is Someday a Will, a Way to Reclaim the Hetch Hetchy Valley Has Been
By Glen Martin, Chronicle Environmental Writer
San Francisco Chronicle (November 21, 2004)
It has been 80 years since the Hetch Hetchy Valley disappeared under the
waters gathered behind O'Shaughnessy Dam, but its lost high Sierra splendor
still resonates with nature lovers. John Muir called Hetch Hetchy the "wonderful exact counterpart" to
Yosemite Valley; old photos and narratives bear him out.
wades into dam fray
Hetch Hetchy debate can use a neutral moderator
By John Krist
Ventura County Star (November 18, 2004)
It is becoming steadily more difficult for Bay area bureaucrats and Central
Valley irrigators to dismiss a proposal to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir as
the nutty idea of a bunch of "extreme environmentalists."
A look at Hetch Hetchy,
Study will examine the feasibility of restoring Yosemite Valley's lost twin.
Yosemite's National Park's Hetch Hetchy Valley is going to get the careful rethinking
about its future that it deserves.
Hetchy revival revisited
State agencies to investigate the submerged Yosemite National Park
By Mark Grossi
The Fresno Bee (November 12, 2004)
Two state agencies will investigate the long-debated revival of a Yosemite
National Park valley that has been submerged under San Francisco's reservoir
of drinking water for eight decades.
officials to study effects of restoring Hetch Hetchy valley
Challenge is to find resources to supplant water stored there
By Charlie Goodyear
San Francisco Chronicle (November 12, 2004)
Just five weeks after environmentalists announced a study claiming to show
the feasibility of draining the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National
Park, state officials said they will consider the idea.
to examine Hetch Hetchy restoration
By Herbert A. Sample
Sacramento Bee, (November 12, 2004)
The Schwarzenegger administration has decided to assess studies of restoring
the submerged Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park, an idea that has
been fiercely criticized by San Francisco business and government interests.
will study restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite
Press Release by Assemblywoman Lois Wolk, (November 11, 2004)
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Secretary of Resources has
taken the historic step of directing state agencies to undertake a comprehensive
study of the costs and benefits of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite
National Park. The study will look at costs for replacing water storage and
economic benefits of restoring public access to unique valley.
Hetchy: Should it be drained and restored?
Capital Public Radio: Insight (November 8, 2004)
The Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite provides water to millions and is nearly
100-years old. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is among the guests as we talk
about the future of the valley and whether or not it should be drained and
study is a good start: Hetch Hetchy report deserves serious discussion
by John Krist
Ventura County Star, (October 7, 2004)
One of the nation's leading environmental advocacy groups issued a report last
week describing how to replace the water and power supplied by the only major
dam ever built in a national park, the 312-foot wall of concrete that flooded
Yosemite's scenic Hetch Hetchy Valley for the benefit of San Francisco. The
response from civic leaders in the city that built the dam was immediate, indignant
and thoughtless. more...
dream to restore Hetch Hetchy
Report proposes removing dam in Yosemite National Park
Tri-Valley Hearld (Bay Area, Calif.), (September 28, 2004)
A new report by Environmental Defense is the latest attempt to sway public
opinion in favor of draining Hetch Hetchy Valley and restoring to nature what
conservationist John Muir called Yosemite Valley's twin brother.
by Matt Smith
San Francisco Weekly, (September 22, 2004)
The Environmental Defense Fund embarks on a national campaign to shame San Francisco
into restoring the other great Yosemite valley, Hetch Hetchy. But is shame really
a good political strategy?
call for Hetch Hetchy study
By Stuart Leavenworth
Sacramento Bee, (September 14, 2004)
Two California legislators are calling for a state study to examine if a submerged
valley in Yosemite National Park could be restored without hurting water and
power supplies. They urged Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to endorse a restoration
study for the Hetch Hetchy Valley, which was inundated and turned into a reservoir
for San Francisco in 1923.
Assemblymembers Canciamilla and Wolk
Take Steps to Restore Hetch Hetchy Valley
Press Release, September 14, 2004
"This idea is worthy of review by the State of California. California and
the nation could recover one of its natural jewels, now a forgotten and seldom
visited corner of Yosemite National Park. Meanwhile, San Francisco could continue
to receive its water supply from the same system with only a relatively minor
investment," Canciamilla and Wolk said.
Sacramento Bee Hetch
Hetchy Reclaimed Series:
says Hetch Hetchy Valley can be restored; critics pounce
By Herbert A. Sample
Sacramento Bee, (September 28, 2004
Hoping to jump-start the necessary social, political and legal forces, a veteran
environmental group on Monday unveiled a months-long study supporting the feasibility
of restoring Yosemite National Park's Hetch Hetchy Valley by demolishing an 80-year-old
Editorial: Hetch Hetchy Reclaimed: Hetch Hetchy's future
It is Time for New Chapter, New Champions
Sacramento Bee, (September 20, 2004)
Ninety years ago,
Hetch Hetchy's fate in Yosemite National
Park was decided, but it was not sealed.... It is possible now to imagine
a different future for Hetch Hetchy.
Hetchy Reclaimed: Drain it, then what?
Restoration is a function of time, politics
Sacramento Bee, (September 19, 2004)
Hetch Hetchy, the smaller twin of Yosemite Valley, might look dead on those occasions,
but it's not, according to federal biologists who studied the matter. Its state
is rather like that of a deep sleep.... The fate of a spectacular valley in a
national park is worth another look. Restoration would certainly take years,
even decades. But as a natural marvel, united once again with the Yosemite Valley
to the south, Hetch Hetchy would be something to behold.
river's 'rajahs': Modesto,
Turlock hold key to Hetch Hetchy
Sacramento Bee, (September 13, 2004)
The lesson of the
Raker Act still rings true today, 90 years later, as this river returns
to the public focus.... Obviously, San Francisco's role
in restructuring a river deal is crucial if Hetch Hetchy is to be reclaimed.
But today, as in 1913, nothing can be accomplished without the boards
of the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts.
explained: What Yosemite purifies, S.F. drinks
Sacramento Bee, (September 12, 2004)
How proud is San Francisco of its water? You can buy it in a bottle as if it
were Perrier, that's how proud. "Hetch Hetchy," reads the bottle's
label. "Contains mountain water from a municipal source high within the
Sierra Nevada." What's missing is the fine print about how the "municipal
source" is a once-magnificent valley in Yosemite National Park. That valley
now lies submerged under 300 feet of water, water that supplies San Francisco
and much of the Bay Area.
on the cheap: San Francisco got a valley for a bargain
Sacramento Bee, ( September 7, 2004)
What can you get for less than $85 in Yosemite National Park? If you're a member
of the public, $84.70 will buy you and your family a night in one of the park's
tent cabins in Yosemite Valley. If that sounds like a bargain, wait until you
hear about the deal San Francisco gets. To enjoy free rein in Hetch Hetchy, the
neighboring glacial valley that features Yosemite-like waterfalls and granite
peaks, the city of San Francisco pays the federal government even less - $82.19
a day, to be exact.
Editorial: Muir's plea:
A voice for the ages and for Hetch Hetchy
Sacramento Bee, (
September 5, 2004)
Naturalist, author and activist John Muir introduced Yosemite to the outside
world more than a century ago through his exquisite writings. He championed
the creation of the national park. And when San Francisco proposed to dam
one of Yosemite's two deep glacial valleys - the Hetch Hetchy Valley on the
Tuolumne River - Muir led the opposition... Muir's role, as the witness and
environmental conscience for the debate over the valley, is unchanged. His
lasting power comes from his extensive collection of articles and letters
about Yosemite, about San Francisco, about politics. They are remarkably
timeless. So timeless, that with a little journalistic license, questions
facing Hetch Hetchy today can be answered using quotations from Muir's writings
nearly a century ago.
Forum - Hetch
Hetchy reclaimed: In 1987, an attempt to bring back the valley
By Tom Philp -- Bee Associate Editor
Sacramento Bee, (August 30, 2004)
Was he ahead of his time or out of his mind to propose what
he did? In 1987, the Interior Secretary for President Reagan, Donald Hodel,
sought to focus public attention on the smaller twin of Yosemite Valley,
known as Hetch Hetchy. He suggested getting rid of the dam in the Hetch
Hetchy Valley, restoring this landscape inside the national park and somehow
replacing the water supply for the San Francisco Bay Area.
Editorial - San
Francisco's paradox: A green agenda everywhere - except Yosemite
Sacramento Bee, (August 30, 2004)
When it comes to San Francisco's environmental sensibilities,
no cause is too distant, no endeavor too bold.... Hetch Hetchy is San Francisco's
great civic contradiction. While the city's environmental agenda spans the
globe, it keeps a glacial valley locked away close to home. San Francisco claims
part of a national park, a public treasure, for its own utilitarian purposes
of securing water and electricity.
Hetchy reclaimed: CALVIN says the dam can go
Hetch Hetchy is expendable, new tool finds
By Tom Philp -- Bee Associate Editor
Sacramento Bee, (August 29, 2004)
University of California, Davis, graduate student named Sarah Null took a new
computer model that analyzes water management and asked the computer a century-old
question: Does San Francisco really need to rely on a dam in Yosemite National
Hetchy reclaimed - The dam downstream
Computer: You don't need Hetch Hetchy
Sacramento Bee, (August 29, 2004).
Last year, the minds behind CALVIN tried an interesting exercise. They programmed
CALVIN to consider Hodel's idea. CALVIN punched a virtual hole in a virtual
Hetch Hetchy dam. It added a virtual pipe and a virtual pump downstream. CALVIN
then calculated whether San Francisco would be short of water. The results
surprised its human operators. CALVIN found minimal impact. Hetch Hetchy's
dam, CALVIN announced, is expendable.
Hetchy Delivery System
Sacramento Bee, (August 29, 2004).
again at Hetch Hetchy
Nine decades after senators debated flooding Yosemite's twin jewel, the arguments
Sacramento Bee, (August 22, 2004).
More than 90 years ago, just before the stroke of midnight on Dec. 6, 1913,
the U.S. Senate voted to flood one of the jewels of the national park system....
Over the years, some have suggested the decision be revisited, but they never
got anywhere. Any change at Hetch Hetchy would mean changing the Raker Act,
and a new national debate would arise. That debate is worth having, as a series
of editorials beginning today explains. Nearly 91 years after the debate, there
is mounting evidence that it is possible to see another way to accomplish the
Raker Act's aims while restoring Hetch Hetchy to the national park system and
the American people.
lost Yosemite: It's time to imagine Hetch Hetchy restored
Sacramento Bee (August 22, 2004).
"... an idea once considered fanciful, even quixotic, gains legitimacy:
Drain Hetch Hetchy - an enlarged hole at the dam's base would do the job - and
let nature begin to reclaim this spectacular setting.
That may sound simple, but it isn't. It would require some changes to the Bay
Area's water system and a consensus among major holders of Tuolumne River water
rights. But if the notion is complicated, it is not out of the realm of the
possible and is well worth discussing. An upcoming replumbing of San Francisco's
Hetch Hetchy system and a convincing restoration proposal generated by a new
computer program at the University of California, Davis, make this an appropriate
time for the conversation to begin.
Hetch Hetchy Valley: A Grand Landscape
Garden by Ron Good - Guest Sermon at Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship
of Stanislaus County, (April 18, 2004).
Editorial: Hetch kvetch
S.F. wants to rent Yosemite for 7 cents an acre
Sacramento Bee, February 8, 2004
"Bush budget soaks S.F. for Hetch Hetchy," read the headline in a recent San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco getting soaked? Hmmm.
Yes, the Bush administration in its 2004-05 budget has proposed to ask for a lot more "rent" from San Francisco for the privilege of capturing rainfall in three Sierra reservoirs (including the infamous one inside Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley) and profiting from hydropower sales. And yes, the proposed rent of $8 million a year is a lot more than the current rent of $30,000. As for who is getting soaked here, the Bush position is a whole lot closer to reality than San Francisco's.
Paying a price for piracy
San Francisco water grab might prove expensive
By John Krist
Ventura County Star, February 12, 2004.
Northern Californians have long regarded Southern Californians as water thieves. Spawned by the infamous Owens Valley saga of the early 1900s, this perception was nourished during subsequent decades by construction of huge state and federal plumbing projects to divert runoff from northern mountains to cities in the southern desert.
Bush budget soaks S.F. for Hetch Hetchy
Rent would jump from $30,000 to $8 million a year
by Edward Epstein
San Francisco Chronicle - February 4, 2004
The annual rent of $30,000 San Francisco pays for Hetch Hetchy has not changed since the 1920s.
Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite's lost valley
By Pete Clarke, Sierra Star January 14, 2004
Report on presentation by Ron Good, Executive Director of Restore Hetch Hetchy to the Eastern Madera County Chamber of Commerce.
Best of Entries
Restore Hetch Hetchy's new documentary film, "Hetch Hetchy: Yosemite's Lost Valley," received the "Best of Entries" award at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City (January 13, 2004).
Restore Hetch Hetchy Releases New DVD/Video
in the news 2003
S.F. use of Hetch Hetchy studied
City doesn't need the Yosemite reservoir, grad student says.
By Mark Grossi, (Fresno Bee
December 28, 2003
San Francisco could do without that 117 billion-gallon reservoir filling a
spectacular glacial valley in Yosemite National Park. So says Sarah Null, a University of California at Davis graduate student who has written a master's thesis on the removal of San Francisco's controversial Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite.
John of the Mountains: Following in the footsteps of John Muir - BBC Radio 4, September 2, 2003
"John Muir had one failure - he could not stop the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite being dammed. Now environmentalists are hoping to have the dam removed and, as Howard Stableford discovers, John Muir's words are still inspiring those campaigners today." Includes an interview of volunteer webmaster Harold Wood and Restore Hetch Hetchy's Executive Director Ron Good. (Includes Real Audio - Off-site link)
Hetch Hetchy would ease Yosemite Pressure by John Krist (Ventura County Star, June 8, 2003)
To Ron Good, one solution to perennial overcrowding in Yosemite Valley seems obvious: Create a duplicate of that enormously popular attraction, complete with its own spectacular waterfalls, soaring granite cliffs and verdant meadows...
Restore Hetch Hetchy Opposes O'Shaughnessy Dam Modification (Press Release) May 9, 2003
City by the Bay Becomes a Bottler, to Loud Attack by Dean E. Murphy New York Times (March 26, 2003)
The picture on the bottle's label
might have brought John Muir to tears, but then that battle was
fought and lost nearly a century ago... Some environmentalists who
have formed a group working to dismantle the dam and store the
city's water outside Yosemite described the bottling idea as a
farce that went well beyond Congress's intentions in 1913.
"This is another example of San Francisco exploiting the natural
resources of Yosemite National Park," said Ron Good, executive
director of the group, Restore Hetch Hetchy.
Move over, Evian, Hetch Hetchy's got cachet
By Mike Taugher Contra Costa Times (March 26, 2003)
Ron Good, the Walnut Creek-based director of a small environmental group called Restore Hetch Hetchy, said customers who buy the bottled water might be inspired to join his cause -- razing the Hetch Hetchy dam to restore the valley just north of Yosemite Valley.
"It's going to educate people more about Hetch Hetchy Valley and they'll question why San Francisco is further exploiting the natural resources of Yosemite National Park," Good said. "They (will ask) why is this big hunk of concrete in the middle of the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park?"
Last year, Good and other environmentalists sought an agreement from city officials to fund a $600,000 study of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley.
New Life for Hetch Hetchy - Editorial, Los Angeles Times (March 22, 2003)
"San Francisco, that self-proclaimed wellspring of environmental passion, is preparing to bottle some of its municipal water supply and market it as Hetch Hetchy Mountain Water. Shame. Hetch Hetchy may be as fresh and tasty as bottled water gets, but any good environmentalist with a sense of history would rather drink irrigation runoff... Someday, perhaps San Francisco will recognize that its pride in Hetch Hetchy is misplaced and that dismantling the dam is something that is really worth San Francisco's image of itself."
Yosemite in a bottle - Editorial Sacramento Bee (March 18, 2003)
"The idea apparently came to San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown
back in 1998 as he lunched at a city restaurant named Le
Central. Why should discriminating diners have to purchase
bottled water from foreign lands when the city could bottle
its own tasty supply from Yosemite National Park, captured
by Hetch Hetchy Reservoir? "Hetch Hetchy will be a brand
name, with national appeal," Brown boasted at the time. Now,
four years later, the mayor is actually pursuing this pet
project. We have an idea for what to do with the profits.
A Dry Hetch Hetchy? by David Kiefer of The San Francisco Examiner Staff
"It's an old idea, and a fairly radical one: Blow up the Hetch Hetchy dam and restore the valley to its ancient splendor. Replace the water supply with an expansion of the existing reservoirs that already surround the area.... Huey Johnson, a San Franciscan and a member of the Restore Hetch Hetchy advisory board, says it shouldn't be that hard: 'I worry that we've become so oriented on economic things that we have lost in principle that there are things more valuable than money.'"
in the news - 2002
October 26, 2003 - Rethinking Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Some thirst for pristine Yosemite, some for water, By Mike Taugher Contra Costa Times
John Muir called Hetch Hetchy the "wonderfully exact counterpart" to Yosemite Valley. Even today, with Hetch Hetchy's floor 300 feet under water, it is easy to see why...
October, 2002 - Vote No on San Francisco Prop A: Don't Expand the Water System,
The Yodeler, Newsletter of the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter
October 21, 2002 Comfortable lead narrows for Hetch Hetchy upgrade vote
By Marilee Enge, San Jose Mercury News
Opposition is being led by the Sierra Club, the environmental group that traces its spiritual legacy to John Muir's fight against damming Hetch Hetchy Valley.
But club members say their concerns about Proposition A have more to do with what they consider the hidden agenda of Proposition A -- expanded water capacity. If system repairs and retrofitting are really what's needed, they say, the city already has the ability to float bonds for those items.
|New York Times advocates Feasibility Study!
October 19, 2002 Bring Back Hetch Hetchy? [The NY times seventh editorial on Hetch Hetchy, but the first in 89 years!]
New York Times (Off-site link - registration required.)
in 1913, in defiance of established law and the wishes of millions of Americans, Congress foolishly approved the construction of a dam and an eight-mile-long reservoir in a lush valley known by its Indian name, Hetch Hetchy, in the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park. The dream of righting this wrong has never really died. ... the least we can do is endorse a feasibility study. It may well lead to something remarkable.
October 15, 2002 - An Effort to Undo an Old Reservoir in Yosemite By Dean E. Murphy
New York Times (Off-site link - registration required.)
A group of environmentalists wants to drain an eight-mile-long reservoir that provides water for San Francisco and restore the valley underneath. (Quotes extensively from Restore Hetch Hetchy Executive Director Ron Good, Vice-President Spreck Rosekrans, and former Secretary of Interior Donald Hodel.)
October 3, 2002 - Sierra Club Takes on San Francisco - Opposes bond measure that would to repair Hetch Hetchy
San Francisco Chronicle (Off-site link)
San Francisco, which dammed a river in Yosemite National Park's Hetch Hetchy Valley after defeating the nation's fledgling environmental movement, is again battling with conservationists over its water system.
August 28, 2002 - Environmentalists to fight San Francisco water bond
Sacramento Bee (Off-site link)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Three environmental groups, upset that city leaders have been unwilling to sanction a study into restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park, said Tuesday they will oppose a massive bond measure on November's ballot that would finance an upgrade to the Bay Area's main water system. "It's time for San Francisco to participate in the process of figuring out how to restore Yosemite Park (and) Hetch Valley," said Ron Good, executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy.
August 17,2002 - Hetch Hetchy bond-issue foes may relent
A SF Board of Supervisors resolution urges S.F.'s cooperation in a study on restoring the Sierra valley.
August 17, 2002 - Another Yosemite, Maybe, Los Angeles TimesEditorial (Off-site link)
Replacing the lost water and power would be complicated and costly, but it could be done. Would it be worth it? Consider the value of Yosemite Valley to the nation. Think of the possibility of having a second such valley, free of cars and development, that would be the temple of nature John Muir saw before the dam was built. That too would be priceless.
August 13, 2002 - Editorial: Hetchy hypocrisy
SF enviros mum on draining Yosemite dam
Sacramento Bee (Off-site link)
One would think the dam-busting environmental movement would be all over this idea: Leverage San Francisco to get a feasibility study of demolishing its dam that submerges Yosemite's second valley, Hetch Hetchy.
August 11, 2002 - Dam Dispute Looses a Flood of Emotions
By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times (Off-site link)
HETCH HETCHY VALLEY, Calif. -- Ron Good surveys the high-walled splendor of this prehistoric corner of Yosemite National Park and solemnly promises to renew the long-dormant environmental battle that broke the spirit of famed naturalist John Muir.
August 10, 2002 -
A Return To Glory In Hetch Hetchy
By Chuck Carroll, San Jose Mercury News (Off-site link)
Environmentalists are seizing on San Francisco's plan to rebuild and expand its Hetch Hetchy water system to reach a goal set nearly a century ago: to see the spectacular valley returned to its original state.
August 4, 2002 - Groups Ask: Fix Hetch Hetchy -- or Drain It?
By Herbert A. Sample, Sacramento Bee (Off-site link)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Three environmental groups, and possibly
more, are threatening to oppose a $1.6 billion bond measure
on the November ballot here aimed at refurbishing and possibly
expanding the massive water system feeding the San Francisco
June 1, 2002 -
Restore Hetch Hetchy's First Newsletter (PDF - Adobe Acrobat Reader required) (off-site link)
April 21, 2002 - Water: Bring Back Hetch Hetchy? by Tom Philp, Sacramento Bee (Off-site link)
January 28, 2002 - A 'Win' for Hetch Hetchy, by Ron Good, Executive Director, Restore Hetch Hetchy, San Francisco Chronicle, (off-site link)
January 31, 2002 -
$4.6 Billion Needed to fix Hetch Hetchy Huge bond measure proposed, with rate hikes for all users (San Francisco Chronicle)
S.F. Bond Measure Letter To City Officials Seeks Win - Win Outcome
For Hetch Hetchy Valley And For San Francisco:
Water Bond Proposal On November 2002 Ballot
1987 - 1994
- "Hetch Hetchy Valley,"
by John Muir, Boston Weekly Transcript, March 25, 1873.
- "The Hetch-Hetchy Valley," by John Muir, Sierra Club Bulletin, January, 1908
- "Hetch Hetchy Valley" by John Muir, from his 1912 book, The Yosemite.
New York Times 1913 Editorials Opposing Damming of Hetch Hetchy
- The Hetch-Hetchy Situation - by William F. Badè - Editorial from Sierra Club Bulletin, January, 1914
- Hetch Hetchy: the Yosemite of the North by Robert Sterling Yard (from Yard's 1919 The Book of the National Parks)
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