hetch hetchy


Further Reading About Hetch Hetchy

Note: Listing here does not imply endorsement.



  • Brechin, Gray A., Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin [California Studies in Critical Human Geography] (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999)
  • Brower, Kenneth, Yosemite: An American Treasure by Ken Brower, prepared by the Special Publications Division, National Geographic Society, 1997. Photos p. 61, text pp. 182-83.
  • Brower, Kenneth Hetch Hetchy: Undoing a Great American Mistake (Berkeley: Heyday 2013) Excellent short book filled with historical photographs, newspaper articles, charts, and an excellent balance of personal, historical, and contemporary exploration.
  • Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region, "Hetch Hetchy: A Survey of Water and Power Replacement Concepts", prepared on behalf of the National Park Service (Sacramento, California, February 1988).
  • Chase, J. Smeaton; Yosemite Trails: Camp and pack-train in the Sierra Nevada, 1987 -- Chapter XIV.
  • Cohen, Michael P.: The History of the Sierra Club 1892-1970, Sierra Club Books, 1988.
  • Felzer, Ron High Sierra Hiking Guide: Hetch Hetchy
  • Ise, John; Our National Park Policy: A Critical History, 1961 -- pp 85-96
  • Jones, Holway, John Muir and the Sierra Club: The Battle for Yosemite, Sierra Club, 1965. The most in-depth examination of the original Hetch Hetchy controversy.
  • Muir, John, The Yosemite, Chapter 16 on Hetch Hetchy Sierra Club Books, reprinted from the book originally published by Houghton Mifflin, 1914.
  • Nash, Roderick, Wilderness and the American Mind, Yale University Press, 1982.
  • National Park Service, Alternatives For Restoration Of Hetch Hetchy Valley Following Removal Of The Dam And Reservoir (PDF Format), February 1988) , 18 pp.
  • Righter, Robert, The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism (2005) Best current book from a historical perspective covering the issue of Hetch Hetchy.
  • Runte, Alfred, Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness, University of Nebraska Press, 1990.
  • Simpson, John W., Dam! : Water, Power, Politics, and Preservation in Hetch Hetchy and Yosemite National Park (2005)
  • Starr, Kevin; Endangered Dreams: The Great Depression in California, 1996. Chapter 10.
  • Turner, Tom, Sierra Club: 100 Years of Protecting Nature, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with the Sierra Club, 1991.
  • Wolfe, Linnie Marsh. Son of the Wilderness The Life of John Muir, The University of Wisconsin Press, 1980.

Articles in Periodicals

  • Brower, David, "Restoring Hetch Hetchy," Earth Island Journal, Fall, 1987.
  • Chowder, Ken, "Can We Afford the Wilderness?" The battle still rages at the heart of the conservationist movement. Modern Maturity, June-July, 1990, v. 33., no. 3, pp. 60-64.
  • Clements, Kendrick A. "Politics and the Park:San Francisco's Fight for Hetch Hetchy, 1908- 1913."Pacific Historical Review 48 (1979), pp. 185-215.
  • English, Daved, "Hetch Hetchy Restored A Look Into a Possible Future," Los Angeles Times Magazine, December 27, 1987.
  • Huber, King, A Tale of Two Valleys - About the geological history of Hetch Hetchy compared to Yosemite Valley, reprinted by permission of King Huber and the Yosemite Association from the Fall, 2004 edition of their journal, Yosemite.
  • Long, David R. "Pipe Dreams: Hetch Hetchy, the Urban West, and the Hydraulic Society Revisited." Journal of the West (July 1995): 19-31.
  • "Hetch Hetchy Valley," by John Muir, Boston Weekly Transcript, March 25, 1873. Muir's first article about Hetch Hetchy.
  • Muir, John, "The Hetch Hetchy Valley," Sierra Club Bulletin, January, 1908 (Vol. VI., No. 4)
  • Muir, John. "The Hetch-Hetchy Valley: A National Question." Sierra Club Bulletin 16, no.5 (1910): 263-269.
  • Muir, John, "The Beauties of the Hetch-Hetchy Valley." Federation Bulletin 7, no. 5 (1910): 148-150.
  • Nash, Roderick, "John Muir, William Kent, and the Conservation Schism." Pacific Historical Review 36 (November 1967): 423-433.
  • New York Times 1913 Editorials Opposing Damming of Hetch Hetchy
  • Pope, Carl, "Undamming Hetch Hetchy,"Sierra Magazine, November/December, 1987.
  • Rose, Gene, "The Ghosts of Hetch-Hetchy" Yosemite Association, Vol. 56, No. 3, Summer, 1994, pp. 10-11.
  • "Torrent of Debate Loosed by Hodel's Hetch Hetchy Idea," Los Angeles Times, August 23, 1987.
  • Turner, Tom, "A Shocker from Hodel" Mother Earth News, Nov.-Dec., 1987. pp. 130-131.
  • Wilkinson, Nancy Lee, "No Holier Temple; Responses to Hodel's Hetch Hetchy Proposal" Landscape Vol 31, No. 1, (Spring, 1991), pp. 1-9.

Film and Video

See collection of Hetch Hetchy Videos on YouTube by Restore Hetch Hetchy

  • Hetch Hetchy: Yosemite's Lost Valley DVD or VIDEOCASSETTE . (Narrated by Shari Belafonte; Produced by Deborah Landowne, Restore Hetch Hetchy, 2003). 19 Minutes, Color.
    Award-winning video explaining the case for restoring Hetch Hetchy while still providing water and power for San Francisco and Bay Area needs. Includes perspective from historical and contemporary viewpoints, and includes an interview with Don Hodel, former Secretary of the Interior.
  • Damnation, Matt Stoecker and Yvon Chouinard, 2014
  • Discover Hetch Hetchy (with Harrison Ford) (online), Restore Hetch Hetchy, 2011
  • "Two Yosemites" VIDEOCASSETTE (A film by David Brower, Sierra Club, 1955). Available from Sierra Club Hetch Hetchy Task Force.
    Passionate portrayal of the beauty of Yosemite Valley contrasted with the ugliness of the low-water Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
  • "An Evening with John Muir: Conversation with a Tramp" Performed by Lee Stetson
    VIDEOCASSETTE (VHS). A KQED-TV S.F. production. 1992.
  • "The Wilderness Idea - John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and the First Great Battle of Wilderness" VIDEOCASSETTE (Florentine Films, a film by Lawrence Hott & Diane Garey) (58 min., $34.95) Distributed by: Direct Cinema Ltd., P.O. Box 10003, Santa Monica, CA 90410 (310) 396-4774 or 800-525-0000.
    Documentary focusing on the Hetch Hetchy battle, from historical and contemporary perspectives. Part of a series. For general audiences.
  • "Modern Marvels: Aqueducts, Man Made Rivers of Life" VIDEOCASSETTE (The History Channel) AAE-42214 (50 minutes). Available from The History Channel (800) 408-4842.
    Documentary on the history and technology of Aqueducts, including Hetch Hetchy and the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Primary Materials

National Archives, The Center for Legislative Archives, Hetch Hetchy Environmental Debates, includes a set of actual documents from the U.S. Congress, including the full text of the Raker Bill, and more than a dozen Petitions and Resolutions submitted by organizations both supporting and opposing the Bill.

National Committee for the Preservation of Yosemite National Park, Comments of the U.S. Press on the Invasion of Yosemite National Park, Bulletin #2, 1913. (PDF) A compilation of "sound bites" made in 1913 of United States newspaper opinon opposing the damming of Hetch Hetchy, supplemented with an argument from the National Committee along with a photo of Hetch Hetchy before the dam. Originally printed in 1913. Reproduced by Restore Hetch Hetchy (www.hetchhetchy.org). Courtesy of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (pff F869.S3.8.C632).

Hoffman, Charles Frederick (1838-1913), “ Notes on Hetch-Hetchy Valley,” Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco: CAS, 1868)

Muir, John. "A Brief Statement of the Hetch-Hetchy Question." Federation Courier 1, no. 2 (1909).

Muir, John. "Features of the Proposed Yosemite National Park." Century XL, no. 4 (1890): 663-67.

Muir, John. "The Beauties of the Hetch-Hetchy Valley." Federation Bulletin 7, no. 5 (1910): 148-50.

Muir, John. "The Hetch-Hetchy Valley: A National Question." American Forestry 16, no. 5 (1910): 263-69.

The Sierra Club Bulletin, June, 1909, listed the following materials as "Where to obtain information Concerning the Effort by San Francisco to Utilize the Hetch-Hetchy Watershed."

  1. Putnam's Magazine, May, 1909. Article entitled "Camping above the Yosemite" by Harriet Monroe, pp. 221-6. Reprinted in June, 1909 issue of Sierra Club Bulletin.
  2. The World To-day, May, 1909. "The Hetch-Hetchy," by F.M. Fultz, pp 524-530.
  3. World's Work, April, 1909. Editorial and article entitled "San Francisco against the Nation."
  4. Suburban Life, March, 1909. Article entitled "Despoiling the Hetch-Hetchy," by Wm. F. Badè , pp. 117-118.
  5. Outlook (New York), January 30, 1909. Editorial, pp. 234-236; article entitled "Dismembering Our National Park," by R.U. Johnson, pp. 252-3.
  6. Outlook (New York), February 13, 1909. Editorial, pp. 330-331.
  7. Outlook (New York), November 2, 1907. Article entitled "The Tuolumne Yosemite in Danger," by John Muir, pp. 486-489.
  8. Century Magazine, January, 1909. "The Endangered Valley," by John Muir
  9. Independent (New York), January 14, 1909. Editorial, "Shall the Yosemite Be Despoiled."
  10. Independent (New York), May 14, 1908. "The Hetch Hetchy Valley," pp. 1079-1084.