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Friday, October 28, 2005

Restore Hetch Hetchy Valley

Hetch Hetchy Valley circa 1900

Hetch Hetchy today

As I was sitting at home last night channel surfing, I came across one of favorite PBS shows out here in socal. It's called California's Gold hosted by the folksy Huell Howser. The topic of the show was the Hetch Hetchy Valley up near Yosemite National Park. Hetch Hetchy rivals the beauty of Yosemite. I haven't been up there since I was a kid, but suffice to say that it is one of our most beautiful valleys in the country. Tragically it was damned up back in 1913 to provide a steady source of water for the bay area. The Sierra Club founder and uber naturalist John Muir called Hetch Hetchy Valley "the second Yosemite and one of nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples" and he fought the damning of the Tuolomne river tooth and nail. Alas though Woodrow Wilson signed the Raker Act into law in 1913 and the damning the river began. It was said that Muir died in 1914 of a broken heart. This is an issue that everyone can get behind. There is no more need for the damn today. The water can be stored downstream at the huge New Don Pedro reservoir.

There is a grassroots effort underway to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley today. People of all political idealogies can get behind this effort. Here is the website. I'm not a big fan of the Sierra Club on a lot of issues but this one that deserves merit. The valley should be restored to its original condition so everyone can enjoy it. They say it would probably take a few years for it to get back to normal. That's fine with me. Just drain the water from the lake and blow that damn up.


  • At 8:03 AM, Blogger MAB said…

    Allan, Is it the case that the Bay Area doesn't need the water from the dam? Miriam

  • At 8:46 AM, Blogger Allan Bartlett said…

    They can store the water downstream at the huge New Don Pedro reservoir. They still need that water, but they can restore the valley and SF still gets their water allocation. It's a win win situation.

  • At 9:52 PM, Blogger James said…

    Looks nicer with the water in it, to me. Better fishing, too.

  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger Allan Bartlett said…

    Actually you are only allowed to fish from shore and the Fish & Game doesn't stock the reservoir. It would be way better to have the river flowing again and be able to fish that. Besides, there are plenty of places to fish in California. Hetch Hetchy valley is an absolute natural wonder. I think it would great to get it back to its natural state. Plus it pisses off all the SF liberals and that makes me really happy. Those hippies must be really conflicted about this issue.

  • At 8:38 AM, Blogger James said…

    What pisses off the SF liberals?


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