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August, 2006

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.”

July, 2006

Undo 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 Good...
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.

June, 2006

Editorial: 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.

May, 2006

Discover 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 dmckenzie@environmentaldefense.org for a copy.

February, 2006

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 Hetchy.

January, 2006

Editorial: Hetch Hetchy's moment:
State, feds need to support further study of this Yosemite treasure's future

Sacramento Bee (January 22, 2006)
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.

2005

December, 2005

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 advisory committee:
1 Carl Boronkay of Tarzana is formerly of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
2. Thomas 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.
5. George Miller is the retired Chairman of the Board of Capital Research Company.
6. Thomas Parker is Chairman of the Board with the Hutton Companies and President of the Hutton Foundation.

 

November, 2005

Editorial: San Francisco: On Hetchy, take citizens' advice
Sacramento Bee, (November 27, 2005)
Citizens advising 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 Valley. ..."
Says 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."

Debate over restoring Hetch Hetchy centers on question of cost
Estimates range from $500 million to $15 billion

by Glen Martin
San Francisco 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, who pegs the price at between $500 million and $1.6 billion to breach the dam and provide other water and power facilities.
Media: Audio Podcast of the Commonwealth Club debate is available.

Why 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 fall."

October, 2005

Call 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 Hetch Hetchy

Huell Howser of California Gold, center, Ron Good, left, and Mark Cederborg at Hetch Hetchy 6-29-05
KCET, the PBS affiliate for Los Angeles, aired Huell Howser's California Gold program about Hetch Hetchy on October 27th and 30th.
Watch for additional showings throughout the rest of California.

The program 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
The 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 ones.

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, click here.

 

September, 2005

Move's on to restore oasis in Yosemite
Dam-flooded valley 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. Until now....

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.

Editorial: Worthy compromise?
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
By 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:

  • The O'Shaughnessy Dam (at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir) provides no meaningful flood protection whatsoever to the Central Valley nor to the greater Bay Area.
    Flood control 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 Reservoir.
  • 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 National park.
  • 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 economic objectives.
  • 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.
  • In 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 issues.

Hetch 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.

Dam 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
By Justin Jouvenal
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...

Plan For Restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley
By Lyanne Melendez
KGO TV (ABC - San Francisco), (September 13, 2005)
(Windows Media 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. Mark 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.
"Yosemite 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.

In California, a wide chasm over Hetch Hetchy Valley:
San Francisco resists pressure to dismantle dam

By Bobby Caina Calvan
Boston Globe, (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 twin.... 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 valley.

August, 2005

THE O'SHAUGHNESSY DAM DEBATE
A 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."

What 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 now....

July, 2005

Is This Worth a Dam?
There's 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.

June, 2005

Hetch 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.

State 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.

HETCH 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....

May, 2005

Draining 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....

April, 2005

Editorial: 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...

Reclaiming 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.

Bee 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 Valley.
Related Links:
Pulitzer 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 stirred action.
Hetch Hetchy Reclaimed Series by Tom Philp

Parting 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...

After the fall
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...

February, 2005

Restore 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.

Hetch 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.

Restoring 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.

January, 2005

Bringing 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.

Dam 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.

December, 2004

Hope 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.

November, 2004

What 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.


Yosemite National Park: Underwater Wonder
If there is Someday a Will, a Way to Reclaim the Hetch Hetchy Valley Has Been Devised

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.

State wades into dam fray
Hetch Hetchy debate can use a neutral moderato
r
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."

Editorial: A look at Hetch Hetchy,
Study will examine the feasibility of restoring Yosemite Valley's lost twin.

Fresno Bee (November 16, 2004)

Yosemite's National Park's Hetch Hetchy Valley is going to get the careful rethinking about its future that it deserves.

Hetch Hetchy revival revisited
State agencies to investigate the submerged Yosemite National Park valley.
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.

State 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.

State 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.

Schwarzenegger administration 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.

Hetch 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 restored.

October, 2004

Dam 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...

September, 2004

New 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.

Big Dam Mess
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?

Lawmakers 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.

August/September, 2004

Sacramento Bee Hetch Hetchy Reclaimed Series:

News: Study 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 dam.

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.

Editorial: Hetch 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.

Editorial:  A 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.

Editorial: Addiction 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.

Editorial: Yosemite 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.

Forum: Hetch 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 Park?

Editorial: Hetch 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.

Graphic: Hetch Hetchy Delivery System
Sacramento Bee, (August 29, 2004).

Forum: Looking again at Hetch Hetchy
Nine decades after senators debated flooding Yosemite's twin jewel, the arguments still resonate
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.

Editorial: The 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.

April, 2004

Hetch Hetchy Valley: A Grand Landscape Garden by Ron Good - Guest Sermon at Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County, (April 18, 2004).

February, 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.

January, 2004

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

December, 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.

September, 2003

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)

June, 2003

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...

May, 2003

Restore Hetch Hetchy Opposes O'Shaughnessy Dam Modification (Press Release) May 9, 2003

March, 2003

Hetch Hetchy Mountain Water Bottle 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.

January, 2003

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
Sacramento Bee
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 peninsula.

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

1873-1919


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