Inspire a love of reading with prime book box for kids discover delightful childrens books with prime book box, a subscription that delivers new books every 1, 2, or 3 months new customers receive 15% off your first box. Water, power, politics, and preservation in hetch hetchy. Hetch hetchy is a mountain valley that is located within yosemite national park. Hes met with restore hetch hetchy, a group that seeks to level the centuryold oshaughnessy dam and drain the hetch hetchy reservoir in yosemite national park.
The group restore hetch hetchy, the sierra club and other supporters of draining the reservoir say most of its 360,000 acrefeet of water storage can be replaced through more water conservation. The city built a dam and reservoir, drowning this beautiful valley, even though other lessdamaging sites existed. The proposal to dam hetch hetchy valley in yosemite national park created unprecedented controversy and provoked editorials in opposition from more than. The physical dimensions of the oshaughnessy dam are. The hetch hetchy letters center of the american west. Its freeflowing tuolumne was rerouted while dynamite blasted the foundations for a concrete dam. My project is based on the debate portion of the 2011 theme, debate and diplomacy in history. Residents from san francisco, however, wanted to use the territory to get water for their growing population. As well dam for watertanks the peoples cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man. Hetch hetchy reservoir reservoir, yosemite national park. The main dam was built in two phases, initially built to a height. During the construction of the dam, the hetch hetchy railroad carried 400 tons of cement each day to the site. Hetch hetchy is an iconic, rare and spectacular landscape, hetch hetchy is part of yosemite national park and its damming and flooding is by far the worst destruction of our national parks have ever experienced.
It impounds the tuolumne river, forming the hetch hetchy reservoir at the lower end of hetch hetchy valley in yosemite national park, about 160 miles 260 km east of san francisco. There are also seasons that the water at the dam was drained however with the proper maintenance and with the help of the residence within the place, the dam remains as one of the most well known dam in the greater of united states. The senate, however, debated the measure extensively before passing the legislation on december 6, 19. If forced to identify one overreaching reason for the dam s existence, it was a failure of the democratic process or, perhaps more accurately, the bias of the democratic process toward san franciscos power and wealth. Hetch hetchy represented the first great environmental controversy in the us, and debate over the dam and reservoir continues today. This nation can afford to pay millions to prevent this desecration as far as economy and dollars and cents are concerned. John muir let everyone help to save the famous hetch. Hetch hetchy environmental debates national archives.
After four years of recordsetting drought and statewide low reservoir levels. The debate continues today, but now it is a question over whether or not to remove the dam and restore the valley to its former state. Oshaughnessy dam was completed in 1923 and on october 24, 1934, water from the hetch hetchy project finally began pouring into san francisco. Instead of seeing the majestic backdrop of the sierra nevada reflected in the pristine mountain water, they are now greeted by millions of black balls that cover the surface. If forced to identify one overreaching reason for the dams existence, it was a failure of the democratic process or, perhaps more accurately, the bias of the democratic process toward san franciscos power and wealth. Although the sierra club lost that battle, the loss of hetch hetchy served to awaken the nation in defense of its national parks. The damming is often cited as having ignited the modern environmental movement. A cluster of ramshackle cabins built for the hetch hetchy dam workers in 1920, it is now a woodsychic cottage resort with a tavern, restaurant, and saltwater swimming pool. Frobish visitors to yosemites iconic hetch hetchy reservoir are doing a doubletake. Oshaughnessy dam is a 430foot 1 m high concrete archgravity dam in tuolumne county, california, in the united states. Hetch hetchy, the second largest municipal water system in the state and an engineering marvel, is his monument. Discover delightful childrens books with prime book box, a subscription that delivers new books every 1, 2, or 3 months new customers receive 15% off your first box.
Why hetch hetchy is staying under water under water. The paiute indian people were the original owners of hetch hetchy, but no one, especially the yosemite national park service, does not want to mention that. John muir 18381914 was the leader of the movement to save the hetch hetchy valley from despoliation at the hands of the city and county of san francisco, which wanted the valley for a municipal water. Hetch hetchy valley was a spectacular valley highly populated with naturalists. Jun 18, 2019 introduced by congressman john raker dca, h. Elegant, engaging, and frankly enraging exploration of the hetch hetchy controversy. In 1924 the hetch hetchy railroad ceased operations as a common carrier. In the 1920s the thirsty city of san francisco reached deep into yosemite national park to build the oshaughnessy dam on the tuolumne river, diverting onethird of the rivers water and flooding the hetch hetchy valley, said at the time to be as magnificent as yosemite valley itself. Hetch hetchy is the name of a valley, a reservoir and a water system in california in the united states. Freeman, who has studied the situation in manchester or birmingham, where there is a similar case, has shown that by planting trees or vines over the dam, the idea of a dam, the appearance of a. In the wake of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, the city of san francisco desperately needed reliable supplies of water and electricity. Photo, print, drawing hetch hetchy dam being raised digital file from original photograph full online access to this resource is only available at the library of congress. But head to the parks northwest corner in hetch hetchy valley, and youll see springs splendour from a whole new perspective. Hetch hetchy water and power system tuolumne county.
The most amazing thing about the hetch hetchy controversy was that it occurred. Ultimately, passage of the passage of the raker act in 19 by congress granted san francisco the right to flood the hetch hetchy valley. Coming hard on the heels of the hetch hetchy controversy in california see cohen 1988, many conservationists grasped the parallel in this battle. The proposal to dam hetch hetchy valley in yosemite national park created unprecedented controversy and provoked editorials in opposition from more than 200 newspapers across the country. By constructing a dam at this very narrow gorge in the hetch hetchy valley, about 700 feet across, we create, not a reservoir, but a lake, because mr.
There are three hydroelectric facilities associated with the. Americas most controversial dam and the birth of modern environmentalism kindle edition by righter. Engage your students during remote learning with video readalouds. For thousands of years before the arrival of settlers from the united states in the 1850s, the valley was inhabited by native americans who practiced subsistence huntinggathering. Hetch hetchy valley, before the dam native history part. The progressive eras most controversial environmental issue was the 190819 struggle over federal government approval for building the hetch hetchy dam in a remote corner of federallyowned land in californias yosemite national park.
The hetch hetchy valley is of infinitely greater economic importance to the nation and the state of california, with its parklike floor, intact and available for campers, than it will be as a reservoir site. I believe that the greatest threat to the survival of american indians more than the wars, the disease, the poverty, the discrimination, and the european occupation is the removal of the spiritual matrix of traditional life, the theft of the sacred. The debate over whether or not to put a dam in hetch hetchy valley was fought over for many years. Hetch hetchy john muir and the duty to save the environment. Hetch hetchywhich conservationist john muir called a wonderfully exact counterpart to yosemite. Water managers drop the ball on hetch hetchy california. The push to drain yosemites hetch hetchy reservoir and restore the sierra canyon to its natural state was rejected by the courts again. Below is the account in the gold spring dairy, the journal of john jolly, taken from the tuolumne historical society.
Around june 28, 1861, one of the first dam tenders around the area above hetch hetchy, jacob r. Petition from the hypatia women s club of san francisco supporting granting san francisco water rights to lake eleanor and hetch hetchy, naid 7268040 protest against diversion of waters from lands requiring irrigation from citizens of merced and stanislaus counties, california. Hetch hetchy dam being raised summary photo shows construction work at hetch hetchy dam. San francisco to build a reservoir in hetch hetchy valley. It wasnt until the 1920s when all of its natural beauty was stripped away. In 19, after more than a decade of debate, congress passed the raker act approving the dam. The main dam was built in two phases, initially built to a height of 226 feet in 1923. John muir 18381914 was the leader of the movement to save the hetch hetchy valley from despoliation at the hands of the city and county of san francisco, which wanted the.
John muir let everyone help to save the famous hetchhetchy. The glacial hetch hetchy valley lies in the northwestern part of yosemite national park and is drained by the tuolumne river. For the first time in american history, a significant national opposition. How did the hetch hetchy project impact native americans. Conservationists and the battles to keep dams out of.
Two recent books testify to hetch hetchys ongoing importance as a touchstone of the modern environmental movement. The real questions are what will be done with the dam materials once the dam is destroyed, and are environmental benefits attainable. Techniques also exist to remove the material once the dam has been destroyed. Books, film and music the proposal to dam hetch hetchy valley in yosemite national park created unprecedented controversy and provoked editorials in opposition from more than 200 newspapers across the country.
Following a fierce nationwide debate led by john muir and will colby of the sierra club, the city of san francisco was authorized by the u. Appeals court rejects effort to tear down yosemites hetch hetchy. Hetch hetchy hetch hetchy hetch hetchy just another. The city desperately needed water and power, and yosemites hetch hetchy valley, where two steep granite walls met in a narrow v, was perfect for anchoring a dam. Unlike hetch hetchy, however, the park protectors won, establishing the policy that national parks were and are inviolate to industrial, exploiti ve uses.
Other articles where hetch hetchy reservoir is discussed. Subject headings bulldozerscaliforniahetch hetchy valley19301940. Dam water, power, politics, and preservation in hetch. Then, on that fateful day in december of 19, when the prodam planets were aligned and political gamesmanship favored san franciscos bid for the tuolumne, all was lost. Hetch hetchy quotes rausser college of natural resources. In the spring, yosemite national park visitors flock to see thundering waterfalls and flashy wildflowersan easy score in yosemite valley. Also in 2004, a newspaper series by tom philp for the sacramento bee detailed the recent hetch hetchy debate, pushed for decisions on hetch hetchy to be.
After a hike, a microbrew might hit the spot, so drive nine miles from the trail to evergreen lodge. Rosekrans said that with some additional upgrades the rest of the hetch hetchy system, which includes 8 other reservoirs, could handle the water currently stored behind oshaughnessy dam. Spend the night so you can roast smores under the stars at the. The problem with a lot of books written about hetch hetchy is that they leave out the original native americans of hetch hetchy valley. Hetch hetchy is known for its spectacular beauty similar to its sister counterpart yosemite. Apr 16, 2017 hetch hetchy is an iconic, rare and spectacular landscape, hetch hetchy is part of yosemite national park and its damming and flooding is by far the worst destruction of our national parks have ever experienced. Water, power, politics, and preservation in hetch hetchy and yosemite national park book. The trump administration is reassigning yosemite supt. How hetch hetchy valleys natural beauty was sacrificed to quench. Today, the reservoir in hetch hetchy valley supplies about 85% of the public water to san francisco and its suburbs in san mateo, alameda and santa clara counties.
It was the first time the young national park system had been so violated. Robert righter, a history professor at southern methodist university, chronicles the damming of the hetch hetchy valley in yosemite national. After years of debate, oshaughnessy dam opened in 1923, holding back the tuolumne river and flooding hetch hetch valley, a sierra gem. For thousands of years before the arrival of settlers from the united states in the 1850s, the valley was inhabited by native americans who practiced. Why hetch hetchy is staying under water under water high. For the first time in american history, a significant national opposition arose to defend and. Summary photograph shows a birdseye view of the oshaughnessy dam at the hetch hetchy reservoir in tuolumne county, california. It is currently completely flooded by oshaughnessy dam, forming the hetch hetchy reservoir. Before the dam hetch hetchy after before environmental problems flooding in large areas of land means that the natural environment is destroyed causes serious geological damage dams have been known to be breached dams built blocking the process of a river in one country usually. Its mayor, james phelan, pressed for the damming of the tuolumne river in the newly created yosemite national park, setting off a firestorm of protest. The government of the united states works hand in hand just to preserve the natural resources at hetch hetchy dam. During 19th century, the hetch hetchy dam was being inhabited by the native americans who usually practiced the so called huntinggathering. The dam and reservoir are the source for the hetch hetchy.
This little warm up really gets students to think about their own environmental world view. The main and largest, oshaughnessy dam named after the project manager michael oshaughnessy and hetch hetchy reservoir are located in the hetch hetchy valley. The battle went on for over a decade over whether or not to have a dam. It is both a wellargued history and a beautifullywritten testimony of hubris and loss, even possible redemption. This valley was once a natural site that many people enjoyed to visit. For thousands of years before the arrival of settlers from the united states in the 1850s, the valley was inhabited.
The hetch hetchy dam is the name of a popular reservoir and water system in the state of california. Carl nolte, hetch hetchy at 60 is still causing controversy, san francisco chronicle, october 27, 19994, ppl. Located more than 900 metres 3,000 feet above sea level, the hetch hetchy site offered a good storage location in the sierra nevada for water that could be delivered without pumping to san. The battle over hetch hetchy is something beyond merely the best book anyone has ever written on confluence of canyon, dam, and city that so shaped the story of the modern american west. This is the full text of the pamphlet let everyone help to save the famous hetchhetchy valley and stop the commercial destruction which threatens our national parks. In 1908, san francisco voters approved building a dam at hetch hetchy. Congress, in the raker act of 19, to construct a dam and reservoir on the tuolumne river in hetch hetchy valley in yosemite national park. Between 1908 and 19, congress debated whether to make a water resource available or preserve a wilderness when the growing city of san francisco, california proposed building a dam in the hetch hetchy valley to provide a steady water supply. Mike reynolds amid controversial proposals for increasing recreation and tourism in the park. Located more than 900 metres 3,000 feet above sea level, the hetch hetchy site offered a good storage location in the sierra nevada for water that could be delivered without pumping to san francisco via an aqueduct nearly. Sep 29, 2012 the group restore hetch hetchy, the sierra club and other supporters of draining the reservoir say most of its 360,000 acrefeet of water storage can be replaced through more water conservation. Undoing a great american mistake in the 1920s the thirsty city of san francisco reached deep into yosemite national park to build the oshaughnessy dam on the tuolumne river, diverting onethird of the rivers water and flooding the hetch hetchy valley, said at the time to be as magnificent as yosemite valley itself. Moreover, the stated term is typically located in northwestern part of the national park of yosemite.525 865 420 326 1520 1334 920 1566 1319 262 1142 369 117 1418 1005 503 427 311 1365 1046 829 336 896 943 604 1160 1200 1046 236 1228 491 1391 338 373 858 376