The heartbreak of the National Park Service, the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite will continue to flood the great valley. The name is taken from an Indian word for a type of grass in the former valley.
In 1913, President Wilson signed the Raker Act – the only time an outside agency was allowed to encroach in a park. It was, indeed, a “National Park” – but the NPS did not exist – perhaps they could have stopped it.
A judge in the jurisdiction where the dam is, Toulumne (try spelling that blindfolded), ruled that the fat cats in San Francisco need the car-wash water so much, that the Hetch Hetchy will not be drained. Oh how about the nine – yes 9, golf course who need to be regularly watered? Even in the CA drought years…they remain green. I bet poor people don’t play golf.
All of the water could be moved downstream to dams built decades after the O’Shaugnessy Dam climbed over 300 feet above it’s base.The group “Restore Hetch Hetchy” tried to get support, but Judge Seibert, said: no-way, Jose. See their website.
Did you know that Lake Eleanor in the park was also built as part of the Raker deal? While the water distribution is amazing – mostly undreground and gravity-fed unfiltered all the way, it’s a heartbreak that the owners of the park – we the people – cannot enjoy this patch of pristine nature.
And the beat goes on. With our US senator adamant about keeping the dam ($3B to tear it down), we have little hope.
So we hike around Hetch Hetchy. Daydream believers.
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Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Cheer up, sleepy Jean. Oh, what can it mean.
To a daydream believer. – The Monkees
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome