Saturday, January 2, 2010
John Muir and Hetch Hetchy Valley
In 1901, Muir published Our National Parks , the book that brought him to the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1903, Roosevelt visited Muir in Yosemite. There, together, beneath the trees, they laid the foundation of Roosevelt's innovative and notable conservation programs.
Muir and the Sierra Club fought many battles to protect Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, the most dramatic being the campaign to prevent the damming of the Hetch Hetchy Valley within Yosemite National Park. In 1913, after years of effort, the battle was lost and the valley that Muir likened to Yosemite itself was doomed to become a reservoir to supply the water needs of a growing San Francisco..Today San Franciscans still drink the water from Hech Hetchy....Here is one of my favorite Quotes from John Muir " One may as well dam for water tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man."... If you have ever looked upon the Yosemite Valley I am sure you agree..Although only half as long and half as wide, the Hetch Hetchy bears a strong resemblance to the Yosemite in general form as well as in cliff sculpture. Kolana Rock on the right; a cliff resembling El Capitan on the left..