Legislator Moves to Drain Hetch Hetchy

Yosemite valley was dammed in the 1920s

Dec 15, 2011
Outside Magazine

California Congressman Dan Lungren asked the Department of the Interior last week to investigate whether Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy reservoir could be drained and restored to its natural state. Lungren, a Republican from Gold River, argues that San Francisco failed to comply with the 1913 Raker Act, which required the city to exhaust local water resources before damming the Hetch Hetchy valley in the 1920s. At the time, John Muir was a staunch opponent of the dam, describing Hetch Hetchy as a "mountain temple." Lungren has cited studies showing that water conservation and recycling would free San Francisco from reliance on Yosemite's water, allowing the park to be restored. "Having another Yosemite Valley in California would be a tremendous thing," Lungren said.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times

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