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
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.