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Slow down and spend the day at Tenaya Lake a beautiful and easy-to-get-to alpine lake cupped by granite domes. Everyone who drinks water or takes a shower in San Francisco should go. If youre up for a driving adventure, try taking a little extra time to retrace parts of the route John Muir described in his book, My First Summer in the Sierra. [12] During the last glacial period, the Tioga Glacier[13] formed from extensive icefields in the upper Tuolumne River watershed; between 110,000 and 10,000 years ago Hetch Hetchy Valley was sculpted into its present shape by repeated advance and retreat of the ice, which also removed extensive talus deposits that may have accumulated in the valley since the Sherwin period. Hetch Hetchy and many others were built by . This is why environmental impact statements, which were not required prior to 1969, are so important today. They acknowledge that a concerted effort would have to be made to control the introduction of wildlife and tourism back into the valley in order to prevent destabilization of the ecosystem,[68] and that it might be decades or even centuries before the valley could be returned to natural conditions. [64] Peter Byrne of SF Weekly has stated that "the plain language of the Raker Act itself and experts who are familiar with the act (and have no stake in city politics) all agree: The city of San Francisco is not in violation of the Raker Act. In terms of quality, Hetch Hetchy water is so pristine that it is one of only a handful of water supplies in the country that doesnt need to be filtered, a process that is expensive and energy intensive. The valley provided an escape from the summer heat of the lowlands. It marks the first catchment in a 160-mile long water system that brings high quality, superb-tasting water to 2.6 million residents of the Bay Area every day. The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir itself store 85% of the City's overall drinking water supply, the remaining 15% is stored in the system's 5 other reservoirs. Annie Li, a senior engineer at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, points to the yellow and brown squiggly lines on the map, revealing our water's path from Hetch Hetchy to the Bay Area. The Tuolumne River continues through Tuolumne Meadows and the associated park developments at an elevation of 8,600 feet. As a result, San Francisco secured a reliable and . On this point we hold that while we are willing to die for the lives or the health of the citizens of San Francisco, we are not willing to die for their pockets. They also remove water needed for healthy in-stream ecosystems. Another popular trail crosses the OShaughnessy Dam and then takes a left turn to climb steeply out of the Hetch Hetchy valley. An adjacent building contains another five suites with vaulted ceilings, forest views and soaking tubs. [74] A 2019 study commissioned by Restore Hetch Hetchy argued that draining the reservoir and equipping the valley with a tourism infrastructure comparable to that of Yosemite Valley (which receives around 100 times as many visitors annually as Hetch Hetchy's 44,000) could result in a "recreational value" of up to $178 million per year, or possibly an overall economic value of up to $100 billion. So the idea of planning for new water supplies need not be on the ballot. . California O Shaughnessy Dam Analysis 1428 Words | 6 Pages. [67], Preservation groups including the Sierra Club and Restore Hetch Hetchy state that draining Hetch Hetchy would open the valley back up to recreation, a right that should be provided to the American people because the reservoir is within the legal boundaries of a national park. It's dumb, dumb, dumb. At the time, neither side understood the long-range consequences of human actions to manage the environment. [82] Dianne Feinstein opposed this allocation, saying, "I will do all I can to make sure it isn't included in the final bill. Even in the summer when Yosemite Valley is being explored by visitors from around the world, Hetch Hetchy remains an oasis of relative calm. Eighty-five percent of the water comes from Sierra Nevada snowmelt stored in the Hetch Hetchy reservoir situated on the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park. Even before it was finished, the massive . We can't help it either. On returning home, he asked an Indian chief the name of the valley. Those who presumed to speak for wealth, much of which flowed to San Francisco, believed they were transforming a pioneer land into a settled, civilized one. As the Hetch Hetchy Valley was part of Yosemite National Park, Hitchcock preferred to protect the parks natural wonders. People have died after being swept off the bridge and onto the rocks below. He discovered it a few of years later. If youre excited about a long hike or backpacking trip, you can continue to Laurel Lake for a 14.2-mile (22.9 km) out and back. The Hetch Hetchy Dam in the Yosemite Valley, receives the bulk of it's water from the sierra snow pack miles above the reservoir. The dam and reservoir, combined with a series of aqueducts, tunnels, and hydroelectric plants as well as eight other storage dams, comprise a system known as the Hetch Hetchy Project, which provides 80% of the water supply for 2.6 million people. Sign up for the email list and join an active community of monthly readers. San Francisco applied to the United States Department of the Interior to gain water rights to Hetch Hetchy, and in 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior, James R. Garfield, granted San Francisco the rights to development of the Tuolumne River. Some years later, water began flowing to San Francisco. The city must pay a lease of $30,000 per year for the use of Hetch Hetchy, which sits on federal land. The most prominent preservationist spokesman was John Muir.. The maximum that the city has put away is 570,000 acre-feet of water. Congress has set aside the Yosemite Valley as a state park in 1864, established a national park around it in 1890, and then reclaimed the valley as part of the national park in 1903. The watershed is also strictly protected, so swimming and boating are prohibited at the reservoir (although fishing is permitted at the reservoir and in the rivers which feed it),[60] a measure which is considered unusual for US lakes outside the region. There are thousands of dams in the United States. [69], In 1987, the idea of razing the O'Shaughnessy Dam gained an adherent in Don Hodel, Secretary of the Department of the Interior under President Ronald Reagan. As the grazing of livestock damaged native plants in the Hetch Hetchy Valley, mountaineer and naturalist John Muir pressed for the protection of both valleys under a single national park. John Muir knew that without public support, the Hetch Hetchy Valley would be lost. Albright, along with Stephen Mather, became instrumental players in the creation of a national park system three years after Congress decided the issue of Hetch Hetchy. Muir and other defenders of Hetch Hetchy believe the fight revolved around two central issues. To begin the trail, cross the dam and pass through the tunnel. To get the electricity they would need, they first built a smaller dam at Lake Eleanor. If you love that insider feeling of discovering an often-overlooked gem, plan a stop at Buck Meadows on your way to or from Hetch Hetchy. The O'Shaughnessy Dam was completed in 1923 and, after the . Appreciate what nature created and what the city built there long ago. The reservoir is fed by the Tuolumne River. Loss of the reservoir would decrease the Bay Areas water and energy security, requiring new water storage (possibly in reservoirs not owned by San Francisco) and the development of new water and energy supplies. [50] The removal of the dam would be extremely costly, at least $310 billion,[76] and the transport of the demolished material away from the dam site along the narrow, winding Hetch Hetchy Road would be a logistical nightmare with possible environmental impacts. Browers Hetch Hetchy: Undoing A Great American Mistake, makes a compelling case for restoring the valley to its previous glory. GROVELAND,CA San Francisco may be required to pay more rent to the federal government for water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir or even tear down the O'Shaughnessy Dam. These clean and comfortable rooms also enjoy access to the pool, spa and other facilities at Yosemite Westgate Lodge. Hetch Hetchy, unlike other water storage facilities in California, is relatively buffered from near-term climate change because of its high elevation. The U.S. Congress passed and President Woodrow Wilson signed the Raker Act in 1913, which permitted the flooding of the valley under the conditions that power and water derived from the river could only be used for public interests. The chief replied, There is no valley. The reservoir is eight miles long and the largest single body of water in Yosemite. Most people turn around here anyway. In the sum of American economic expansion the intrusion might have seemed a minor, obscure matter, but to [John] Muir immense issues were involved: why had the nation preserved that pure wildness in the first place? OShaughnessy Dam and the waterworks that connect it to the Bay Area are a marvel of engineering. An anthropocentrist would agree with building the dam in the park without taking into consideration what the dam would do to the already existing ecosystem due to not caring about the established animals and plants. The other route begins at the entrance station and is 16 miles round-trip with 3,300 feet of elevation gain. The water is transported from the reservoir by the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct which is made up of 170 miles of gravity-driven pipelines, dams, and other reservoirs. [73] Furthermore, the removal of O'Shaughnessy Dam would not require costly sediment control measures, as would be typical on most dam removal projects, because of the high quality of the Tuolumne River water in the first 90 years since its construction, only around 2in (5.1cm) of sediment had been deposited in Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, much less than most other dams. Hetch Hetchy and Yosemite Valley are so similar because they were created by the same sequences of geological activity. Each switchback reveals scenic overlooks of the reservoir and Kolana Rock. In 2007, in approving the environmental impact report for the Water System Improvement Program an investment of more than $4 billion to shore up the seismic reliability of the Hetch Hetchy water system the SFPUC gave itself, and its wholesale customers on the peninsula, ten years to develop a plan that would identify reliable alternative sources of water to meet the regions future growth in demand, rather than diverting more water from the Tuolumne River. [21] Miwok names are still used for features, including Tueeulala Fall, Wapama Fall, and Kolana Rock. [8] Rancheria Falls is located farther southeast, on Rancheria Creek. For example, plan to stop at the Lucky Buck Cafe on your way to or from a day of exploring Yosemite. As surely as forests provided timber, so did they provide beauty, inspiration, and the renewal of over-citified spirits. In the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park you can find the Hetch Hetchy Valley. So visit Hetch Hetchy. Residents drink it in 26 cities and water districts from San. Richard Ballinger was a conservative who was one of the main characters who was responsible for the progressive-conservative split in the GOP in 1912 (leading to the creation of the Bull Moose party), which is the factor that determined the GOP would be on the right side of the political spectrum (and therefore ensuring the Democrats would be on the left side of the spectrum). If youre especially in the mood to relax and let yourself be taken care of, The Blackberry Inn is a luxury bed and breakfast situated on 36 acres and surrounded by National Forest land. There is no Starbucks here no daily parade of tour buses and RVs. Teams completed the OShaughnessy Dam in 1923 and the reservoir filled for the first time in May of that year. Gravel, logs, and other important food and habitat features can become trapped. Download the official NPS app before your next visit. It has not been demonstrated that Hetch Hetchy is the only available source, but only that it might be the cheapest. Stand on OShaughnessy Dam and feel the cool updraft. It is spectacular: a miles-long placid blue lake nested within towering granite cliffs, from which waterfalls cascade. In some cases, however, including the Klamath and Hetch Hetchy, the benefits of restoration clearly outweigh the benefits provided by the dams. Dianne Feinstein, the mayor of San Francisco at the time, said in a Los Angeles Times story in 1987: "All this is for an expanded campground? Enjoy elegant touches like wrap-around porches, and fresh-baked cookies served daily. Being one of the biggest hydroelectric facilities in the United States and a National Landmark, Hoover Dam generates power to serve more than 1.3 million people. The openings in the Taft administration led to the eventual success of the Raker Act. They would light upon a man's blue shirt and turn it brown, and were voracious as mosquitoes would be. Finally, with the railroad complete, teams broke ground on the OShaughnessy Dam on August 1, 1919. [77][78], The economic wisdom of removing the dam has been frequently questioned. And it is the largest single source of water supply for the Bay Area. The surface of the water hides an additional 300 feet of granite cliffs and once-upon-a-time waterfalls within its depths. Without Hetch Hetchy as its primary reservoir, San Francisco will be forced to pump and filter its water for the first time in a century, and lose out on the 726 million kilowatt-hours produced by . Hetch Hetchy is the incredible story of Americas most controversial dam and the birth of the environmental movement. The Hetch Hetchy Road drops into the valley at the dam, but all points east of there are roadless, and accessible only to hikers and equestrians. For thousands of years, Native Americans subjected the valley to controlled bushfires, which prevented forest from taking over the valley meadows. [20] They hunted, and gathered seeds and edible plants to furnish themselves winter food, trade items, and materials for art and ceremonial objects. As a 13.4-mile (21.4 km) round-trip hike, Rancheria Falls gets fewer day-hikers than Wapama Falls but is a popular backpacking stop. Related. The SFPUC tests its quality more than 100,000 times a year to ensure that it exceeds all safe drinking water standards. Its a a wonderful place to see spring waterfalls and wildflower displays. Construction of O'Shaughnessy Dam began in 1919 and was finished in 1923, with the reservoir first filling in May of that year. But the ultra-liberal President Woodrow Wilson signed off in 1913 on the multi-decade construction of a series of dams within Yosemite National Park that flooded Hetch Hetchy Valley to create a massive reservoir, hydroelectric plants, and a 167-mile aqueduct for the sole benefit of the City of San Francisco. Wapama Fall is reached via a five-mile, round-trip hike that follows the shoreline of the reservoir with moderate up and downhill hiking. This 1910 view shows Kolana Rock and Tueeulala Falls in the background. You may take easy hike to Wapama falls ( around 6 miles) or even more challenging hike to Rancheria falls ( around 14 miles). Start by hiking across the OShaughnessy Dam then turn east along the shore of the reservoir. It pitted Gifford Pinchot, Americas first forester, against John Muir, Americas legendary conservationist. 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.S. Congress, in the Raker Act of 1913, to construct a dam and reservoir on the Tuolumne River in Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. It is definitely worth to visit Hetch Hetchy area especially in 2021 when main Yosemite area requires booking permits in advance. If the dam were not to be built, it would only benefit the small percentage of Americans who actually visited the site and were concerned about the park's pristine condition. By Posted student houses falmouth 2021 In jw marriott panama concierge lounge In terms of quality, Hetch Hetchy water is so pristine that it is one of only a handful of water supplies in the country that doesn't need to be filtered, a process that is expensive and energy intensive. Healthy fish populations - by releasing sufficient instream flows for spawning and rearing downstream - sometimes to mitigate for the loss of spawning habitat caused by their construction, and The SFPUC tests its quality more than 100,000 times a year to ensure that it exceeds all safe drinking water standards. [2] The dam and reservoir are the centerpiece of the Hetch Hetchy Project, which in 1934 began to deliver water 167 miles (269km) west to San Francisco and its client municipalities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Said San Francisco resident William Denman in 1918, "The first time I went into the Hetch Hetchy the mosquitoes were intolerable. And, as you might imagine, it produces some of the cleanest municipal water in the United States. Park entry (as needed). Mirror Lakes famous spring-time reflections capture the eye and mind. Water could be diverted into the Kirkwood and Moccasin Powerhouses using lower-impact diversion dams, providing power generation on a seasonal basis, and the enlarged height at Don Pedro would also increase power generation there. Plus, they needed a way to bring supplies and workers into the mountains. While the debate goes on, Hetch Hetchy remains a relaxing and often-overlooked corner of the park - much to the delight of hikers and backpackers who prefer less touristy experiences. In 2019, Restore Hetch Hetchy commissioned another study that found enormous recreational value from removing the dam. [35] Muir, who himself had briefly worked as a shepherd in Hetch Hetchy, was known for calling sheep "hoofed locusts" because of their environmental impact. [84] Karin Klein has described Yosemite Valley as "so crammed that it looks more like a ripstop ghetto than the site of a nature experience. The glacially-carved U-shaped valley floor maximizes the amount of water stored in the reservoir. The Hetch Hetchy Road drops into the valley at the dam, but all points east of there are roadless, and accessible only to hikers and equestrians. [41], In 1906, after a major earthquake and subsequent fire that devastated San Francisco, the inadequacy of the city's water system was made tragically clear. High temperatures prevail in summer months, but that is a small price to pay for the reward of vast wilderness filled with stunning peaks, hidden canyons, and remote lakes. There, he met the same Indian chief and his wives. The proposed study would also have been required to identify potential replacements for the water storage capacity and hydroelectric power production.[87][88]. Hetch Hetchy is on the main stem of the Tuolumne River and is part of the Tuolumne watershed. Hetch Hetchy Valley is a treasure worth visiting. John Muir once described Hetch Hetchy Valley as, a grand landscape garden, one of Natures rarest and most precious mountain temples.. Bierstadt described the valley as "smaller than the more famous valley but it presents many of the same features in his scenery and is quite as beautiful. As in Yosemite, the sublime rocks of its walls seem to glow with life . . For John Muir, it was about preserving a natural wonder which could be enjoyed by generations to come. . From the turn-off, the road winds for 16.5 miles up the old Hetch Hetchy railroad grade (26.5 km) to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, passing many lonely trails along the way. Including additions made between 1934 and 1938, the dam currently stands 430 feet (131 m) above the bedrock below. OPTION 3Give control to the local people of Hetch Hetchy Us too! Then it travels through a series of mountain tunnels. Other trails also continue to Lake Vernon. The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir created by the dam has a capacity of 360,400acreft (0.4445km3), with a maximum area of 1,972 acres (798ha) and a maximum depth of 306 feet (93m). Dams, including this one, dont last forever, and perhaps in a few generations the conversation about a different future for the Hetch Hetchy Valley may be worthwhile. Slow-moving reservoirs heat up, resulting in abnormal temperature fluctuations which can affect sensitive species. Glaciers followed these low-points, leaving their own marks in particular carving out the characteristic U-shaped valley with steep sides and wide floor. the Hetch Hetchy Dam (1910-13) Abstract The damming of Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite National Park is a watershed event in environmental history, a presumed travesty that brought anguish to John Muir and his many sup porters throughout the United States. [42] They claimed the valley was not unique and would be even more beautiful with a lake. Photo: Chris Migeon. A national debate ensued between the preservationist and conservationist factions of the young environmental movement. [5] Chief Tenaya of the Yosemite Valley's Ahwaneechee tribe claimed that Hetch Hetchy was Miwok for "Valley of the Two Trees", referring to a pair of yellow pines that once stood at the head of Hetch Hetchy. Winter weather conditions may cause road closures. The Hetch Hetchy Valley was within Yosemite National Park and protected by the federal government, leaving it up to Congress to decide the valley's fate. [40] The city would repeatedly try to acquire water rights to Hetch Hetchy, including in 1901, 1903 and 1905, but was continually rebuffed because of conflicts with irrigation districts that had senior water rights on the Tuolumne River, and because of the valley's national park status. They suggest that draining the reservoir and turning Hetch Hetchy Valley into a tourist center similar to Yosemite Valley could be worth up to $178 million per year. Would there be any room in an acquisitive society for wildness, or for non material spiritual values?. The restoration of Hetch Hetchy would be a simple task compared to some dam removal efforts. A bigger population will increase demand, meanwhile climate change could significantly reduce supply through drought and hydrological cycle changes. He was opposed by then Mayor Diane Feinstein who argued that the dam was San Franciscans birthright. Principally, dam removal on the Klamath will require annual replacement of 696 gigawatt hours of electricity by other means. . "[34], When Yosemite Valley became part of a state park in 1864, Hetch Hetchy received no such designation. The water winds between granite features like Kolana Rock and Hetch Hetchy Dome. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson appointed Lane his Secretary of the Interior. can you smoke on royal caribbean cruise ships benefits of hetch hetchy dam. [42] This provoked a seven-year environmental struggle with the environmental group Sierra Club, led by John Muir. The dam was then 227 feet (69m) high; its present height of 312 feet (95m) was achieved only later, in 1938. Would that be an improvement? The Hetch Hetchy dam would still be as naturally beautiful as it was before when it was preserved, and along with that, the construction of the dam will benefit the greatest number of. This was likely because of Hetch Hetchy's narrow outlet, which in years of heavy snowmelt created a bottleneck in the Tuolumne River and the subsequent flooding of the valley floor. Second, the sanctity of the national parks which they believed should not be violated. Photo: Theresa Ho, Of course, the proposal was immediately opposed by environmentalists including the Sierra Club and John Muir. Yet environmentalists have dreamed of restoring the dramatic valley along the Tuolumne River, which was filled in by the lake when the dam was built in 1938 under the New Deal. The construction of the Hetch Hetchy Railroad took place from 1915 to 1918. Photo: Kim Lawson. San Francisco applied once again for rights to Hetch Hetchy in 1908. The O'Shaughnessy Dam is near Yosemite's western boundary, but the long, narrow, fingerlike reservoir stretches eastward for about 8 miles (13km). "[81] Hodel, now retired, is still[when?] She says the water first leaves Hetch Hetchy through the O'Shaughnessy Dam. This can be very disorienting to fish and disrupt their migrations as they depend on steady streams and flows to guide them. William Howard Taft became president in 1909. This is a place considered by John Muir to be equal in beauty to Yose. San Francisco had its eyes on this water source early on and repeatedly tried to acquire water rights to the Tuolumne River. [37][38] However, ranchers who had previously owned land in the new park continued their use of Hetch Hetchy Valley a "sheep-grazing free-for-all [that] threatened to denude the High Sierra meadows"[37] before disputes over state and private properties in respect to national park boundaries were finally settled in the early 1900s. It would be almost impossible to build a new dam there today. [9] Formerly, a "small but noisy"[10] waterfall and natural pool existed on the Tuolumne River marked the upper entrance to Hetch Hetchy Valley,[11] informally known as Tuolumne Fall (not to be confused with a similarly named waterfall several miles upriver near Tuolumne Meadows). [citation needed], The Hetch Hetchy Valley began as a V-shaped river canyon cut out by the ancestral Tuolumne River. Restore Hetch Hetchy and the Environmental Defense Funds own studies support a lower cost estimate, ranging from $1 billion to $2 billion. In the distance, long white plumes of water cascade hundreds of feet down from rocky heights. When changes are made there are unintended consequences. In the 19th century, the first white visitors to the valley did not realize that Hetch Hetchy's extensive meadows were the product of millennia of management by Native Americans; instead they believed "the valley was purely a product of ancient geological forces (or divine intervention) this was fundamental to its allure as a destination and subject. (In fact partially because it is so difficult and destructive to build large dams, we are running out of new supplies of water in California.)

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benefits of hetch hetchy dam

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