Appellate Court Rules in Favor of San Francisco
Restore Hetch Hetchy to Ask California Supreme Court for Review
California's Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled on July 10 that San Francisco's use of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park as a reservoir need not comply with the California Constitution's requirement that the "method of diversion" be reasonable.
In other words, we lost.
Two articles about the ruling are posted online - one in the San Francisco Chronicle and one at Courthouse News.
We continue to believe that Congress' intent was clear that State law would prevail in the event of a conflict. It is unfortunate that the court ignored our evidence to that effect in its ruling. Our press release is posted online.
Hetch Hetchy is one of nine reservoirs which store water for San Francisco. By investing in system improvements, the City can restore Hetch Hetchy Valley without losing a drop of water supply.
We will ask the California Supreme Court to review the Appellate Court's ruling. I'll report further on the next steps in our legal campaign after I have had a chance to caucus with our attorneys.
We are disappointed but undaunted. In addition to pursuing our legal campaign, we continue to work with interested parties in the political arena and engage new supporters through public outreach, including our Pledge to Walk the Valley Campaign.
The damming of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite remains the greatest destruction ever allowed in any of America's national parks and San Francisco is in many respects an environmentally progressive city. It is time to undo the damage at Hetch Hetchy and make Yosemite whole again.