Fall 2018 Newsletter and a few updates

Restore Hetch Hetchy Fall 2018 Newsletter

and a few updates

In addition to email communications such as this, Restore Hetch Hetchy normally publishes a printed newsletter twice a year. Our Fall 2018 edition should be delivered to mailboxes soon, and is also available online. If you'd like a hard copy and don't receive one soon, let us know.

There is always a bit of a lag between the time we send material to our graphic artist (Ron Rick), who designs the newsletter and, after approval, forwards it to AD-Vantage Marketing for printing and mailing. As a result, some of the news is not as "new" as it might be. This fall interim developments have been more significant than usual, so brief update is provided below.

Legal Activities:

The Newsletter states that the United States Supreme Court is our only remaining legal option for pursuing the "unreasonable method of diversion" strategy. This is not exactly true. Restore Hetch Hetchy is evaluating several options, most of which are not mutually exclusive.

Prudence suggests it would be premature to say more at this time. Stay tuned.

Bay-Delta Plan:

The Bay-Delta Plan has the potential to affect San Francisco's water system far more than restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. Developments have come fast and furious over the last few weeks. A complete rendition would require, like a Russian novel, several pages just to list the characters. In short:

·     The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in support of the plan, after negotiating language with the City's Public Utilities Commission.

·     The Public Utilities Commission had second thoughts and asked Mayor London Breed to veto the resolution. She did.

·     On the eve of the State Water Board's scheduled vote, Governor Brown and Governor-elect Newsom wrote the Board, asking it to delay a vote so opposing sides would have more time to negotiate. State Officials testified no further delay would be requested.

·     The Board voted 3-0, with 2 abstentions, to delay a vote until December 12.


The State Water Resources Control Board. From left, Joaquin Esquivel, Dorene D'Adamo, Felicia Marcus, Tam Doduc, Steve Moore.

Moore and Doduc abstained from the vote to extend the process another month. The meeting was Moore's last, and only 4 members are expected to be present for a December 12 vote.



Secretary Zinke:

Numerous stories have been circulating in the media about the future of Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke - that his conduct is being investigated for ethics violations, that he may leave his post by the end of the year, that he may go to work for Fox News, even that he may be appointed Ambassador to the United Nations.

We didn't change the story on our meeting with Secretary Zinke for several reasons. First, our story is limited to our interaction with the Secretary (and other Interior officials). Second, we aren't in a position to speculate on what is going to happen. And perhaps most importantly, our meeting has opened the doors to working with other staff at Interior - people who also understand that the damming of Hetch Hetchy was the most destructive event ever in the history of our national parks.

Finally, some have criticized Restore Hetch Hetchy for meeting with the Secretary as they are unhappy with his conservation record. We'd rather be working with San Francisco, but the City does not seem to think its occupation of a glacial carved valley in Yosemite that once belonged to all Americans is a problem. We will engage with anybody, as long as it's in good faith and restoring Hetch Hetchy does not result in destruction elsewhere. Our meeting with the Secretary and subsequent discussions with Interior have all met that standard.

2019 Annual Dinner:

No change here - please join us in Berkeley on April 13, 2019.