The Huffington Post - Barbara Mossberg:
John Muir and Hetch Hetchy
Fans of John Muir often remember that he died on Christmas Eve in 1914 - just about a year after Congress passed the Raker Act, allowing San Francisco to dam and flood Yosemite National Park's Hetch Hetchy Valley.
Barbara Mossberg, Professor of Practice, Clark Honors College, University of Oregon, and former Director, Integrated Studies, CSUMB; President Emerita Goddard College
The ever-eloquent Barbara Mossberg is one such fan of Muir. She took the occasion of the 101st anniversary of his death to author a column for the Huffington Post: The Light at the End -- and Beginning -- of John Muir's Journey. It is worth reading.
Mossberg reflects on the irony or the synergy (or perhaps both) of Muir's death at the end of the year in southern California - a time and place where crowds from across the country gather for the Rose Bowl and Parade.
Mossberg also suggests that Muir died happily - being surrounded by pages of a manuscript he was writing about his travels in Alaska. She notes, however, that it was probably not a coincidence that Muir had fallen ill and was hospitalized on December 19, 1914 - exactly one year after President Wilson signed the Raker Act.
Full disclosure: Professor Mossberg is a former board member of Restore Hetch Hetchy. She writes: "Hetch Hetchy as I write this is now entombed underwater, as a reservoir subsidizing San Francisco's water and power -- yep, right in a national park, a damming deed of Congress and Presidents signing into law December 19, 1913, an act that so shocked Muir that his health went into decline."
Mossberg is correct that we have much to do to create and uphold Muir's vision of an earthly paradise. For many of us, restoring Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley is an important task in the ongoing challenge of protecting our natural world while we sustain our population and grow our economies.
Leaders in San Francisco do not share this vision, so we have been forced to take legal action. 2016 will be an important year for Restore Hetch Hetchy with significant activity centered around the Tuolumne County Courthouse.
As you may know, our board challenge runs through January 31, 2016. If you missed the opportunity to contribute at the end of 2015, you should know that all contributions up to $60,000 will be matched dollar-for-dollar though the end of this month.
May 2016 be a glorious and prosperous year for you and your family,