Oops! SF TV news confuses Hetch Hetchy and Yosemite Valleys

"I have always called it the Tuolumne Yosemite, for it is a wonderfully exact counterpart of the great Yosemite, not only in its crystal river and sublime rocks and waterfalls, but in the gardens, groves, and meadows of its flower park-like floor.” 

― John Muir, "The Yosemite"


What's wrong with this picture?

KPIX TV news (CBS, Channel 5 in the Bay Area) did a story on the repairs underway in San Francisco's Mountain Tunnel - a critical element of the City's water system. The story needed a little context, so KPIX included a map and a picture of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Except it wasn't a picture of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, or even a real picture. Oops!

It was an image of Yosemite Valley being used as a reservoir, which Grant Poznick created for Restore Hetch Hetchy a few years ago to illustrate the significance of our campaign. We posted Grant's image online with this query:

What is wrong with this picture?

Would we dam the Grand Canyon? Would we install a steam turbine at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park to harness its geothermal energy? Would we clear cut the giant redwoods in Sequoia National Park? The answer to these questions is a resounding "NO!".

Why then, do we permit San Francisco to continue its domination of Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley at the exclusion of the public?

The error is amusing and forgivable. After all even John Muir called Hetch Hetchy a “remarkably exact counterpart” of Yosemite Valley. We thank KPIX for the error.



The Mountain Tunnel is 19 miles long, one of the principal aqueducts for bringing water from the Tuolumne watershed to the Bay Area. Under every scenario Restore Hetch Hetchy has explored, the Mountain Tunnel would still be used when the valley is restored. Note that while this repair work is being completed, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is offline and supplies are delivered to customers from other system reservoirs.