Situated inside Yosemite National Park, the Hetch Hetchy Valley was described by John Muir as “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples.” It was one of the most spectacular landscapes on earth, and it was protected for a reason.
Congress, three short years after allowing Hetch Hetchy to be clear-cut dammed and flooded, realized its mistake. It passed the National Park Service act to ensure that our parks were managed for national interests and not simply local benefit. But the dam at Hetch Hetchy remains as the greatest blemish in any of our national parks.
At Restore Hetch Hetchy, we are deeply dedicated to our objective of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley and making Yosemite National Park once again. To be successful, we have to be aware of the water and power benefits made possible by the existing dam and reservoir. So we take our mission statement seriously:
The mission of Restore Hetch Hetchy is to return the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to its natural splendor ─ while continuing to meet the water and power needs of all communities that depend on the Tuolumne River.
We do not begrudge San Francisco and other Bay Area communities the use of Tuolumne River water. But the water needs to be stored outside Yosemite National Park.
We understand that San Francisco's water system will need certain improvements, and some hydropower will need to be replaced with renewable power. We have done substantial research on these water and power alternatives, but San Francisco appears to need a political or legal imperative to consider these water and power alternatives.
So we are pursuing legal and political opportunities to make San Francisco confront the damage it has done to Yosemite. Please join us. Together we can restore Hetch Hetchy Valley for our children and for generations to come.