Camp Mather matters
RHH has said that they are not done with their fight. They bankrolled the signature gathering that got Prop F "Sustainability" on the ballot. By playing to SF'ers do-gooder green character, and keeping their true goal of draining Hetch Hetchy hidden, they got folks to sign their petition. Heck, I signed the thing. Who doesn't want more efficient water use? Turns out most of the SF population would like to keep their source of clean water and energy - and their dam.

What is next? Who knows what the RHH financial situation is? Hopefully they will go home and leave the issue alone.

Besides a notoriously non-green senate candidate, did they have any popular support? Sierra Club is not in their corner, and considers the possibility of the dam's destruction  to be a very problematic situation. 

RHH has raised the hackles of green-centric folks around the state and country who are not familiar with the situation. Having no real solutions and lots of press releases on what should be done (whether or not it is feasible), they have scared up a following among environmentally minded folks, especially those  outside of SF and the Penninsula who don't depend on the clean water and hydroelectricity provided by our *historic dam. 

With the country suffering the effects of extreme drought, do we want to destroy the dependable source of drinkable water that we share with other parts of the state? Surely that way lies madness.

Discussing access to HH and its fabled loveliness, it's important to consider the fate of its sister attraction, Yosemite Valley. Choked with cars and visitors in the summer, Yosemite has been known to have hazardous air warnings as the trapped exhaust of thousands of vehicles hovers in the valley. As HH is now, it is available to anyone, and the trails are open to those who cherish the wild character of the mountains more than the asphalt, snack stands and souvenir hawkers of Yosemite.

And - the question needs to be asked: "Who benefits and how?" If the prop had passed, we would look at the entities would split the $8mil for the  study. If RHH intends to go forward, who would profit from the eventual destruction of the O'Shaughnessy Dam? 
  • The companies that would tear down and process the dam
  • The communities whose riparian rights would suddenly make it possible to take waters that had previously gone directly from the mountains to the Bay Area
  • The companies with solutions to replace the lost potable water for SF and the Penninsula (including energy-intensive desalinization plants that destroy marine life with the increased concentrated salts released from those plants)
  • The companies who would step in to replace the lost clean hydroelctric power
  • The cost of water and power would go up - who would pocket those funds?
  • The companies who would tame the valley with roads and commercial establishments

So - what is next? Hopefully RHH will go home and leave the issue alone. Leave the valley alone, leave our water alone, leave our hydroelectric alone.

They are a smart bunch, hopefully they can find a new capital project with green overtones to throw their weight behind.

Mather Matters
11/23/2012 05:48:00 am

I have been corrected. And there is more info from Wikipedia:

Muir...lobbied Congress for the Act that created Yosemite National Park on October 1, 1890.[39] The State of California, however, retained control of Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove. Muir also helped persuade local officials to virtually eliminate grazing from the Yosemite high country.

The newly created national park came under the jurisdiction of the United States Army's Fourth Cavalry Regiment on May 19, 1891, which set up camp in Wawona.[39] By the late 1890s, sheep grazing was no longer a problem, and the Army made many other improvements. The Cavalry could not intervene to help the worsening condition of Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove....

Muir and his Sierra Club continued to lobby the government and influential people for the creation of a unified Yosemite National Park. In May 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt camped with Muir near Glacier Point for three days. On that trip, Muir convinced Roosevelt to take control of Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove away from California and return it to the federal government. In 1906, Roosevelt signed a bill that did that.

The National Park Service was formed in 1916, and Yosemite was transferred to that agency's jurisdiction. Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, Tioga Pass Road, and campgrounds at Tenaya and Merced lakes were also completed in 1916.

So there you have it - and more is available on Wikipedia!


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