Michael A. Stecker

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Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy in Spring
Other Yosemite Page
Yosemite in Winter

Slide Show
Yosemite National Park


Hetch Hetchy
About twenty miles northwest of the Yosemite Valley is the remnant of a similar but smaller valley known as the Hetch Hetchy (from Miwok: "grass-seed valley" or "acorn valley"). Before 1914 the waters of the Tuolumne River raced through the valley floor and like Yosemite waterfalls cascaded over magnificent granite cliffs. However, the people of San Francisco needed water and petitioned to build a dam that would flood the valley offering them a reservoir. When a plan for the O'Shaughnessy dam was announced, John Muir and other conservationists objected. Muir said that the flooding of the Hetch Hetchy would be like destroying one of nature's great cathedrals. In spite of Muir's objections, Congress in 1913 approved the building of the dam. Muir was greatly saddened when he heard the news. Brokenhearted, he died a few months later. Construction of the dam began in 1914 and was completed within nine years. An aqueduct carrying water from the reservoir to San Francisco was in full operation by 1934. Today the Hetch Hetchy provides San Franciscans with about 85 percent of their water.

Photos of Hetch Hetchy
mouse click on any of the thumbnail images below for an enlargement









Photos of Yosemite in Spring
mouse click on any of the thumbnail images below for an enlargement