Hetch Hetchy: A History in Documents
(From the Broadview Sources Series)
  • Publication Date: November 30, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781554814404 / 1554814405
  • 150 pages; 7" x 9"

Ebook will also be available for purchase upon publication.

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Availability: Worldwide

Hetch Hetchy: A History in Documents

(From the Broadview Sources Series)

  • Publication Date: November 30, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781554814404 / 1554814405
  • 150 pages; 7" x 9"

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation approving the construction of the O’Shaughnessy Dam to inundate the Hetch Hetchy Valley inside Yosemite National Park. This decision concluded a decade-long, highly contentious debate over the dam-and-reservoir complex to supply water to post-earthquake San Francisco, a battle that was dramatic, unsettling, and consequential.

Hetch Hetchy: A History in Documents captures the tensions animating the long-running controversy and places them in their historical context. Key to understanding the debate is the prior and violent dispossession of California Indians from the valley they had stewarded for thousands of years. Their removal by the mid-19th century enabled white elite tourism to take over, setting the stage for the subsequent debate for and against the dam in the early 20th century. That debate contained a Faustian bargain. To secure an essential water supply for San Francisco meant the destruction of the valley John Muir and others praised so highly. This contentious situation continues reverberate, as interest groups now battle over whether to tear down the dam and restore the valley. Hetch Hetchy remains a dramatic flash point in American environmental culture.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chronology
Questions to Consider

Part 1: INDIGENOUS GROUNDS

  • Origin Stories
    • 1. How the World Grew
    • 2. Origin of the Mountains
    • 3. The Legend of Tu-Tok-A-Nu’-La
    • 4. The Origins of the Present Floor of the Yosemite Valley
    • 5. The Legend of Tis-se’-yak
    • 6. The Spirits of Po-ho-no
  • Expulsion
    • 7. Extracts from Governor Peter Burnett, “State of the State Address” (1851)
    • 8. Extract from James Mason Hutchings, “The Yo-Ham-i-te Valley,” Hutchings’ California Magazine (1856)
    • 9. Extract from L. H. Bunnell, “How the Yo-semite Valley was Discovered and Named,” Hutchings’ California Magazine (1859)
    • 10. Yosemite Indian Petition to the United States (1891)
    • 11. Extracts from John Muir, The Mountains of California (1894)

Part 2: TOURIST SANCTUARY

  • Image Gallery: Visitors’ Views
  • 12. Extracts from James Mason Hutchings, “The Yo-Ham-i-te Valley,” Hutchings’ California Magazine (1856)
  • 13. Extracts from the Diary of Sarah Haight, “Wedding Party in Yosemite,” (1858)
  • 14. The Yosemite Grant Act of 1864
  • 15. Extract from Frederick Law Olmsted, Preliminary Report upon the Yosemite and Big Tree Grove (1865)
  • 16. Extracts from Alice Ives Van Schaak, A Familiar Letter from a daughter to her mother (1871)
  • 17. Extracts from Helen Hunt, Bits of Travel at Home (1878)

Part 3: BATTLE FOR WILDERNESS

  • 18. Charles Frederick Hoffmann, “Notes on Hetch-Hetchy Valley,” Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences (1868)
  • 19. John Muir, “The Hetch Hetchy Valley,” Boston Weekly Transcript (1873)
  • 20. An act to set apart certain tracts of land in the State of California as forest reservations (1890)
  • 21. Joint Resolution Accepting the recession by the State of California of the Yosemite Valley Grant and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove (1906)
  • 22. Letter from John Muir to Theodore Roosevelt, September 9, 1907
  • 23. Letter of Theodore Roosevelt to John Muir, September 16, 1907
  • 24. Petition of Marsden Manson, City Engineer of San Francisco, on Behalf of the City and County of San Francisco, May 7, 1908
  • 25. Decision of the Secretary of the Interior, May 11, 1908
  • 26. Letter of the American Civic Association to the Committee on Public Lands, December 15, 1908
  • 27. Letter of the Appalachian Mountain Club to the Committee on Public Lands, December 15, 1908
  • 28. Telegram from the Sierra Club to the Committee on Public Lands, December 16, 1908
  • Image Gallery: 1910 Resolutions on Hetch Hetchy
    • i. Resolution of the Graffort Club of Portsmouth NH
    • ii. Resolution from the Hypatia Women’s Club of San Francisco
  • 29. John Muir, “Dam Hetch Hetchy” from The Yosemite (1912)
  • 30. AN ACT Granting to the city and county of San Francisco certain rights of way in, over and through certain public lands (1913)
  • 31. Extracts of the Statement of Mr. W.C. Lehane, of California, to the Committee on Public Lands (1913)
  • 32. Extracts of Gifford Pinchot’s Testimony before the Committee on Public Lands, (1913)
  • 33. Extracts of the Statement of Hon. Herbert Parsons, of New York City, before the Committee on Public Lands (1913)
  • 34. Extracts of James Phelan’s testimony before the Committee on Public Lands (1913)
  • 35. Extracts of the Statement of Mt. Richard B. Waltrous, of Washington D.C., Secretary of the American Civic Association, to the Committee on Public Lands (1913)
  • 36. Extracts of the Statement of Mr. John R. Freeman, of Boston, Mass., Engineer in Charge of the Hetch Hetchy Project (1913)
  • 37. Extracts of the Statement of Hon. William Kent, Representative in Congress from California, to the Committee on Public Lands (1913)
  • Image Gallery: 1913 Petitions
    • i. HR 7207: A Bill granting the city of San Francisco…
    • ii. Protest Against the Diversion of Water from Lands Requiring Irrigation
    • iii. Petition from the Widows and Orphans and Mutual Aid Associations of San Francisco
    • iv. Petition from the Society for the Preservation of National Parks Against Granting San Francisco the Hetch Hetchy Valley
    • v. Resolution from the Augusta, Hallowell, and Gardner Central Labor Union of Maine in Favor of the Raker Bill
    • vi. Petition from the University of Oklahoma Professors
    • vii. Telegram from the SF Council of Knights of Columbus 615
    • viii. Resolution of the Massachusetts State Federation of Women’s Clubs
    • ix. San Francisco Examiner Petition to the Senate of the United States

Part 4: HETCH HETCHY RESTORED?

  • 38. Carl Pope, “Undamming Hetch Hetchy,” Sierra Magazine (1987)
  • 39. “Interview with Secretary of the Interior Donald Hodel,” Environs (1988)
  • 40. Extracts from the State of California Hetch Hetchy Restoration Study (2006)
  • 41. San Francisco Proposition F Ballot Measure (2012)
  • 42. Tim Redmond, “Not until we have clean energy,” Earth Island Journal (2012)
  • 43. Spreck Rosekrans, “Hetch Hetchy: A century of occupation in Yosemite National Park,” Maven’s Notebook (2013)

Glossary of Key Figures and Terms
Select Bibliography

Char Miller is the W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History at Pomona College, in Claremont, California. His most recent books include Ogallala: Water for a Dry Land (2018), San Antonio: A Tricentennial History (2018), Where There’s Smoke: The Environmental Science, Public Policy, and Politics of Marijuana (2018), and The Nature of Hope: Grassroots Organizing, Environmental Justice, and Political Change (2019).