Don Hodel: Let's Drain Hetch Hetchy
Wow, just when you think you've read it all, there comes a story like this one. In the San Francisco Chronicle today former Interior Secretary Donald Hodel lays out an argument for draining Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park.
Hodel served under President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Back in 1988 he suggested that the government look into the possibility of draining the reservoir, and while the Bureau of Reclamation thought it could be done without jeopardizing San Francisco's water supply, an array of opposition beat back the idea.
In today's opinion piece, Hodel maintains that "the arguments for restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley are overwhelming. Ultimately, they will prevail. San Francisco may, for a time, withstand the public and federal pressure and continue its unfair use of this part of Yosemite National Park, but sooner or later the hammer will fall."
And when it does, the ghost of John Muir, who in the early 1900s long fought unsuccessfully to prevent the damming of the Tuoloumne River, will no doubt applaud.