"Muir's March" For Hetch Hetchy In Yosemite National Park Scheduled For July

The Third Annual Muir's March, an affair intended to raise support for draining the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park, is scheduled for July. If you're interested in joining the backpacking trek, now's the time to sign up.

The guided treks into scenic areas literally and figuratively follow in John Muir’s footsteps, and are open to anyone who can raise a minimum of $90*, say those behind the movement.

John Muir called Hetch Hetchy Valley "one of nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples." Despite his urgent pleas, in 1913 the federal government approved San Francisco's request to clear-cut and flood the valley for use as a reservoir. The decision horrified wilderness-lovers and helped spur the creation of the National Park Service and the international environmental conservation movement, according to those associated with Muir's March.

Prior to its destruction, the Hetch Hetchy Valley was one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and home to thousands of plant and animal species.

"The movement to restore Hetch Hetchy is gaining momentum as more and more activists and nature lovers sign up to march together across the wonders of Yosemite. Muir’s March underscores both the devastation of -- and the hope for -- this rarest of natural treasures," said Mike Marshall, executive director of the non-profit group Restore Hetch Hetchy. "Muir would be thrilled to see that we now have the technology to bring the valley back to life while still meeting San Francisco's water needs. Biologists, ecologists and botanists from all over the world are ready for one of the greatest environmental restoration projects in human history."

Participants in Muir's March choose among several scenic treks through Yosemite, each led by an experienced guide and varying in length from one to seven days. Hikers will enjoy stunning vistas, camaraderie, campfires and stories. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to sign up early.

Maps of the routes that will be taken can be found at this page. You can sign on at this page.

The treks will converge July 30 atop the O'Shaughnessy Dam for a rally and celebration. Hikers each raise $90 or more* to participate; the funds will be used to support a campaign to educate San Francisco voters and lawmakers and win their approval for the restoration project. Hikers and backpackers of all skill levels are welcome.

“This event will allow all who love nature to both walk in the footsteps of my great-great-grandfather and raise awareness and resources for the campaign to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley," said Muir descendent Robert Hanna, who participated in the event in 2010.

Prospective participants can register or get more information by visiting www.muirsmarch.org or by calling 415-956-0401.

*Fundraising requirements vary according to hike length, from $90 to $2,100. Hikes are 1, 4 and 7 days in length.