The battle over the November ballot measure aimed at restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley to its natural state is so charged that a spirited fight has erupted over wording selected by the Department of Elections to describe it to voters.
The war of words occurred at The City’s Ballot Simplification Committee, which is charged with summarizing ballot measures in voter information pamphlets. Read More
A measure that would require San Francisco to study draining the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park has qualified for the November ballot.
The measure qualified for the ballot after the campaign submitted 15,836 signatures of San Francisco residents in support of the initiative to the city's Department of Elections. Proponents needed to gather at least 9,702 valid signatures. Read More
In 1987, more than half a century after San Francisco built the O’Shaughnessy Dam, the debate over the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir was briefly rekindled.
Donald Hodel, President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of the Interior Department, may have seemed an unlikely environmentalist, but San Francisco leaders saw no joke in his proposal that the reservoir be drained. Read More
Along with its open-mindedness, embrace of eccentricity and political liberalism, nothing so defines San Francisco as its desire to be green. The Bay Area was the birthplace of environmentalism, and we express our ecological sensibility in everything from locally raised food to hybrid cars to bans on plastic bags. Read More
In the minds of many San Franciscans, The City’s tap water is indelibly linked to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. But recently, when the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission announced plans to drill new wells on the west side of The City, officials concluded that they might have oversold the Hetch Hetchy brand. Read More
Restore Hetch Hetchy operates out of a shabby fifth-floor office in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, across Mission Street from abandoned storefronts and a rundown SRO hotel. The small nonprofit's staff is forced to drink bottled water, because the aging buildings rusting pipes make tap water unpalatable. Read More
Yosemite National Park draws up to 4 million visitors each year. They come to admire the stunning granite of Yosemite Valley, hike in the Sierra Nevada and enjoy the unspoiled wilderness. Yet Yosemite also is the source of 85 percent of San Francisco’s drinking water. And that has made it the setting of one of the country’s longest-running environmental debates. Read More
As superintendent of Yosemite National Park from 1999 to 2003, I regretted that Congress had long ago allowed San Francisco to clear-cut and flood the spectacular Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite for use as a water storage tank. Such a proposal would be firmly rejected today. Read More
As environmentalists said they will file paperwork today for a ballot initiative requiring city officials to plan for the possible removal of the O’Shaughnessy Dam and the draining of the Hetchy Hetch Reservoir, Mayor Ed Lee denounced their proposal.Restore Hetch Hetchy, a group devoted to returning the valley in Yosemite National Park to its original state, will need to gather 9,702 signatures by July 9 to put the initiative on November’s ballot. Read More
The long quest of some environmentalists to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and restore the underlying valley could begin this November at San Francisco ballot boxes.Opponents of San Francisco’s controversial water source say they will file paperwork next week with the City Attorney’s Office to clear the path for a signature-gathering effort to put a measure before voters later this year. Read More