San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) December 19, 2013
Restore Hetch Hetchy today called for the return of Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley to the American people in a statement and video released by the organization to mark the centennial of the Raker Act. The organization also announced its intention to pursue that goal through litigation, legislation and education.
The Raker Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by Woodrow Wilson on December 19th, 1913, allowed significant destruction within a national park for the first and only time in American history. The Act permitted Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy Valley to be dammed and submerged beneath 300 feet of water for use as a reservoir by San Francisco.
“One hundred years ago, The Raker Act was deeply controversial, and was condemned in more than 200 newspaper editorials nationwide,” said Restore Hetch Hetchy Executive Director Spreck Rosekrans in the statement. “That outcry is often cited as the birth of today’s conservation movement. Today, we have a chance to undo this historic mistake. Our commitment to continuing to fight John Muir’s last battle is as strong as ever, and we invite our fellow citizens to join us in making Yosemite National Park whole again.”
Officials at Restore Hetch Hetchy stressed that the organization continues its commitment to working with all communities, especially the city of San Francisco, that rely on the Tuolumne River for water and power, to ensure their needs are met when the valley is restored. But, going forward, the organization will focus strategic efforts on decision-making entities outside the city
“We will engage Congress directly and we will challenge ongoing occupation of Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley in the state and federal courts,” continued Rosekrans.
In addition, the centennial has been marked by editorials from three former Yosemite Superintendents, as well as a bipartisan editorial from John Van de Kamp and Dan Lungren in major California papers, including the San Jose Mercury News and the Los Angeles Times, all of which called for the restoration of Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley.
For the full statement from Restore Hetch Hetchy, click here: http://www.hetchhetchy.org/images/Reports/raker_statement.pdf.
For the video version of the statement, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu4U7cpTNmU.
Citizens who are interested in joining the 100-year old mission to restore Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley can find out more at http://www.hetchhetchy.org.
Restore Hetch Hetchy’s mission is to return the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park National Park to its natural splendor while continuing to meet the water and power needs of all communities that depend on the Tuolumne River.
Elizabeth Johnson, mWEBB Communications, (213) 713-4865, elizabeth(at)mwebbcom(dot)com
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (949) 307-1723, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com