California Voters Strongly Favor Restoration of Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley, according to Statewide Survey

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Majority support for restoration changes little across party lines, gender, age group and key California cities/regions, with young adults most in favor of restoration, according to a Probolsky Research survey commissioned by Restore Hetch Hetchy.

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Californians overwhelmingly support restoration of Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley, and that support is broad-based

The vast majority of California voters want Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley to be restored, according to a recent survey conducted among likely California voters by Probolsky Research. The survey results further reveal that majority support for restoration is solid across gender, age and key California regions. Young adults favor restoration by a factor of 5 to 1. Support in California is also solidly nonpartisan with the majority of Republicans, Democrats and independent voters favoring restoration.

Probolsky surveyed California likely voters, asking the question:

Should Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy Valley be restored, if it can be accomplished without impacting San Francisco’s water supply?

  • 61.5% answered yes
  • 20.2% answered no
  • 18.4% were uncertain or did not answer

“This survey confirms what we have known all along – Californians overwhelmingly support restoration of Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley, and that support is broad-based,” said Restore Hetch Hetchy Executive Director Spreck Rosekrans. “Even in the Bay Area, where San Francisco is one of the primary water wholesalers, those supporting restoration outnumbered those opposed by more than 2 to 1. And, the robust support among young people further bolsters our resolve to ensure that this stunning national treasure is returned to the American people for generations to come.”

California’s Yosemite National Park once included two spectacular glacier-carved valleys – Yosemite Valley along the Merced River and Hetch Hetchy Valley along the Tuolumne River. In 1913, Congress allowed San Francisco to dam Hetch Hetchy Valley and turn it into a reservoir for the City – the only such destruction ever allowed in any of America’s national parks. Restore Hetch Hetchy asked Probolsky Research to evaluate support among Californians for the organization’s mission: to return the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to its natural splendor ─ while continuing to meet the water and power needs of all communities that depend on the Tuolumne River.

Key Survey Highlights:

  • Restoration supporters outnumbered those opposed by more than 3 to 1, 62% to 20%.
  • More women than men support restoration, 63% to 59%
  • More Democrats than Republicans support restoration 66% to 52%, with 60% of independent voters in favor.
  • Support is highest among those 18 – 29 at 77%.
  • Support is lowest among those 55 – 64 at 50%, but rises to 55% for those over 65.
  • Likely voters in LA County and the Central Valley are the most supportive at 63%.
  • 57% of Bay Area voters support restoration – the lowest of the five major regions surveyed.

The survey was conducted by Probolsky Research online and by telephone among a random sampling of nearly 1,000 California voters that matched the demographics of likely California voters. The full report is available here. A summary of key findings is available here.

INTERVIEWS: We will gladly arrange interviews with Restore Hetch Hetchy Executive Director Spreck Rosekrans.

ABOUT RESTORE HETCH HETCHY: The mission of Restore Hetch Hetchy is to return the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to its natural splendor while continuing to meet the water and power needs of all communities that depend on the Tuolumne River.

Contacts:

Media Relations
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (424) 603-4340, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com

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Crystal Hartwell
mWEBB Communications
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Melanie Webber
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