Restore Hetch Hetchy's petition alleges that violations of federal law diminish visitor experience
BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Restore Hetch Hetchy (RHH) today petitioned Department of Interior and National Park Service officials regarding public access and recreational opportunities to Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park.
Restore Hetch Hetchy's petition provides legal and historical rationale for changing current policies at Hetch Hetchy, including eliminating daily closure of the area, allowing camping and permitting non-polluting boats on Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
"When Congress passed the Raker Act allowing San Francisco to build a dam in Yosemite National Park, it fully expected that Hetch Hetchy would be used for 'water supply purposes and for park purposes,'" said Spreck Rosekrans, Executive Director for Restore Hetch Hetchy. "But camping, lodging and boating are unavailable and hiking trails are few. Public access is so limited that barely 1% of all park visitors visit Hetch Hetchy."
The Petition also questions the validity of San Francisco's use of cabins at Hetch Hetchy as well as the City's failure to provide potable water to the backpackers' campground.
"The Park Service has imposed restrictions on use in the Hetch Hetchy watershed that are outside of its legal authority and in direct violation of the Raker Act. These restrictions prevent park visitors from exercising their rights at Hetch Hetchy and must be eliminated," added Michael Lozeau, an attorney with Lozeau Drury LLP and author of supporting documentation for the petition.
ABOUT RESTORE HETCH HETCHY: The vision of Restore Hetch Hetchy is to return to the people Yosemite Valley's lost twin, Hetch Hetchy – a majestic glacier-carved valley with towering cliffs and waterfalls, an untamed place where river and wildlife run free, a new kind of national park.
INTERVIEWS: We will gladly arrange interviews with Restore Hetch Hetchy Executive Director Spreck Rosekrans.
 The petition and supporting documents are available online at https://hetchhetchy.org/petition-for-public-access/.
SOURCE Restore Hetch Hetchy