John Muir

A(n Admittedly Subjective) List of America’s Very Best National Parks

(This is the fourth in a series of posts this week commemorating the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service.) I love lists. Whether it’s a compilation of the year’s top movies, the best restaurants in California (out-doing even the best restaurants in Bozeman where I grew up), or the best rock …


The Battle to Restore Hetch Hetchy Valley Moves to the Courts

New Lawsuit Claims Dam and Reservoir in Yosemite National Park Violate California Constitution

This week, the longstanding battle over the dam and reservoir that have for a century flooded Yosemite National Park’s storied Hetch Hetchy Valley moves to the courts. A new lawsuit, filed by conservationists on the 177th anniversary of  John Muir’s birth, asserts that the City of San Francisco’s continued operation of O’Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir …


An Unhappy Anniversary for Hetch Hetchy

Is It Time to Consider Restoring Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley?

December 19th marks a sad event in American environmental history.  It was 100 years ago today that President Woodrow Wilson signed the Raker Act, authorizing the City of San Francisco to build a dam that would flood the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park in order to deliver water supplies to San Francisco. Contemporary …


Draining Hetch Hetchy — Some History for San Francisco’s “Measure F”

San Franciscans will be voting next week on Measure F to study the draining of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. Hetch Hetchy, for those who don’t know, is a spectacular, glacier-formed valley of equal proportion to its neighbor Yosemite Valley. Congress authorized a dam in 1913 to provide public hydroelectric power and a …


John Muir’s Birthday

If environmentalism had saints John Muir, born on April 21, 1838, would surely be on the list.  He is best known for founding the Sierra Club and fighting to save Yosemite.