Situated inside Yosemite National Park, the Hetch Hetchy Valley was described by John Muir as “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples.” The pristine Tuolumne River flowed along the valley floor, surrounded by flowered meadows and ancient forests which teemed with bears and bobcats, rushes and eagles. Indeed, Hetch Hetchy Valley was considered one of the most unique and diverse ecosystems in the world.
Initially protected by the establishment of Yosemite National Park, in 1913 the city of San Francisco won congressional approval to build the O’Shaughnessy Dam which buried this extraordinary wilderness valley under 300 feet of water. Although John Muir was unsuccessful in preventing this from happening, his rigorous campaign resulted in the creation of an international environmental conservation movement.
Modern engineering advances afford us the opportunity to remove the reservoir and create one of the most ambitious and exciting environmental restoration projects in human history. As a living laboratory, Hetch Hetchy will advance the science of restoration by providing biologists, ecologists and botanists from all over the world with the chance to apply cutting-edge science to re-establishing lost habitats.
Learn more about how you can help us restore Hetch Hetchy today!