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The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy
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The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism

Robert W. Righter


This is the story of water, a valley, and a city. The city was San Francisco, the valley was Hetch Hetchy, and the waters were from the Tuolumne River watershed, located within Yosemite National Park. In 1905, for the first time in American history, a significant national opposition led by John Muir and the Sierra Club sought to protect the valley from a dam, believing that its beauty should be enjoyed by the American people. On the other side, San Franciso mayor James Phelan believed it was his civic responsibility to provide his 750,000 constituents with a pure, abundant source of water. Fro ... More

Keywords: American history, environmental history, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, water, hydro power, Sierra Club, John Muir, environmental values

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780195149470
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149470.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert W. Righter, author
Southern Methodist University
Author Webpage