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Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

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Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby SeanReedy » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:33 pm

The Hetch Hetchy movement is alive and kicking a century after the efforts of Muir and others failed to stop the dam from being built.

http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_21033628/drain-hetch-hetchy-reservoir-san-francisco-voters-may
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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby fedak » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:48 am

IMHO, the reservoir has preserved that valley and the surrounding terrain far better than anything else would have.
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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby Clark_Griswold » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:48 am

Seems like a good idea, but that valley has been under water for almost a century, it isn't going to be an instantaneous Yosemite Valley, and probably won't look very good for a long time, maybe decades, or longer. Also, where is this magical untapped water resource going to come from. I'm all for protecting great places, but California in 2012 is not anything like it was in 1912. If nothing else, the invasive exotic species that are problematic in other disturbed areas would be well poised to take over the lake bed. Will there be enough money to manage and recreate the former ecosystem of the valley? There won't be trees for a long time, nor grasses, or the vast collection of plants we see in Yosemite Valley. Seems like in an already tight fiscal climate, draining the lake, dismantling the dam, restoring the lake bed (and managing it for decades to prevent invasive establishment) as well as locating new water resources and developing them to full capacity is not something to be over looked.
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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby fedak » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:09 am

The other thing to consider that a lake the size of Hetch Hetchy isn't terribly out of place in the Sierra Nevada ecosystem.
Compare that, for example, with things like the San Luis Reservoir which much more drastically modifies the local environment.
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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby Marmaduke » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:53 am

Would it be feasible to drill through the base of the damn, installing large pipe to allow the river to flow freely and to drain Hetch Hetchy but to keep the integrity of the damn itself so as to keep a bridge/scenic overlook for the gorge?
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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby Diggler » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:13 am

fedak wrote:IMHO, the reservoir has preserved that valley and the surrounding terrain far better than anything else would have.


Ha ha. I suppose that they should have "preserved" Yosemite Valley (suggested by some prominent politician of the time- I'd highly recommend reading Cadillac Desert) & the Grand Canyon too???? :lol:
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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby SeanReedy » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:11 pm

Apparently some jeep roads will be in the works.

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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby butitsadryheat » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:45 pm

SeanReedy wrote:Apparently some jeep roads will be in the works.

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Not with those tires :wink:
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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby Marmaduke » Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:50 am

Is that Jeep even a 4x4? Awfully low to the ground.
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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby SeanReedy » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:28 am

Hey, what can I say; it's a San Francisco jeep. It should do fine in the early years of restoration.

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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby SeanReedy » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:38 am

It will never look like this again, but could eventually come close if left as roadless wilderness. Feinstein is okay with the view as is.

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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby SeanReedy » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:49 pm

This would go over well:
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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby butitsadryheat » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:27 pm

is that if there were no dams?

I know Kern County would get flooded almost every year before the Isabella Dam was built, due to ice dams in the Kern River Valley and the runoff that comes through there, which would create, or fill Lake Buena Vista and once when it did flood, a man took his canoe all the way from Bakersfield to the Bay.
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Re: Drain Hetch Hetchy Ballot Plans

Postby SeanReedy » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:34 pm

I'd guess that without maintenance and improvement of California's extensive water system, flooding of areas shown on that map would be more common, but it is actually a simulation of an extreme weather scenario similar to the storms of 1861-62. http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/article.html?entrynum=13

The story about taking a canoe from Bakersfield to the bay is interesting. That wouldn't be my first choice of adventures, but it sounds like an adventure nevertheless and would beat walking, especially under flood conditions. He must have had a strong desire to escape Bakersfield.
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