Charles N. Elliot
COPY.Cambridge, Maas.,November 7, 1913.Dear Senator Hollis:The final vote on the present bill to transfer the Hetch Hetchy Valley from park uses to San Francisco water and power uses is to be taken in the Senate,I believe, on the 6th of December. Thinking that you have an open mind on the subject, and that you understand the value of parka in general, large or smail, national, state, or municipal, I bag leave to put before you in compact from the arguments against the use of Hetch Hetchy Valley as a water and power-supply for San Francisco,In the first place, the presumption is strong against alienating to other uses any territory which has once been appropriated to park uses. All reservations made for purposes of public health and enjoyment derive a large part of their power to give satisfaction and pleasure from their unquestioned permanence, from the people's sense that those open spaces with their woods, shrubs, grass, and flowers, are to be enjoyed generation after generation, se long as the government which a created them shall endure. If Congress or a state legislature may be expected to alienate them at will, or to destroy parts of them from time to time, the people's sense of security in such possessions will be lost, or much impaired. Moreover, as the population of the country Increases the need and value of parka of all sorts will surely increase ; so that the passing generation should not part with public possessions which are already useful, but will surely be much more useful in the future. The granting of the Valley to San Francisco would be a bad precedent.Secondly, enjoyable park areas ought not to be diverted or applied to other 05605
1913 Nov 7
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.
Reel 21, Image 0970
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