John Muir


[Theodore Roosevelt]


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Dear Mr. Presidents=Martinez, California. Sept. 9/07.I am anxious that the Yosemite National Park may be saved from all sorts of commercialism and marks of man's work other than the roads, hotels etc required to make its wonders and blessings available. For as far as I have seen there is not in all the wonderful Sierra, or indeed in the world another so grand and wonderful and useful a block of Nature's mountain handiwork.There is now under consideration, as doubtless you well know, an application of San Francisco Supervisors for the use of Hetch Hetchy Valley and Lake Eleanor as storage reservoirs for a City water supply. This application should I think be denied especially the Hetch Hetchy part, for this Valley as you will see by the inclosed description is a counterpart of Yosemite, and one of the most sublime and beautiful and important features of the Park, and to dam and submerge it would be hardly less destructive and deplorable in its effects on the Park in general than would be the damming of Yosemite itself. For its falls and groves and delightful camp-grounds are surpassed or equalled only in Yosemite: and farthermore it is the hall of entrance to the grand Tuolumne Canyon which opens a wonderful way to the magnificent Tuolumne Meadows, the focus of pleasure travel in the High Sierra of the Park and grand central camp-ground. If Hetch Hetchy should be submerged as proposed to a depth of 175 feet, not only would it be made utterly inaccessible, but this glorious canyon way to the High Sierra would be blocked.I am heartily in favor of a Sierra or even a Tuolumne water supply for San Francisco but all the water required can be obtained from sources outside the Park, leaving the twin Valleys Hetch Hetchy and Yosemite to the use they were intended for when the Park was established. For every argument advanced for making one into a reservoir would apply with equal force to the other excepting the cost of the required dam. The few promoters of the present scheme are not unknown around the boundaries of the Park, for they have been trying to break through for years. However able they may be as capitalists, engineers, Iawers.


Martinez, Calif.

Date Original

1907-09-09 00:00


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 16, Image 0985

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

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Page 1


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