R[obert] U[nderwood] Johnson
April 28, 1908R.W. GILDER, EDITOR.R.U. JOHNSON,ASSOCIATE EDITOR.C.C. BUEL,ASSISTANT EDITOR.Dear Mr. President:Please do not misunderstand my position on the Hetch-Hetchy question.Human life is more sacred than scenery, and if it were the only alternative, sooner than see the city of California go without an abundant supply of good water I would cheerfully dam up the Yosemite itself!Both as concerns the city and the Yosemite National Park this is a matter of colossal importance. You say:"The question is simply whether they can get, on substantially as good terms, substantially as good a supply from some other source. If they cannot, the Hetch Hetchy Valley will have to be given them,as a matter of course.No other action could even be thought of."I should be inclined to state it thus?— The question is simply whether they can get an adequate supply from other sources. If they cannot, the Hetch-Hetchy Valley will have to be given them, as a matter of course — after Lake Eleanor is found insufficient, as Pinchot says.With a view to aiding Secretary Garfield in determining this question I requested Mr. W. B. Bourne, President of the Spring Valley Water Company, to write out for me the substance of a conversation he had with me on the subject,
1908 Apr 28
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