[Robert Underwood] Johnson
[The?] objections to making H. H. a reservoir are briefly1 That such use would to a great damaging extent defeat the purpose & nullify the effect of the law creating the Park.For Hetch Hetchy far from being a common meadow [lake?] 1000s of [illegible] & a mere "minor feature" as claimed by the [supplicants?] is a counterpart of Yosemite, & a great & wonderful feature of the Park next to Yosemite in beauty grandeur & importance of location visited by thousands even though as yet [ac?]cessible only by trail.[illegible] [dam?]med as proposed it not o[nly?] [illegible] be made utterly ma[illegible] [illegible] that no road or trail could [be?] made around the reservoir without tunnelling through rocks [like?] El Capitan & the Cathedral, but it would block and close up the door of the great Tuolumne Canon, the sublime way to the upper Tuolumne Meadow or valley, [the?] focus of pleasure travel in the High Sierra, & grand central camp ground.3 Because the Park is a natural wonderland belonging to all the world, & should be preserved in pure wildness for ever.4 Because San Francisco Supervi[sors?] & McPhelan want it for a c[illegible]04048 3water supply, not because it cannot be got elsewhere, but because they expect to get it at less cost. Only Mr Phelan & his hired assistants & Supervisors demand this use of the Park, not the citizens in general. In all the years since Mr Phelan made his first application I have never heard a word on the subject from anyone else or seen a line in the newspapers from any other citizen. Though all of course would be in favor of Sierra water. Marsden Manson & Warren Olney are the noisiest pleaders -The specious plea they m[ake?]04048 4[illegible] damming Hetch Hetchy would [p?]revent damage to the lowlands [illegible] during the spring floods is ridiculous. not half an inch would the flood waters be lowered.The plea that the Park water [is?] purer than any outside sources & will forever be [free?] from contaminating [in?]fluences that all other is exposed [to?] is not true, on the contrary it is far more liable to contamination from camp sewerage than any other adjacent source on account of camp sewerage on its [illegible] hundreds or thousands camp for months on the Tuolumne Meadows & the climbers or campers soon these will be greatly multiplied every season & as roads are built04048 5[illegible]or a hundredfold by travelers from all the world. And so on with ever plea & claim & statement.[04048?] 6should this noble valley be submerged as proposed not only would it be made utterly inaccessible, but great Tuolumne Canonway leading to the Upper Tuolumne Meadow the focus of pleasure travel in the High Sierra would also be blocked[illegible] on the [P?] on the Yo H H & Big Tuol with reference to their relations to [illegible] [illegible] 3 most wonderful & [illegible] of the High Sierra at the hand of the [illegible]04048 7None as far as I have learned of all the thousands who have seen the Yosemite Park is in favor of this destructive water scheme, & the only hope of its promotors seems to be in the darkness that covers it.04048 8John M04048
Original letter dimensions: 23.5 x 21 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to [Robert Underwood] Johnson, [ca. 1908]." (1908). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 5630.
Reel 17, Image 1149
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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters