Title

For the Teacher

Objectives

Describe and classify American attitudes about the natural environment leading up to the Hetch Hetchy controversy.
Compare and contrast the geology and geography of the Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy Valleys.
Describe the early history of the Hetch Hetchy Valley and the efforts by the city of San Francisco to acquire rights to dam the valley.
Explain arguments for and against damming the Hetch Hetchy Valley raised around the time of the Raker Act.
Analyze evidence on both sides of the decision to dam the Hetch Hetchy Valley.
Analyze and defend removing or retaining the dam at Hetch Hetchy today.

Related National Standards

GIS Activities



GIS assignments are part of the last two activities in this unit. The activities make use of ArcGIS Online, an internet software that runs on most browsers. If you do not have an an ArcGIS account and would like to have one you can sign up for a free personal account here.

The Hetch Hetchy Project files are also available to download for ArcGIS Desktop.

The data and images in the various map layers are from a variety of sources:

Layers

Source

California State &
County Level Data
California state and county shape files including hydro, imagery, and base map data from the Cal-Atlas Geospatial Clearinghouse
San Francisco Water Options 1912 John R. Freeman, The Hetch Hetchy Water Supply for San Francisco, 1912, San Francisco: Rincon Publishing Company, 1912.

U.S. Congress, House of Representatives Committee on Public Lands, "Report on San Francisco and the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir," 1909

San Francisco Public Utility Commission Pipelines & Tunnels, Power Plants, Water Treatment Plants, and Dams San Francisco Public Utility Commission web site.

Environmental Defense Fund, Paradise Regained: The Hetch Hetchy Report, 2004.

California Departments of Water Resources and Parks & Recreation, Hetch Hetchy Restoration Study, 2006.

Yosemite Boundary File “Boundary of Yosemite National Park, California,” available from the National Park Service Geography and Mapping Technologies, Geographic Information Systems web page.
Yosemite Area clipped from “30m Color Hillshade of California,” available from Cal-Atlas Geospatial Clearinghouse.
Yosemite Topographic Map “Topographic map of Yosemite National Park, California / from Geological Survey maps surveyed between 1893 and 1909,” available from the American Geographical Society Library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

 

Additional Resources

Those interested in learning more will find that the Internet offers a variety of interesting materials.

Yosemite Online Library

The Yosemite Online Library contains an extensive collection of books and other writings about Yosemite National Park and Hetch Hetchy.

Library of Congress: American Memory Collection

Search the American Memory Collection for resources on Yosemite National Park including Hetch Hetchy.

For Further Reading

Students and teachers wishing to learn more about Hetch Hetchy may want to read the following:

Robert W. Righter, The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

John Warfield Simpson, DAM! Water, Power, Politics, and Preservation in Hetch Hetchy and Yosemite National Park (New York: Pantheon Books,, 2005).

Contact

Your comments and suggestion about these materials are more than welcome.

If you have ideas for additional topics that would lend themselves to the approach taken here, please pass them along. I'd enjoy collaborating with you.

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Last modified in January, 2011 by Rick Thomas