Two Views of One Valley

Robert W. Righter

in The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780195149470
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788934 | DOI:
Two Views of One Valley

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In early 1908, San Francisco felt confident that the Hetch Hetchy Valley would soon hold a reservoir. Secretary of the Interior James Garfield favored the city, and he formally approved the city's application in May. The Garfield grant, however, necessitated congressional hearings. In the House of Representatives and the Senate, damaging testimony as to the value of national parks influenced the legislators. San Francisco lost its chance for congressional approval of the Garfield grant. Now Muir, William Colby, Harriet Monroe, J. Horace McFarland, Robert Underwood Johnson, and others took the offensive. They formed the Society for the Preservation of National Parks to give their cause a more national voice. They enlisted the help of hiking and mountaineering clubs, and the General Federation of Women's Clubs. The new organization put out circulars attacking San Francisco's plans and offering alternatives. San Francisco responded with an attack on Muir and the “sentimentalists”, which it labeled “short-haired women and long-haired men”. Equally significant, the Roosevelt Administration left office and with it went Garfield, and soon, Pinchot. Congress, somewhat befuddled by the Hetch Hetchy controversy, endorsed a study by the US Geological Survey.

Keywords: James Garfield; John Muir; Robert Underwood Johnson; Harriett Monroe; General Federation of Women's Clubs; Theodore Roosevelt

Chapter.  12306 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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