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Activists Prepare To Follow Muir’s Footsteps Across Yosemite

Activists Prepare To Follow Muir’s Footsteps Across Yosemite

World-renowned conservationist John Muir called Hetch Hetchy Valley “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples.” Despite his urgent pleas, in 1913 the federal government approved San Francisco’s request to clear-cut and flood the valley for use as a reservoir.

The decision horrified wilderness-lovers and helped spur the creation of the National Park Service and the environmental conservation movement which today protects millions of miles of unspoiled wilderness in America and around the world.

The fight led by naturalist John Muir a century ago continues to strengthen as hikers prepare for the third annual “Muir’s March” this summer to advocate for the restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park.

“The movement to restore Hetch Hetchy is gaining momentum as more activists and nature lovers sign up to trek across the wonders of Yosemite. Muir’s March underscores both the devastation of — and the hope for — this rarest of natural treasures,” said Mike Marshall, executive director of the non-profit group Restore Hetch Hetchy.

In the past few years, scientists and researchers at the park say that it has come under increased risk of devestating fire because of climate change and other environmental factors.

Participants in Muir’s March choose among several scenic treks through Yosemite, each led by an experienced guide and varying in length from one to seven days. Hikers will enjoy stunning vistas, camaraderie, campfires and stories. 

Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to sign up early. The funds raised will be used to support a campaign to educate San Francisco voters and lawmakers and win their approval for the restoration project.

“This event will allow all who love nature to both walk in the footsteps of my great-great-grandfather and raise awareness and resources for the campaign to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley,” said Muir descendent Robert Hanna, who participated in the event in 2010.

Fundraising requirements vary according to hike length, from $90 to $2,100. All skill levels are welcome.

Prospective participants can register or get information at www.muirsmarch.org or 415-956-0401.

Related Reading:
Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park Protected From Oil Drilling
Yosemite Gets Largest Solar Project of All National Parks
Jello May Be Killing Trout In Yellowstone National Park

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Image Credit: www.hetchhetchy.org

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32 comments

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10:28AM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

I love John Muir and hate that SF damned Hetch Hetchy Valley, but I heard this project to restore the valley was really expensive (like exceeding 1 billion dollars expensive). Couldn't that money be put to better use like conserving other land around the Sierra Nevada mountains? I want the best bang for the buck and I don't think this project to un-damn Hetch Hetchy is it.

7:34PM PDT on Mar 26, 2011

Thanks for the article. I would love to be able to participate in Muir's March.

8:49AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

Now this is great news! Really, this is the kind of activity we need in the good old US of A and across the world. I know I have said this before but where do people think we can go after the Earth dies???
Prevent and repair destruction....our only hope!!!

6:44AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

The USA national parks are incredible AND THE RANGERS THE BEST....LETS DO ANYTHING TO KEEP THESE PARKS FREE FROM POLUTION...ANY POLUTION AT ALL!
GOOD LUCK

7:07PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Ken Burns National Parks series showed off some of Yosemite's beauty and Muir's achievemnts as well as the heartbreak of Hetch Hechy...best of wishes to the marchers!

10:48AM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Best of luck to them. I wish I could join the march.

11:08PM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

hope they`re successfull

7:58PM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

I hope they succeed. We must preserve our national parks...they belong to all Americans....not big corporations to destroy.

7:28PM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

Good luck to them. At least one of the arguments for the dam was demonstrably false: that the fires in San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake got out of hand for lack of water. There was plenty of water in reservoirs on the peninsula just south of town. But it could not be brought to the fires because the quake had broken all the pipes. Hetch Hetchy would have made no difference at all.

6:35PM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

I hope they are successful.

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