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.
Image Credit: www.hetchhetchy.org
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