Monday, August 17, 2009

The SF Chronicle supports dam removal ...

The Chronicle supports dam removal - at least on the Snake and Klamath Rivers.

As we opined on July 19, dams are essential to human existence. We rely on them for water supply, hydropower, and flood control. In some cases, however, the costs of building dams have been high, and have outweighed their benefits.

In an editorial in yesterday's paper, the San Francisco Chronicle put in a plug for dam removal on the lower Snake River, the Klamath River and "other rivers as well". It is probably wishful thinking that in mentioning other rivers, the Chronicle might have the Tuolumne River in mind.

Before construction of the city's O'Shaughnessy Dam in 1923, the Tuolumne flowed unimpeded through the spectacular Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. Since that time, the valley has been inaccessible to park visitors.

A plethora of studies have confirmed that it is possible to continue the reliable delivery of water from the Tuolumne River to the Bay Area without storing it in a national park. We hope the Chronicle will support the next steps - turning those studies into a plan, implementing that plan and restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley for park visitors throughout California, across the United States of America and around the world.

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