President Theodore Roosevelt
at Yosemite National Park
(PBS - National Parks)
          The debate over the damming of Hetch Hetchy Valley was the first major American environmental battle over how America’s natural treasures should be used. Hetch Hetchy Valley was part of Yosemite National Park in Northern California (see map of Yosemite National Park).  The push to dam it began during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, a passionate environmentalist.  
        At the same time, cities like San Francisco were growing  and looking for ways to provide water and electricity to sustain that growth. (see map of the growth of San Francisco 1858-1970)    
        The decade-long debate ended with preservationists losing the fight to save the valley but also started a renewed movement to save and preserve more of the nation's wilderness and historic treasures all the while ignoring the voices of the Valley's original inhabitants.    

San Francisco Searches For Water
(Restore Hetch Hetchy - Yosemite's Lost Valley)