Removal of Hetch Hetchy Dam to Be Studied by Lawmakers

In Environment, Restore Hetch Hetchy

L.A. Times (registration required): “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s resources secretary has directed his agency to study possible restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park, giving an unexpected official boost to the controversial idea of dismantling the dam that has been integral to the Bay Area’s water supply for more than 80 years.

Mike Chrisman’s decision came at the request of Assembly members Lois Wolk (D-Davis) and Joe Canciamilla (D-Pittsburg), and less than two months after the nonprofit group Environmental Defense released a study detailing possible alternatives to the Bay Area’s sources of drinking water and hydroelectric power.

In a written response this week to the two legislators, Chrisman said he has asked the Department of Water Resources to review 20 years’ worth of restoration proposals.

He added, “California, its governor and its citizens are committed to economically feasible restoration of ecosystems and preservation of open space. This commitment translates into an interest in reasonable proposals for expanding our trust resources.”

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