Planet Earth News: Protecting O'Shaugnessy Dam in Yosemite National Park

MOTHER EARTH NEWS environmental planet earth news briefs focuses on Interior Secretary Donald P. Hodel suggests tearing down O'Shaugnessy Dam in Yosemite National Park, stunning California environmentalists and the public.

| November/December 1987

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    John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club, in Hetch Hetchy Valley.

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Environmental planet earth news brief about Interior Secretary Donald P. Hodel's suggestion to tear down O'Shaugnessy Dam in Yosemite National Park. 

Environmental Planet Earth News

Interior Secretary Donald P. Hodel stunned California environmentalists and politicians August 6 when he suggested tearing down O'Shaugnessy Dam in Yosemite National Park. Hodel, who has been harshly criticized by environmental leaders for insensitivity to the natural landscape, is said to have dreamed up the idea on his own.

The most intemperate reaction came from Dianne Feinstein, mayor of San Francisco.

"The worst idea since selling arms to Iran," she railed. The Sierra Club praised the idea, saying that the dam in Hetch Hetchy Valley was the oldest blot on the national park system.

Other environmentalists were skeptical of Mr. Hodel's motives, wondering, for example, if he was hoping to deflect the public's attention from ecological concerns in Alaska long enough for him to persuade Congress to let oilmen into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The San Francisco newspapers were quick to judge the proposal. "Hands off, Mr. Secretary," warned the Chronicle . "The best argument yet for drug testing of federal employees," thundered the Examiner .

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