Hetch Hetchy Dam

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  • Officially known as the O'Shaughnessy Dam, the Hetch Hetchy Dam is an approximately 312-foot-high curved gravity dam that impounds the Tuolumne River's waters in a reservoir that extends more than twelve kilometers into the Hetch Hetchy Valley in California. The dam was controversial from its inception because the Hetch Hetchy Valley is located within the boundaries of Yosemite National Park. The subsequent conflict over whether the dam should be built split the conservation movement at the time. One faction, led by Sierra Club founder John Muir, argued for the preservation of the valley so that it could be enjoyed by future generations. Other conservationists, such as Gifford Pinchot, believed that the country should use its natural resources to the greatest benefit of the general citizenry, ...

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