Hikers Can Follow Muir's Footsteps in Rare Guided Trek as Momentum Grows to Restore Hetch Hetchy Valley
SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The fight led by naturalist John Muir a century ago continues to strengthen as hikers prepare for the third annual "Muir's March" this summer to advocate for the restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. The guided treks into scenic areas -- rarely experienced by tourists -- literally and figuratively follow in Muir's footsteps, and are open to anyone who can raise at least $90.*
Muir called Hetch Hetchy Valley "one of nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples." Despite his urgent pleas, in 1913 the federal government approved San Francisco's request to clear-cut and flood the valley for use as a reservoir. The decision horrified wilderness-lovers and helped spur the creation of the National Park Service and the environmental conservation movement. Prior to its destruction Hetch Hetchy Valley was among the world's most diverse ecosystems and home to thousands of plant and animal species.
"The movement to restore Hetch Hetchy is gaining momentum as more activists and nature lovers sign up to trek across the wonders of Yosemite. Muir's March underscores both the devastation of -- and the hope for -- this rarest of natural treasures," said Mike Marshall, executive director of the non-profit group Restore Hetch Hetchy. "Muir would be thrilled that we now have the technology to restore the valley while still meeting San Francisco's water needs. Biologists, ecologists and botanists around the world are ready for one of the greatest environmental restoration projects in history."
Participants in Muir's March choose among several scenic treks through Yosemite, each led by an experienced guide and varying in length from one to seven days. Hikers will enjoy stunning vistas, camaraderie, campfires and stories. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to sign up early. The treks will converge July 30 atop the O'Shaughnessy Dam for a rally and celebration. The funds raised will be used to support a campaign to educate San Francisco voters and lawmakers and win their approval for the restoration project. All skill levels are welcome.
"This event will allow all who love nature to both walk in the footsteps of my great-great-grandfather and raise awareness and resources for the campaign to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley," said Muir descendent Robert Hanna, who participated in the event in 2010.
Prospective participants can register or get information at www.muirsmarch.org or 415-956-0401.
*Fundraising requirements vary according to hike length, from $90 to $2100. Hikes are 1, 4 and 7 days in length.
SOURCE Restore Hetch Hetchy