The Conservation Movement at a Crossroads: The Hetch Hetchy Controversy

This The Conservation Movement at a Crossroads: The Hetch Hetchy Controversy lesson plan also includes:

Should wilderness areas be preserved or managed? Class members examine primary source documents, including lecture notes, articles, essays and congressional records to better understand the Hetch Hetchy controversy that created a split in the American environmental movement. Preservationists, led by John Muir and the Sierra Club, argued that the Hetch Hetchy valley be left untouched, while agents for San Francisco argued that the Tuolumne River be dammed to provide a reliable source of water for the city. Groups adopt roles of the various stake holders and conduct a mock hearing of the question of whether the O’Shaughnessy Dam should be maintained or deconstructed to return the valley to its original state.

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CCSS: Designed
Pros

  • The richly detailed plan includes links to all documents and materials
  • A balance of preservationists and conservationists materials is provided
  • Groups prepare radio and television spots, posters, and short speeches to advocate for their position
Cons

  • Class members would need to be familiar with the mock hearing format