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Hydropower Roads

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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby adam921 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:55 pm

Maybe you're misinterpreting my question? I know the the roads had to be built to build the dams- what I'm trying to get at is whether you think the wilderness is better off because of the roads. Is the people traffic a good thing or bad thing? (in terms of the environment)



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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby rlown » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:58 pm

adam921 wrote:Maybe you're misinterpreting my question? I know the the roads had to be built to build the dams- what I'm trying to get at is whether you think the wilderness is better off because of the roads. Is the people traffic a good thing or bad thing? (in terms of the environment)


It's good if they know how to use it correctly.
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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby adam921 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:00 pm

Definitely, but would you say most people do?
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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby rlown » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:02 pm

Is this an interview? most do. Some do their own thing. Can't control that; that's why we have laws and rules.

Read the book!
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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby adam921 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:13 pm

You don't have to answer questions if you don't want to. All I'm trying to do is to get some perspective here.

As far as I can tell the book is history. That's helpful, but not for this question specifically.
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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby rlown » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:25 pm

adam921 wrote:Hi guys, back to stir up trouble again (just kidding, hopefully not).
I'm doing a research paper on the Big Creek hydro system. For anyone not familiar, that's the system with the road over Kaiser Pass and the dams making Florence, Edison, Shaver, and Huntington Lakes (and more).
At this point i'm fairly certain that the roads would not have existed without the system; a local forester said the timber value just wouldn't be worth the hassle.

That leaves this final question; are the wilderness areas worse or better off because of the roads up there? For the sake of argument, let's assume the road would end at Huntington Lake, and everything beyond that somehow became wilderness.


You first need to define wilderness. Hetch Hetchy redefined wilderness. so does highway 120 for me. If you give people access, they will use it.

It'd be more interesting to look at the option of taking the access away.
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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby adam921 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:40 pm

I'm just talking about Wilderness Act wilderness. Going into our own definitions would be a really controversial thing I'm sure :D
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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby rlown » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:46 pm

so.. define that for us..
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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby ERIC » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:51 pm

adam921 wrote:I didn't mean to avoid the question at all- I missed that you were talking about the book and not just the article. No, I haven't read the book, have you?


No worries. Just clarifying.
Yes, I have. Recommend you do the same - it's not a time consuming book and should help with your research paper.
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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby adam921 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:55 pm

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
Plus where the boundaries are.

I'll definitely read it, our library has just about everything :)
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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby markskor » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:10 pm

Coincidentally just finished reading the afore mentioned book...nice read. Stand out was the many pictures taken back in the 20's of how they built the dams, penstocks, powerhouses, etc. Interesting that even though a complete history of the project, there was never a complete map of the entire project given...wonder if this was intentional?
Would like to see a Topo including all the tunnels, penstocks, dams...anybody?

Regarding the initial question: Yes, these dam roads are great for the wilderness - providing access all along that section of the west side of the Sierra Crest. (Too bad there was not the vision to include another West-side hydro-project between VVR and Whitney Portal - would make doing that 100 mile stretch of the Muir a lot easier weight-wise.)
IMHO, having these roads has made getting to that part of Sierra easier, no complaints...Much like Beasore Drive in the West or the East-side roads to: Horseshoe Meadows, Onion Valley, Devil's Postpile allowing access on the east-side.
Just a long as there are no roads cutting all the way through through.
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Re: Hydropower Roads

Postby oldranger » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:10 pm

markskor wrote:

(Too bad there was not the vision to include another West-side hydro-project between VVR and Whitney Portal - would make doing that 100 mile stretch of the Muir a lot easier weight-wise.)


There is! Check out the N. Fork Kings. the only other alternatives would be Tehipite, Cedar Grove, or possibly the Kaweahs.

Are you really sure thats what you want?

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