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June 19, 2012 > Muir's Riders Join Muir's Marchers to Restore Hetch Hetchy

Muir's Riders Join Muir's Marchers to Restore Hetch Hetchy

Submitted By Angela Jacobson

"The Snowmelt" leads 500-mile cycling expedition converging at O'Shaughnessy Dam

Non-profit organization Restore Hetch Hetchy today announces the expansion of the fourth annual "Muir's March" to include an eight-day bicycling expedition hosted by The Snowmelt, whose mission is to protect the Earth through the spirit of adventure. Muir's March and Muir's Ride support Restore Hetch Hetchy's ongoing mission to return the Hetch Hetchy Valley to its natural splendor.

This year's Muir's March and Muir's Ride take place as a fall ballot initiative, The Water Conservation and Yosemite Restoration Initiative, gains momentum. The initiative, supported by environmental groups such as the National Parks Conservation Association and Friends of the River, and former Yosemite National Park Superintendent B.J. Griffin, calls for a plan to move San Francisco from last in water recycling to first in water conservation and take the first steps to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley. Recent polls indicate that 59% of voters support the initiative.

"The movement to take the first step to a second Yosemite is growing in strength every day, and we are thrilled The Snowmelt is putting wheels to the ground for five hundred miles in solidarity with Muir's Marchers as we fight to restore this rare treasure," said Mike Marshall, executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy.

The Snowmelt, a non-profit organization, runs select expeditions dedicated to educating participants and their communities on current environmental issues, while exploring the great outdoors. Beginning July 27th, The Snowmelt organization will host Muir's Riders on a 500-mile expedition that will closely follow the California aqueduct and end at the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

The eight-day expedition will be both joined and supported by engineers, biologists, freelance writers, students, and nationally ranked cyclists. Participants will enjoy a rugged bicycling adventure through sometimes remote and desolate parts of California - without the modern conveniences, taking only what can be carried on a bike or in a bike trailer - while creating a documentary on the fight to restore what was once one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, as well as on the need for sustainability and a water-conscious society. All Muir's March hikers and riders will converge from their respective trips on August 4, atop the O'Shaughnessy Dam for the Restoration Festival.

"I've spent my life outside chasing the images my parents painted of the great outdoors. I started The Snowmelt to preserve those images for others to see for themselves," stated Jacob Goff, founder of The Snowmelt. "Hetch Hetchy is one of those places we must save, not just to afford our eyes the privilege of its beauty, but to show that, as a society, we care for things that extend beyond ourselves."

Prospective Muir's Riders are required to raise a minimum of $300. Advanced cycling experience and conditioning is required. Friends United Network, Just Tomatoes, Klen Laundry, Mill Creek Studios, Patagonia, Von Zipper eyewear and Wild Goose Coffee are sponsoring the ride. For more information email info@thesnowmelt.org.

The fourth annual "Muir's March" includes six stunning guided backpacking trips (including a trip just for families) in Yosemite National Park, from July 29 - Aug 4, 2012, all led by highly skilled California Alpine Guides. The 1, 4 and 7-day marches, which take backpackers and hikers into scenic areas rarely experienced by tourists, raise awareness and funds for the campaign to bring the Hetch Hetchy Valley back to life. Hikers and backpackers of all skill levels and ages are welcome. The treks literally and figuratively follow in Muir's footsteps, and are open to anyone who can raise a minimum of $90.*

Famed naturalist John Muir called Yosemite's 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 international environmental conservation movement.

For more information on Muir's March, visit http://www.muirsmarch.org or call
415-956-0401.


*Fundraising requirements vary according to hike length, from $90 to $2100.
Hikes are 1, 4 and 7 days in length.

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