Talk:O'Shaughnessy Dam (California)

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I feel like this article needs to mention the restore hetch hetchy foundation as a part of the controversyBCann 05:17, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Hmmmmm... I don't really like my qualification of the Sierra Club, it seems POV, but they are such a partisan organization, I don't really like leaving their opposition in there unqualified. Ronald Reagan was known as a conservationist and it's not like it was the Secretary of Defense making the proposal, it was someone who had responsibility for parks, so I think their criticism was very politically motivated. But, that's my POV. Is there a better way to get that across in an NPOV fashion? The Sierra Club is known for opposing Republican and bipartisan environmentalist/conservationist proposals. Daniel Quinlan 20:29, Mar 19, 2005 (UTC)

It's not true that the Sierra Club opposes Republican and bipartisan environmental proposals. For example, back in the 1972, the Sierra Club worked to stop a trans-Sierra highway through Minaret Summit. One of its chief allies was the Republican governor of California (at the time): Ronald Reagan.
I think we can just drop the qualification of the Sierra Club. After all, someone can click through the wikilink and find out more about the Sierra Club in a (hopefully) NPOV way. You don't need to describe every organization in every article: that's what wikilinks are for.
-- hike395 03:00, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It's true that they overwhelmingly endorse Democrats and not Republicans. It would be better to just leave out the anti-Reagan stuff and stick to the facts of what happened, but this is Wikipedia and everything must be a back and forth debate in the article. Anyway, here's an independent third-party endorsement list that makes it pretty darn clear:
Daniel Quinlan 09:06, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)
I wasn't disputing that the Sierra Club endorses (almost only) Democrats. That's why I didn't remove it from an article --- it is factual. I was responding to your concern that you felt compelled to point that out in the article, because the Sierra Club opposes Republican environmental proposals.
My main concern is that the Carl Pope sentence is very awkward, due to all of the subordinate clauses and parentheses. I believe that either a reader of the article knows who the Sierra Club are and what they stand for (it's not like they are very obscure), or if they are young or not from North America, they can click through the link. So, I would drop the extra words.
But, I'm pretty flexible about this, because the extra words are factual. I just don't know how to fit them into this article in a readable way. Perhaps that material belongs in the Sierra Club article itself. -- hike395 15:27, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)


As I was reading this article, I felt jarred by these two sentences:

"However, it's not just for a campground—it's to re-create a second 'Yosemite.'"

"Sometimes local self-interest puts people on the unexpected side of an issue"

I wouldn't say these are strongly POV, but they do seem like offhand opinions that someone inserted into the article. I'm deleting them for that reason, and because they don't really fit the paragraph they were inserted into. If someone notable made remarks to that extent, they need to be sourced before they're reinserted. Gershwinrb 10:39, 6 February 2006 (UTC)


A long time ago, I wrote the original article on O'Shaughnessy Dam, and have my own feelings on the issue, but -- I agree. The sentences are POV.

dino talk


A couple of years ago, we discussed how to split the topic of Hetch Hetchy Valley, see Talk:Hetch Hetchy Valley. One issue was: what was the title of the article about the whole reservoir system, should it be named after the dam or the reservoir? At that time, I said:

Let's look at Wikipedia precedence: it looks like there are articles about the dams, instead of the reservoirs behind them. For example, see Reservoirs and dams in California or Reservoirs and dams in the United States. So, it looks like Wikipedia puts the reservoir adjunct to the dam, and we should keep O'Shaughnessy Dam as the main article, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir as the redirect.

I still believe this to be true, but want to reopen the discussion before doing anything radical.

-- hike395 23:12, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Doesn't seem to be much controversy: I'll perform the merge. hike395 01:50, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
My apologies for not catching this before the merge was completed. I wrote the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir article, but I don't keep pages that I create on my talk page to avoid a sense of ownership. Usually, I just let them develop on their own, without my interference, and sometimes come back to expand them. However, in this case, I strongly disagree with a merge. First, it is customary, at least on the California lakes and dams, to have separate articles (see List of reservoirs and dams in California, many of the articles were created by me, but it was standard practice before I created any articles). Also, even if the articles are merged, it is better to keep them under the lake's name. For one thing, the name of the lake is almost always more well known, Hoover Dam being one of the few exceptions. Lakes and their names tend to be longer lived, as well. Dams are frequently renamed to honor people, but lakes are renamed much less frequently. Lakes can also go through multiple dams and the dam always has a different name, in my experience. This will probably become more common as dams continue to age (most in California were built between the late 1800s and before 1975 or so). For these reasons, I reverted the merge. -- Kjkolb 23:23, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I strongly agree with this argument. Eperotao (talk) 23:12, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Removing O'Shaughnessy[edit]

October 17 Eos states that engineering studies are being done on the feasibility of removing the dam.

SF to take 60% more water from the T?[edit]

I thought I read about a week ago (thus around 1/1/08) that San Francisco was considering taking 60% more water from reservoir, and thus the T, than it's been doing, but I can't find any good source to that effect. It should probably go in here if it's true -- can anyone find it? atakdoug (talk) 10:38, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Carl Pope reference[edit]

The article says that "Some observers, such as Carl Pope (Director of the Sierra Club), stated that Hodel had political motives [1] in proposing the study. The imputed motive was to divide the environmental movement".... However, if one reads the reference, Pope writes that "Others have theorized that Hodel's proposal was motivated by a desire to split the alliance between conservationists and the Northern California politicians who have traditionally been sympathetic to their concerns." If he is an advocate of that view, he doesn't say that in the reference; either the article should be reworded, or a reference should be added that demonstrates that Pope believes that Hodel had a political motive to divide the environmental movement. Jim (talk) 05:12, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:O'Shaughnessy Dam (California)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Montanabw (talk · contribs) 21:00, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

I'll review this article and provide comments shortly. Montanabw(talk) 21:00, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct. Have some suggestions, see below
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. See below, mostly still want to see lead worked on a bit, but that should happen after other issues addressed.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline. One deadlink and three with minor issues, should be easy to fix
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines. See below, the question about use of a Master's thesis as a RS is my primary concern.
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. Solid work
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each. Minor issues, see below
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. All but two images check out. However, not certain we are OK with the licensing on two images, see comments below table
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
7. Overall assessment.

Hi. I'll be going through this article for GAN, and other than things I check off above, any comments for improvement will be below, and we can discuss them here. I may make a couple small edits here and there if I think they are minor, feel free to revert them if I changed something unintentionally or failed to improve matters. Montanabw(talk) 21:11, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

  1. Images have copyright status that is OK, except for File:HTHconstruction.jpg and File:Oshaughnessy dam s.jpg, both coming from Though that site states "The copyrights on these old photographs has expired," they don't state why they think this is true (and given that some images are post-1923, I'm not sure they are correct in their assertion. The images do not state if they were actually PUBLISHED (as opposed to photographs taken) prior to 1923, which is what we need. However, they link to this page: [1] and perhaps they can verify where the original images came from - if public domain because they were taken by the US gov't, or proof of publication prior to 1923, that's ideal, of course. Also found this link which may help you clarify copyright status. Montanabw(talk) 21:15, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
    I'm going to AGF on this one; we are at GA, not FA, at FA, this will have to be resolved, but for now, you are relying in good faith on the claims made at the source site, so I think that's copacetic. Montanabw(talk) 01:00, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
  2. Running toolserver flagged one dead link and three "green" links - indicating something minor, probably a weird URL. Check that out and make fixes, should be good there.

Montanabw(talk) 21:24, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

All the links seem to work except for that ASCE one, which is also unfortunately, unavailable on, so I'll have to find a replacement(s) for that. Also I don't understand what "crufty url" (ref 8) means, since it links fine, but I assume it's some kind of problem? Shannon 05:30, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
  1. I find the lead just a wee bit light, I'd expand it to either make the second paragraph a bit longer, incorporating more about the history material, or perhaps add a new paragraph. Not a hard and fast rule that the lead must be three paragraphs, but I think you can add a little more. Montanabw(talk) 21:24, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
I've extended the lead, still needs some fixes here and there, but I hope it's better. Shannon 05:20, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
  1. I suggest wikilinking water rights, subalpine, sustainable development, aqueduct system and other words that may seem jargon-y to readers unfamiliar with land use and water issues in the American west. Maybe also link words that would be unfamiliar to young readers or non-US readers, such as Bond (finance) - as used for public finding. Montanabw(talk) 21:30, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Working on it. Shannon 05:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Background section

Noting that the proposed removal section has the opposite problem (see below) this section has a slight pro-dam POV, mostly due to unneeded adjectives. A copyedit for more neutral language will help.

  1. Overall, this section would benefit from a copyedit to organize it a bit better, it kind of jumps around, stating most of the opponents' arguments after the dam's approval and most of the supporters' arguments prior, rather than showing the evolution and flow (OK, bad pun there) of the debate as it went. Not a deal-breaker for GA, but I think if you took a whack at this section it could be improved. Montanabw(talk) 21:47, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  2. Not particularly fond of " one major hurdle " -- "jumped this hurdle" phrasing. Creative, but a bit "sportswriter prose" more than encyclopedic style. Also makes it read mildly POV in favor of the dam's supporters as opposed to more neutral tone. May want to rephrase to an "on one hand, supporters said this, but on the other hand, opponents said that" style. In the same light, be careful with adjectives, which can raise debates over neutrality when none was intended. For example, rather than "preservationist groups such as the Sierra Club...", I suggest phrasing it "organizations such as the Sierra Club..." Montanabw(talk) 21:43, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
    Done Shannon 05:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  3. I am not completely happy with the Davies source, it's a masters' thesis, not precisely aligning with WP:RS, it would be acceptable if you had no other sources, but given the footnotes within that theses are pretty extensive, I'd be a little happier if you could perhaps take that extra step and look at that material, if possible. This isn't a deal-breaker for GA< but if you take this article to FAC, it will be. Montanabw(talk) 21:43, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
I have located the main source in the Davies source (Taylor 1926) and added pertinent citations. Hope this helps. Shannon 16:10, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
  1. Why "highly controversial" in Congress? Perhaps "hotly debated for three days" or "su"bject to intense lobbying..." or something that tells us more detail. Montanabw(talk) 21:43, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  1. No source for the $7.4 million cost fact, (nearest source is just about the railroad) particularly when another source cited later says it wound up costing $100 million. Montanabw(talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
    I'd guess that the 100 million figure (Sierra Club?) is inflation adjusted; calculating for inflation puts the 1914 cost at about $4.6 million, which is in the ballpark. I don't know where the 7.4 million figure came from, I'll try to find the source. Shannon 05:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I couldn't find a source for the 7.4 million figure, so I will stick with the $100 million figure.
  1. No article on Frederick Rolandi? Who was he? Montanabw(talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
    Added a little clarification. Shannon 05:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  2. Consider wikilinking retaining wall. Montanabw(talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
    Done Shannon 05:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  3. "concrete was poured by chutes from a 375-foot (114 m) tower..." Fascinating but I'm having a tough time visualizing this. How did the concrete get hoisted up there, why was this technique needed? Montanabw(talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Sort of expanded on that, should be a bit clearer now Shannon 04:29, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
  1. "Thousands of people " not verified by source, only the death toll. Need source for that number. Also, this source says the dam cost $100 million, so need to clarify against they initial $7.4 million figure cited above. Montanabw(talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
No source for figure, all I could find was some statistics on the construction camps which suggested a workforce of 500-600 people, but nothing conclusive. I have removed this phrasing for now. Shannon 05:20, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
  1. "...unique stepped face to accommodate a future raise..." need some wikilinks or explanation of what a "stepped face" is and what is meant by "raise" (i.e.water level or height of the dam?) Montanabw(talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
"Reworded to clarify. Shannon 02:03, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
The dam and reservoir today
  1. Anything interesting about the roadway over the dam? Is it any kind of numbered state or federal road, or just a local access? Montanabw(talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Added a little bit of info about the road, and a reference Shannon 02:03, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
  1. You finally mention the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct way down here, my thinking is that is something to mention in the lead when you expand the lead so readers understand why earlier references to the aqueduct matter. JMO. Montanabw(talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Lead has been expanded, see above. Shannon 05:20, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Proposed removal

Whereas the background section has a mildly (very mildly) pro-dam POV, this section has a very mild anti-dam POV. Mostly will be solved by doing a search and destroy for unneeded adjectives.

  1. "Dam removal advocates have repeatedly pointed out ..." mildly POV phrasing. I'd suggest just say, Dam removal advocates have stated..." Montanabw(talk) 22:17, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  2. ..."– as it rightfully should have been protected under the national park. " Awkward phrasing, copyedit that a bit. When you copyedit, kill the endash or else use — for proper formatting. Montanabw(talk) 22:17, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  3. Link Native American or, better yet, identify the tribal nations or peoples that used the area. Montanabw(talk) 22:17, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  4. Last paragraph a little thrown-together, kill unneeded adjectives ("is still relatively low" perhaps rephrase--> "is relatively low; for example, in 2012...") Montanabw(talk) 22:17, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  5. Is there an article on Proposition F or just the issues on the 2012 California ballot? Montanabw(talk) 22:17, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
I have addressed all the issues in this last section except for the Prop F paragraph, I'll work on that shortly. Shannon 02:03, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Looks like you got that batch. Montanabw(talk) 21:30, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

This is, by the way, a very cool article and quite fascinating. Though I have a lot of stuff listed above, I very much think this article is close to passing if these things can be cleaned up! Montanabw(talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Monitoring, feel free to ping me if you want me to pop by and look something over. Montanabw(talk) 00:03, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments, could we actually put this on hold or some kind of delay? I'm going to be out of town for most of next week with no Internet connection. Will promptly address the rest when i come back. Shannon 07:36, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
No worries! I'll not consider it inactive! Enjoy your time away! Montanabw(talk) 21:17, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

@Shannon1: Glad to see you back, looks like you are making good progress, maybe pop a "Fixed" or something after any of my remaining comments when you have addressed them. You are actually quite close to approval here! Montanabw(talk) 18:40, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. I've been quite busy these few weeks, but I'll be sure to make good on the review. Shannon 02:03, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
The biggest hiccup for you here is fixing the deadlink issues I raised above and tracking down the image permissions, note above that most are OK but two have problems. Basically criteria 2a and 6a. Once you have those, a rewrite of the lead to bring it in line with the body text and make it a bit more stylistically smooth and I'll be glad to giv eyou the green light. Montanabw(talk) 21:30, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
@Shannon1: Everything good now but the licensing on the two images I have noted above. You are 90% there! Montanabw(talk) 19:18, 13 April 2014 (UTC)


Symbol support vote.svg

I'm going to AGF on the images (see above) and pass this article. Good work! Montanabw(talk) 01:00, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! I just got home and was looking at the licensing for the two images. I'm finding frustratingly little info on their copyright status, but as you said, I'm assuming good faith for now. I'll continue to look into it and see if I can find replacements, in case I do decide to take this to FAC. Shannon 03:30, 15 April 2014 (UTC)