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For Immediate Release: 11/2/2015

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Get Involved in Planning the Future of Auburn State Recreation Area


Cheryl Essex, Parks, 916.445.8814

Jim Micheaels, Parks, 916.988.0513

Bonnie Van Pelt, USBR, 916.989.7127


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California State Parks and the Bureau of Reclamation are planning the future of Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA), and we need your help.

A study of the existing resource characteristics, existing recreation areas and facilities and generally anticipated recreational uses of ASRA is underway. The agencies are preparing maps of ASRA’s habitat types, hydrology, existing facilities and more. Additional information and suggestions about what resources should be studied for preservation and/or enhancement are being sought from park visitors, agencies and the general public.

The agencies are planning a series of public workshops to gather input on the ASRA General Plan/Resource Management Plan (Plan). The first public workshop is scheduled for
November 12 at 6 p.m. at Skyridge Elementary School, 800 Perkins Way in Auburn.

The Plan will consider the types of recreation that could be enhanced and improved, such as camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, rock climbing, bird watching, nature exploration and more. The Plan will also address the important natural and cultural resources of the ASRA and identify ways to protect and preserve them for future generations to enjoy. If you would like to be added to the contact list to receive email notifications of public workshops and planning updates, please contact Project Lead Cheryl Essex at

Making decisions about how to best provide high-quality recreation while preserving the park for future generations is a big responsibility. The planning process first involves the public, scientists, technical experts and land managers in documenting and understanding the park’s important natural, cultural and recreational resources, existing uses and visitor needs. Then Plan alternatives are developed that include resource preservation and land use strategies that will best serve California in the long term. Once Plan alternatives are prepared, an analysis of the potential environmental impacts of Plan implementationwill be conducted as required by the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Finally, the preferred Plan will be presented to the California Park and Recreation Commission and Reclamation for review and adoption. This process is expected to be completed by September 2017.

The ASRA is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, northeast of Sacramento. It includes about 33,000 acres of public land and approximately 40 linear miles of the north and middle forks of the American River. It is located immediately east of the city of Auburn and straddles the boundary of El Dorado and Placer counties.

Reclamation acquired lands to support construction, operation and maintenance of the Auburn Dam and Reservoir beginning in 1965. The ASRA was designated as a state recreation area in 1979. Federal lands in the area, including those owned by Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Land Management, are managed by California State Parks and other agencies such as the Placer County Water Agency and the Auburn Recreation District. Because there is currently no plan or schedule in place to construct the Auburn Dam, a management plan is necessary to provide a long-term and comprehensive framework for the management of ASRA’s 33,000 acres as a state recreation area.

Jason De Wall, California State Park’s Gold Fields District Superintendent, said, “This Plan will set the stage for state and federal investments that will better protect the significant resources along 40 miles of the north and middle forks of the American River above Folsom Lake. It will also give Californians more options for engaging in healthy outdoor recreation in the Sierra foothills.

Drew Lessard, Area Manager for Reclamation's Central California Area Office, said, "Reclamation's vision for the Auburn State Recreation Area is that it continues to protect and preserve valuable cultural and natural resources and support a variety of recreational opportunities consistent with Reclamation's policies and purposes for Auburn Project lands."

More information about the Plan, the public workshops and the schedule is available at


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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.