For Immediate Release: 6/26/2020
Final Environmental Documents on Future of Auburn State Recreation Area Now Available - Auburn SRA General Plan/Resource Management Plan
Jim Micheaels I CA State Parks
Mary Lee Knecht I Reclamation
AUBURN, Calif.— California State Parks and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) today released the final environmental impact report/environmental impact statement (EIR/EIS) for the general plan/resource management plan (GP/RMP) that will guide the future development and management of Auburn State Recreation Area (Auburn SRA) and Auburn Project Lands (APL).
Auburn SRA/APL is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, northeast of Sacramento. It includes about 30,000 acres of public land situated along nearly 40 linear miles of the north and middle forks of the American River. State Parks currently manages the Auburn SRA through a managing partner agreement with Reclamation. The GP/RMP alternatives include resource protection and land use strategies that will serve the communities and recreating public in the long term.
The two agencies released a preliminary GP/RMP and draft EIR/EIS in July 2019 for public review and comment. More than 350 letters and comments were received during the comment period. State Parks and Reclamation have carefully considered all of the comments in preparing the Final EIR/EIS. Reponses to all comments received are included in the final EIR/EIS. These responses include comprehensive master responses addressing common elements among comments including: purpose of GP/RMP, public engagement, wildfire risk, traffic circulation, parking and access.
As part of the evaluation of the public comments, State Parks and Reclamation have made some changes to the proposed action for the GP/RMP that are also documented in the Final EIR/EIS including:
- Reduced the additional camping capacity proposed in the plan from 235 sites to 142 campsites.
- Clarified and added measures to address wildfire risk prior to any new facility development, including providing fuel clearance around proposed facilities, developing evacuation plans, providing any needed access improvements and coordinating/ consulting with local fire agencies.
- Clarified the process and added measures to address wildfire risk, trail impacts and other concerns prior to opening new public vehicle access to the river at Rocky Point.
- Added measures to communicate river hazard risks and changeable river flows to ASRA visitors.
- Added and strengthened guidelines to work with Caltrans and other agencies to address traffic circulation and parking issues at the Confluence of the North and Middle Forks of the American River, and other locations within ASRA/APL to ensure that vehicles and pedestrians can access areas safely, including developing shuttle services.
The final environmental documents were prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act, which can be found at www.parks.ca.gov/PlanASRA and Reclamation Webpage .
The next steps in the process are for each lead agency to follow its decision process regarding the GP/RMP and EIR/EIS. For the state, the California State Park and Recreation Commission (Commission) is responsible for the review of the GP and certification of the EIR. The Commission is required to hold a public hearing when considering the approval of a GP and EIR. Following certification of the EIR and approval of the GP by the Commission, State Parks would file a notice of determination with the State Clearinghouse. In the federal decision process, Reclamation will complete a record of decision (ROD), which will document Reclamation’s decision to choose one of the alternatives as its preferred alternative and the final EIR/EIS will be used to support this decision. The California Great Basin Regional Director will approve the ROD.
The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit us at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR and @ReclamationCVP.
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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.