Reclamation Issues EA, Draft FONSI on Maricopa County's Plan for Managing Agua Fria Conservation Area

Media Contact: Patricia Cox , (623) 773-6214
Sandy Eto, (623) 773-6254

For Release: February 03, 2010

The Bureau of Reclamation is issuing an Environmental Assessment and a draft Finding of No Significant Impact on its proposed approval of an amendment to Maricopa County's Lake Pleasant Master Plan (LPMP). Lake Pleasant is a storage reservoir component of the Central Arizona Project and is located 35 miles northwest of Phoenix, Ariz. on the Agua Fria River.

An Environmental Assessment is required prior to any change in the current Lake Pleasant Regional Park recreation master plan because the park is located on Reclamation project lands, although managed by Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Dept. The Agua Fria Conservation Area management plan would be an amendment to the master plan.

The AFCA consists of 2,405 acres in the northeast portion of the park. It is a natural, environmentally sensitive area intended to remain relatively undisturbed to preserve the native environment. In recent years, activities such as shooting, trash dumping, off-road vehicle travel, vandalism, and criminal activities degraded cultural and natural resources of the AFCA and created a public hazard.

Currently, the area is closed to vehicles. The proposed three-phase plan would allow limited access for day-use only on a seasonal basis (generally November through May) when park hosts would be on-site. Boat ramp(s), parking, rest rooms, and permit-only camping would be phased in eventually. The proposed plan allows access and recreational opportunities within the AFCA for responsible users while providing protection to the natural and cultural resources of the area.

Reclamation will consider all comments on both the EA and the draft FONSI prior to making a final decision regarding the proposed transfer. Please mail your comments to Ms. Sandra Eto, Bureau of Reclamation, 6105 W. Thunderbird Rd., Glendale, Ariz. 85306-4001, or via e-mail to, or via faxogram to 623-773-6486, no later than February 26, 2010. Comments, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available.

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Eto at (623) 773-6254.

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