Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Documents for Water Acquisition for Kern National Wildlife Refuge

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: January 21, 2005

The Bureau of Reclamation has released a public draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a proposed purchase of up to 17,500 acre-feet of water annually from the Semitropic Water Storage District, located near Wasco, California, about 25 miles northwest of Bakersfield, California. The water would be used to help meet water needs at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge for water years 2005 through 2009. In accordance with Section 3406(d)(2) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, Reclamation must acquire water to provide increased water deliveries to wetland habitat areas in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.

The draft EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The EA describes the potential environmental impacts, both beneficial and adverse, associated with the proposed alternatives.

The draft environmental documents are available for a 30 day comment period which ends February 22, 2005. To request a copy of these draft documents, please call Mr. James McCray, Environmental Specialist, at 916-978-5255, or e-mail him at: The draft documents are also available on Reclamation's website at:

For additional information, please contact Dan Meier, Water Acquisition Program Manager, at 916-978 5264 (TDD 916-978 5608).

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Draft EA and FONSI