Bureau of Reclamation Encourages Visitors to Protect Historic Resources at New Melones Lake

Media Contact: Louis Moore, 916-978-5100

For Release: August 28, 2014

SONORA, Calif. – Visitors to New Melones Lake are asked to help protect historic resources by not handling, removing, or destroying any artifacts or ruins on or along the lake bed. The remains of some historic sites are now being exposed due to low reservoir levels. The sites and artifacts are protected by federal laws that prohibit disturbing them in any way, including removing or relocating artifacts.

Reclamation reminds visitors that it is important to protect exposed historic resources by not digging, handling, or removing anything from the lake bed or adjacent lands and that the use of metal detectors is not permitted within the New Melones Lake Project Area.

The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 43, Part 423, Section 423.29, states that visitors must not destroy, injure, deface, remove, search for, disturb, or alter natural resources or cultural resources and that visitors must not possess a metal detector on Reclamation lands (http://cfr.regstoday.com/43cfr423.aspx). The historic sites around the lake and those that are normally covered by water in the reservoir are protected by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (16 USC 470aa-mm) and other federal laws.

Please report any found ruins or artifacts or any tampering, destruction, or removal of ruins or artifacts to the New Melones Lake office at 209-536-9094. For additional information on New Melones Lake, please visit http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/newmelones.

# # #

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 www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.