Recreation Fast Facts
- There are 289 Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) project areas that have developed recreation facilities and opportunities available for public use.
- Reclamation has approximately 6.5 million acres of land and water, most of which are available for public outdoor recreation.
- The developed recreation areas provide approximately 350 campgrounds, 1,000 boat launch ramps, 140 swim beaches, and more than 13,000 miles of shoreline for visitors to enjoy.
- Some Reclamation project areas do not have developed recreation facilities for public use; however, dispersed recreational opportunities such as hiking, photography, wildlife viewing, and hunting may be available.
- In the absence of project-specific legislation or a managing partner, Reclamation is limited by the Federal Water Project Recreation Act of 1965, Public Law 89-72 to providing only “minimum basic” facilities. Only a limited number of Reclamation-managed projects have site-specific authority to fully plan, develop, and manage recreation facilities and improvements on its lands.
- It is Reclamation’s goal to seek other local qualified governmental entities to manage recreation at its projects; therefore, most of the 289 developed recreation areas are managed by Federal and non-Federal partners.
- Eighty-four (84) of the 289 developed recreation areas are managed by another Federal agency under an agreement with Reclamation. This includes agreements that have been entered into with federally recognized Indian Tribes. In many instances, these agreements are accompanied with specific Congressional legislation that authorizes another Federal agency to manage recreation and other land resources at a Reclamation water project using their respective rules and regulations. These areas are managed by the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
- Of the 84 developed recreation areas managed by another Federal agency, 11 are National Recreation Areas that offer the public unique natural, cultural and recreational opportunities. These 11 areas are managed by the NPS or USFS.
- Of the 84 developed recreation areas managed by another Federal agency, 11 are National Wildlife Refuges that provide outdoor recreation opportunities to the public and valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife species. These 11 areas are managed by the FWS.
- Reclamation has 66 non-Federal managing partners comprised mostly of State, county, and city governments.
- The 66 non-Federal partners manage 159 of the 289 developed recreation areas under a contract with Reclamation.
- Reclamation manages 33 of the 289 developed recreation areas without the benefit of a managing partner.
- Eight (8) of the 289 developed recreation areas are managed cooperatively by a non-Federal partner and Reclamation, and 1 area is managed cooperatively with another Federal agency and Reclamation.
- Two (2) of the 289 developed recreation areas are cooperatively managed by another Federal agency and a non-Federal managing partner.
- One (1) of 289 developed recreation areas is managed solely by an Indian Tribe.
- One (1) of the 289 developed recreation areas is cooperatively managed by another Federal agency and two Indian Tribes.
- There are approximately 225 concessionaires at the 289 developed recreation areas that offer a variety of outdoor facilities and services to the general public including marinas, campgrounds, lodging, food service, rental equipment, and golf.
- There are 67 visitor centers located at the 289 developed recreation areas.