News Release Archive

Robert LaFleur is New Park Manager at New Melones Lake

Media Contact: Erin Curtis, 916-978-5100,

For Release: August 12, 2015

SONORA, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation welcomes Robert LaFleur as the new Park Manager for New Melones Lake in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. In this position, LaFleur assists the Area Manager of the Mid-Pacific Region’s Central California Area Office in managing public recreation and natural resources at the lake.

“We are very happy to welcome Robert to the Mid-Pacific Region,” stated Drew Lessard, CCAO Area Manager. “He has 15 years of supervisory experience, and with his knowledge and abilities in the area of managing public lands, he will be a great asset to CCAO and New Melones Lake.”

In his new position, LaFleur is responsible for the management and maintenance of developed recreation areas, natural and cultural resources, visitor services and concession management at New Melones Lake, which includes more than 30,000 surface acres of water and land and the Peoria Wildlife Management Area.

LaFleur earned a Bachelor of Science (Major in Forest Management, Minor in Wildlife Management) from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., in 1991. He began his career as a Student Trainee Forester with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Tennessee.

LaFleur has worked for several federal agencies throughout the U.S., developing an understanding of public use and federal land management, including forest management; wildfire suppression; wildlife habitat and population management; public recreation management; natural resource education, interpretation and planning; and environmental analysis. A lifelong outdoor enthusiast, LaFleur believes in serving the American public for the greater good of our Nation by conserving and protecting our natural and cultural resources.

New Melones is part of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project. The Flood Control Act of December 1944 authorized construction of New Melones Dam on the Stanislaus River to replace the original Melones Dam, built by the Oakdale and South San Joaquin Irrigation Districts in 1926. Completed in 1979, New Melones Dam helps alleviate flooding along the Stanislaus and Lower San Joaquin rivers. The original dam is located about a mile upstream from the current dam and is submerged under the lake. New Melones is authorized for flood protection, recreation, water supply, electric power, water quality enhancement and fish and wildlife purposes.

For additional information on New Melones Lake, please call the New Melones Visitor Center and Museum at 209-536-9543 (TTY 800-877-8339) or visit the website at

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