Reclamation updating agreement to acquire water for the East Bear Creek Unit of the San Luis Refuge

Media Contact: Erin Curtis, 916-978-5100

For Release: February 01, 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In November 2017, the Bureau of Reclamation signed a Finding of No Significant Impact to acquire up to 8,863 acre-feet of water for the East Bear Creek Unit of the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge through Aug. 25, 2018. Reclamation has prepared a new FONSI updating the November 2017 FONSI to include some of the unit’s water will be from storage and/or water made available as a result of Merced Irrigation District’s reoperation of Lake Yosemite during flood control periods to create a more advantageous flow rate for the refuge.

The purpose of the water acquisition remains unchanged, and that is to enhance and maintain wetland habitats for the benefit of migratory waterfowl and wetland-dependent wildlife in the San Joaquin Valley. Water purchased under the agreement will be used to meet Reclamation’s requirement to provide level 4 water supplies for habitat management, as required by the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. Habitat management includes timing and duration of fall and late winter flooding, summer water for food production and permanent wetland habitat maintenance.

The FONSI was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=28881. For questions on the project or to request a copy of the FONSI, please contact Shelly Hatleberg at 916-978-5050 (TTY 800-877-8339) or shatleberg@usbr.gov.

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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 https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.