Auburn State Recreation Area

State Parks, Reclamation ink Auburn State Recreation Area partnership pact

February 29, 2012, 9:17 am

Signing ceremony marks end of three years of uncertainty for wilderness canyon below Auburn

Uncertainty gave way to celebration Tuesday as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and California State Parks marked the signing of a 25-year partnership pact to maintain operations in the 30,000-acre Auburn State Recreation Area.

The long-term agreement, which also covers more than 20,000 acres in the Folsom State Recreation Area, means State Parks will continue to manage law enforcement and visitor services in the two areas.

The Bureau of Reclamation hammered out an agreement with State Parks that requires all revenue generated by recreation and other operations to be applied directly to the management of the two recreations areas.

In turn, the bureau will provide federal appropriations “as available” for half of any operational deficit up to a ceiling of $2.5 million annually.

In a sign of goodwill, the state and federal agencies are pledging to continue to work together to minimize or eliminate deficits through continuous collaboration and efficient business planning.

The collaboration was forced by a groundswell of local concern over possible Bureau of Reclamation cutbacks that would have forced closure of access roads and the potential elimination of a State Parks presence in the Auburn State Recreation Area because of lack of funding.