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Thursday, November 27, 2008

13 New State Parks are Proposed for the Central Valley

the Sacramento River

The draft “Central Valley Vision Implementation Plan” is a twenty-year plan that focuses on meeting the public’s recreation needs in the Central Valley.

To read the report, go to:

It is a 12 megabyte file.

Please submit your comments and suggestions to us at or mail to the address below by December 15, 2008.

The lawyers say: “This document is for long-range planning purposes only and does not imply a land acquisition or development commitment. The maps and text indicate potential land uses and suggests ways in which the plan may be carried out. Funds to implement most of the plan’s recommendations are not yet available. Many proposals, especially those that are not high priorities, may not occur for many years. If lands are to be acquired, they will be purchased only from willing sellers. Development proposals will be subject to full environmental review and regulatory approvals prior to moving forward.”

When implemented, the Central Valley Vision initiatives will enhance outdoor recreation opportunities by:

• Almost tripling the number of campsites, from 1,200 to 3,200.

• More than doubling the number of picnic sites, from almost 900 to almost 2,000 sites.

• Almost doubling the acres of state parks land in the Valley, from about 110,000 to over 200,000 acres.

Add 13 new parks to the California State Park System:

• six new parks in the San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin to provide recreation for rapidly growing and underserved populations and protect special resources;

• two new parks in the northern Sacramento River Valley near Red Bluff , to link existing Sacramento River parks to Redding recreation areas;

• two new museums in Sacramento and two new parks in Yolo County—four new park areas to serve the State Capital’s growing metropolitan region; and

• one new park in Solano County that will help link other conserved areas to the Delta.

Also recommended are five heritage corridors to interpret the Valley’s history and culture and boating trails to link outdoor recreation areas on rivers and waterways.

The 5 Proposed Heritage Corridors:

The California Delta Heritage Corridor would link historic Delta towns, recreation sites, nature areas and farm stands. Highlights: Historic communities such as Rio Vista and Locke; recreation areas such as Big Break; wildlife and fish habitats such as Woodbridge Ecological Reserve; agri-tourism attractions such as “U-pick” fruit orchards and festivals; trails such as parts of the American Discovery Trail; and Delta excursion boats.

Th e Cross-California Ecological Corridor (already a heritage corridor) links natural areas and other examples of California ecosystems. Highlights: Rivers and their riparian habitats; marshes and wildlife-friendly rice farms; public recreation land such as Sutter National Refuge; public recreation land such as South Yuba River State Park; and wildlife areas.

The Black Gold Heritage Corridor would connect sites associated with oil development in Kern and Kings counties. Highlights: Important oil fields such as Elk Hills; Bakersfield refineries; museums such as the Kern County Museum; and events such as “Bakersfield sound” performances at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace.

The Central Valley Farm Trails Heritage Corridor would link Highway 99 and Interstate 5 to local farm trails and other agricultural sites. Highlights: Local farm trails and “u-pick” farms; agri-tourism sites; historic farms, ranches and farm communities such as Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park; farm history museums; farm labor history sites; water facilities such as reservoirs; and state and county rodeos and charreadas, cook-off s and festivals.

Echoes of Our Ancestors Corridor: The Great Central Valley has been home to many diverse cultural groups, beginning with California Indians. This heritage corridor take aspects of the history of California’s rich ethnic diversity and links them together.


Proposed parks. The thirteen proposed new parks are (from north to south):

• Anderson-Sacramento

Big Bend

Blue Ridge

Upper Elkhorn Basin

California Indian Heritage


California State Railroad

Technology Museum

• Barker Slough

• Dos Rios

San Joaquin River Parkway

Kings River

• Rocky Hill at Exeter

• Deer Creek

• Tejon Ranch


In Shasta and Tehama Counties:

• Two new state parks linking Redding and Red Bluff recreation areas

• The addition of 5,200-5,800 acres of land, 140-160 campsites and 150-180 picnic sites, and restoration of about 200 acres

Shasta SHP

• Protect the viewshed by securing about 165 acres from BLM.

Anderson-Sacramento River (proposed)

• Acquire about 225 acres of riverfront property.

• Develop 25 campsites, 50 picnic sites, trails, angling access, boating facilities and an interpretive program.

Big Bend (proposed)

• Acquire about 2,000 acres of riverfront property.

• Develop about 100 campsites, 2 group campsites, 125 picnic sites, trails, angling access, boating facilities and an interpretive program.

Woodson Bridge SRA

• Accept the 700 acre Kopta Slough property.

• Restore about 180 acres of wildlife habitat.


In Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter and Yuba Counties:

• Develop 350-400 campsites and 80-100 picnic sites, protect an additional 7,800- 8,300 acres and restore about 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat at state parks.

Colusa-Sacramento River SRA

• Acquire about 13 acres and restore about 140 acres of wildlife habitat.

State Park at Sutter Buttes

• Acquire about 1,000 acres.

• Develop about 150 campsites (outside of Peace Valley), 50 picnic sites, trails, and interpretation.


In Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo Counties

• Acquire 2,800-3,000 acres of land and restore 1,300-1,500 acres of wildlife habitat.

• Develop 180-210 campsites and 80-110 picnic sites.

Blue Ridge (proposed)

• Acquire about 1,500 acres in Capay Valley for a new State Park.

Upper Elkhorn Basin (proposed)

• Partner with local landowners along the Sacramento River to acquire about 1,500 acres.

California Indian Heritage Center (proposed)

• Acquire 68 acres.


In Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Solano Counties:

• Develop 300-340 campsites, about 160 picnic sites and 700- 750 acres of land; restore about 500 acres of wildlife habitat.

Delta Meadows (CSP property)

• Acquire about 230 acres

Barker Slough (proposed)

• Acquire about 500 acres.


In Calaveras, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne Counties:

Caswell Memorial SP

• Acquire about 200 acres and restore about 100 acres of wildlife habitat.

Dos Rios (proposed)

• Acquire about 1,600 acres and restore 500 acres of wildlife habitat to create a new State Park at the confluence of the San Joaquin and Tuolumne Rivers, and would provide a recreation area near Modesto.

Turlock Lake SRA

• Acquire about 1,650 acres to expand access to the Tuolumne River.

McConnell SRA

• Acquire about 200 acres.

San Joaquin River Parkway (proposed)

• Accept about 1,250 acres of existing public land in new park.


In Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare Counties:

Develop three new proposed parks—Exeter Rocky Hill, a Native American rock art site; Tejon Ranch, a 60,000 acre park south of Bakersfield; and Kings River, near Fresno.

Kings River (proposed)

• Create a new park to provide recreation and a water trail on the Kings River.

• Partner with Fresno County Parks, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and Kings River Conservancy to acquire 500 acres on Kings River.

Rocky Hill at Exeter (proposed)

• Acquire about 2,300 acres to create a new park that celebrates Native American culture.

Deer Creek (proposed)

• Acquire a new park of about 1,000 acres.

Tule Elk SNR

• Acquire about 420 acres and restore about 300 acres of wildlife habitat.

Tejon Ranch (proposed)

• Cooperate with partners to acquire 60,000 acres to establish a new park at the south end of the Central Valley.


Central Valley State Park Milestones

1914 Property acquired for first Central Valley State Park, Sutter’s Fort SHP.

1928 Frederick Law Olmsted’s plan for State Park System recommends state parks on Sacramento River from Solano to Sutter counties.

1958 Folsom Lake SRA, the most popular Central Valley State Park, opens.

1973 Governor Reagan’s administration prioritizes 35 new or expanded Central Valley state parks.

1981 Clay Pit SVRA, first Central Valley Off -Highway Vehicle Area, opens.

2003 Property for the State Park at Sutter Buttes acquired (the first new Central Valley State Park in 20 years).

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