The Bureau of Land Management's Big Bar Launch facility is now open on the Mokelumne River at
Highway 49. The parking lot, boating takeout/put-in, bathroom and access trails have been in the
works for more than 25 years. The Big Bar facility provides the first legal takeout and parking for
the popular Electra Run. It allows tubers and paddlers to exit the river before a difficult rapid. And
now it will be easier for those who enjoy flatter water to raft, fish and kayak on the Middle Bar reach
Foothill Conservancy helped with the planning and development of this river access point, through
discussions with BLM, the relicensing of PG&E's hydroelectric project and our successful efforts to
open the Middle Bar reach to public access, working with the State Lands Commission and California
Attorney Generals office.
We'd like to congratulate BLM, especially Associate Field Office Manager Jim Eicher, whose patience
and persistence made this long-awaited facility a reality. It's important to point out, too, that this was
done without any condemnation of private land. Instead, Eicher negotiated with the three landowner
families over a number of years to work out a long-term lease agreement. Construction funds came
from the California Department of Boating and Waterways, PG&E, and BLM.
Finally, we'd like to note that this facility would be under water if Pardee Reservoir is expanded as
planned by the East Bay Municipal Utility District.