Wild & Scenic Mokelumne Update

Foothill Focus Newsletter
photo of Mokelumne River
North Fork Mokelumne River below Salt Springs Dam
Foothill Focus Fall 2011
Mokelumne River access area opens
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 downstream.

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.

THE FOOTHILL CONSERVANCY  |  35 Court Street, Suite 1   Jackson, CA  95642  |  209-223-3508