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San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area

Final Document for the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area Resource Management Plan/General Plan

California State Parks and the Bureau of Reclamation released the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area Resource Management Plan/General Plan. The San Luis Reservoir SRA consists of over 27,000 acres owned by Reclamation and managed by State Parks, and includes the water surfaces of San Luis Reservoir, O’Neill Forebay, Los Banos Creek Reservoir; and adjacent recreation lands in Merced County, Calif.

The resource management plan is intended to guide recreation and resource management at the SRA in a way that maintains and enhances public and resource benefits and is consistent with Reclamation’s core mission of delivering water and generating power. The Final EIS/EIR describes the SRA’s existing setting, alternatives for future management under the resource management plan, and potential environmental impacts of the alternatives.

The Final EIS/EIR was prepared in cooperation with the California Department of Parks and Recreation to comply under the National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act, respectively and is available, below (in sections), and at: http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=548.  If you encounter any difficulties assessing the documents online, please email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov or call 916-978-5100 (TTY 916-978-5608).

For more information or to request copies of the documents, please contact Dave Woolley, Bureau of Reclamation, South-Central California Area Office, at 559-487-5049 (TDD 559 487-5933) or email dwoolley@usbr.gov.

Public Notice of Final Resource Management Plan/General Plan Approval

FINAL - Resource Management Plan/General Plan
San Luis RMP-GP_FEIS-FEIR Cover through Chapter 1 (1 MB)
San Luis RMP-GP_FEIS-FEIR Chapter 2 (4 MB)
San Luis RMP-GP_FEIS-FEIR Chapter 3 through 10 (2 MB)
San Luis RMP-GP_FEIS-FEIR Appendix A through B (658 kB)
San Luis RMP-GP_FEIS-FEIR Appendix C Part 1 (4 MB)
San Luis RMP-GP_FEIS-FEIR Appendix C Part 2 (3 MB)
San Luis RMP-GP_FEIS-FEIR Appendix D (3 MB)


Resource Management Plan and General Plan Cooperative Planning Effort

The Bureau of Reclamation and California State Parks, in a cooperative effort, prepared a Resource Management Plan and General Plan (RMP/GP) for the San Luis Reservoir area in order to provide coordinated direction for recreation and resource management of San Luis Reservoir and surrounding lands for the next 25 years while continuing to serve the primary purpose of water storage and distribution.  To comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), this document also includes a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) to determine the potential effects of implementing the RMP/GP.  The RMP/GP sets forth goals and guidelines for cohesive management of the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area (SRA) and adjacent lands known as the Plan Area which consists of two geographically separate areas totaling over 27,000 acres in the vicinity of Los Banos, California.  The Plan Area includes the water surfaces of San Luis Reservoir, O’Neill Forebay, Los Banos Creek Reservoir, as well as adjacent recreation lands.

Boat Ramp Area at San Luis ReservoirSan Luis Reservoir, O’Neill Forebay, and Los Banos Creek Reservoir are part of the system of reservoirs, aqueducts, power plants, and pumping stations operated under the California State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Project (CVP).  Reclamation constructed the facilities and Department of Water Resources operates the water storage and delivery components.  The Department of Parks and Recreation was given the responsibility to plan, design, construct, maintain, and operate the recreation areas surrounding the reservoirs.

The San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay and adjacent lands lie north and south of State Route (SR) 152.   Los Banos Creek Reservoir and adjacent lands lie approximately 8 miles to the southeast.  San Luis Reservoir and SR 152 are in the latitudinal center of the State of California.  The western portion of SR 152 provides access to Interstate 5, which is approximately 1 mile east of the Plan Area.  SR 33 and the unincorporated community of Santa Nella are 2 miles northeast of San Luis Reservoir.  Other nearby cities are Los Banos, approximately 6 miles east of Plan Area, and Gilroy, 38 miles to the west.  The Plan Area is in the foothills of the Diablo Range and bordered on the west by the hilly terrain that separates the range from the San Joaquin Valley.

Construction on San Luis Reservoir began in 1963 and was completed in 1967, with planned joint use by the California State Water Project (SWP) and the Central Valley Project (CVP).  The Bureau of Reclamation constructed the reservoir and owns the land, and the Department of Water Resources operates the water storage and conveyance facilities.  San Luis Reservoir was built as part of the system of reservoirs, aqueducts, power plants, and pumping stations operated under SWP and CVP.  The reservoir has a capacity of two million acre-feet and is the largest off-stream reservoir in the United States.  Water stored in San Luis Reservoir is pumped through O’Neill Forebay from the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, which in turn is fed by the California Aqueduct and the Delta Mendota Canal.  The function of San Luis Reservoir is to store and regulate water pumped from the Delta for use in the San Joaquin Valley and southern California.

Los Banos Creek Reservoir was completed in 1965 to prevent storm runoff from flooding of the California Aqueduct and the Delta Mendota Canal.  The reservoir has a capacity of 34,600 acre-feet.

The objectives of the joint RMP/GP were to establish management objectives, guidelines, and actions implemented by Reclamation directly, or through its recreation contract with Department of Parks and Recreation, that protects the water supply and water quality functions of San Luis Reservoir; protects and enhances natural and cultural resources in the SRA, consistent with Federal law and Reclamation policies and provides recreational opportunities and facilities consistent with the Central Valley Project purposes and the policies of the Department of Parks and Recreation and Bureau of Reclamation.