State and Federal Agencies Offer Us Opportunities to Recreate

State and Federal Agencies that offer us opportunities to recreate on and off the Georgetown Divide; the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forestry and California State Parks.  

Both the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bureau of Land Management answer to the U.S. Department of the Interior.  The Bureau of Reclamation, established in 1902, “manages water in the west”, constructing more than 600 dams and reservoirs including Hoover Dam.  The American River Division consists of Folsom Lake, Sly Park and Auburn-Folsom South units, of which the primary feature was to be the Auburn Dam.  Nearby Foresthill Bridge is the 2nd highest bridge built by the Reclamation. 

The Bureau of Land Management, established in 1946, is responsible locally for Cronan Ranch and Folsom Recreation Management Area.  BLM oversees a variety of programs for the management and conservation of approximately 13% of the total U.S. land surface.  This includes administering about 57 million acres of commercial forests and woodland, grazing permits on 160 million acres of public rangeland, soil and watershed management, and fire protection on public lands. 

The U.S. Forestry was established in 1905 under direction of the Department of Agriculture.  The Forest Service manages public lands in National Forests and grasslands which encompass 193 million acres of land.  California is one of nine geographic regions in the Country the Forest Service manages.  El Dorado National Forest turns 100 this year. 

California State Parks’ mission is to “provide for the health, inspiration and education” of California residents by preserving and protecting natural and cultural resources.  The Park manages 278 “units”.  Most popular are the State beaches; the Parks are responsible for nearly 1/3 of California’s coastline.  There are 3,000 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails within the system.  3% of Park visitors operate OHV’s in a State Park each year, yet the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Division has administered $331.3 million in OHV grant funds.  Recreational Trails Fund is only 2.09% of the operating budget.  California State Parks survive through volunteer man hours, nearly 1 million hours contributed on an annual basis.  With 65% of the Sierra Region being publicly owned, it makes sense to be more familiar with our neighboring agencies.  The Bureau of Land Management oversees Cronan Ranch, the California State Parks administers under a contract with the Bureau of Reclamation, and our up country Rock Creek Trail system falls under the U.S. Forestry.

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