Popular Stanislaus River parks closing because of federal government shutdown

10/04/2013 6:50 PM

10/04/2013 11:12 PM

As part of the federal government shutdown, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Sacramento District on Sunday will close its parks, including the popular Stanislaus River Parks, which can draw more than 1,000 people on a sunny fall weekend for picnics, hiking and boating.

The river parks start at Knights Ferry Recreation Area east of Oakdale and end at McHenry Recreation Area, north of Modesto, and include Horseshoe, Orange Blossom and Valley Oak parks.

Park gates will be closed and local law enforcement will enforce the closure.

The closure does not include Jacob Myers Park along the Stanislaus River in Riverbank. The city owns and operates the park, which has a playground, barbecue area, picnic tables, boat ramp and fishing.

Besides Stanislaus River Parks, the Sacramento District is closing New Hogan Lake in Valley Springs, Martis Creek Lake in Truckee, Englebright Lake in Smartsville, Black Butte Lake in Orland, Eastman Lake and Hensley Lake near Madera, Pine Flat Lake in Sanger, Success Lake in Porterville and Lake Kaweah in Lemon Cove.

Campers may cancel their reservations for a full refund. Campers required to leave their camps early will receive a partial refund for the unused portion of their reservations. Campers who used the website Recreation.gov should call reservation customer service at (877) 444-6777. Campers who made their reservation with a park office should contact that office.

Sacramento district spokesman Robert Kidd said the corps’ two other districts in California – San Francisco and Los Angeles – also are closing their parks Sunday as part of the shutdown. Kidd said the corps will continue to perform its essential services, such as dam operations.

Kidd said about 3,900 people visit the Sacramento district’s 10 parks on a typical October day. The parks have 87 recreation areas and 17 campgrounds with 1,290 campsites. The Stanislaus River Parks include about two dozen campsites. None was reserved for this weekend.

This is the latest closure of a local recreation site because of the federal government shutdown.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation announced Monday that the concession that operates the New Melones Lake Marina near Sonora had closed. All government-operated facilities at the lake, such as boat launches, campgrounds and trails, had closed Oct. 1.

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