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Reclamation Waives Day Use Fees and Invites Volunteers to Help Beautify New Melones Lake on Saturday, Sept. 28, in Celebration of National Public Lands Day
USBR press release
SONORA, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central California Area Office, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day, will waive day use fees at New Melones Lake for all visitors on Saturday, Sept. 28. New Melones Lake is located approximately 8 miles (13 km) north of Sonora and 6 miles (9 km) south of Angels Camp, Calif.

As part of the NPLD celebration, Reclamation will host an invasive plant removal and native plant beautification event at the New Melones Lake Recreation Area from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers may also visit the lake’s new green house where some of the native plants were grown and learn about New Melones’ efforts to promote ecosystem conservation, reduce waste, expand recycling, conserve energy and develop partnerships and children’s programs. Reclamation is seeking volunteers to assist with this event. Volunteers will receive a “fee-free day” coupon, which provides free entry to any federal public land for one day, no matter which agency. Volunteers will also be entered into a raffle to win prizes. The public, organizations and local businesses are invited to participate.

To register as a volunteer, please contact Jim Revord at 209-536-9094, ext. 200, or, or Park Ranger Tracy Neal at 209-536-9094, ext. 215, or (TTY 800-877-8339). Participants who require special accommodations should contact Park Ranger Neal as far in advance as possible.

On-site registration and check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the New Melones Visitor Center, 6850 Studhorse Flat Road, Sonora, CA 95370, off Highway 49. Volunteers should dress for summer heat bring lunch, water and work gloves and wear sturdy shoes.

NPLD is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands. Begun in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers, it is typically held on the last Saturday in September. In 2012, about 175,000 volunteers worked at 2,206 sites performing a variety of services including building and maintaining trails and planting trees, shrubs and native plants. For additional information, please visit the NPLD website at

Reclamation is focusing on the connections between outdoor recreation and health. With the growing concern about childhood obesity and children's lack of time spent enjoying nature, NPLD is a perfect opportunity for families to get outdoors and experience what our public lands have to offer. As part of this effort, Reclamation continues to support the Department of the Interior's Let's Move Outside! and Youth in the Great Outdoors initiatives. To learn more about these initiatives, please visit and