San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge in California will be holding two open house meetings regarding their proposal to expand the San Joaquin River NWR by acquiring up to 22,156 acres along the lower San Joaquin, Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers to protect and restore riparian habitat.
Riparian restoration would benefit native species found along the San Joaquin River, including migratory birds and endangered species, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a mandate to protect.
The draft Environmental Assessment evaluates two expansion alternatives. One alternative would expand the refuge boundary south to the confluence with the Merced River. The other alternative would include this southern expansion, and would also expand the refuge boundary north to Lathrop.
The USFWS would work with willing landowners to purchase lands or easements adjacent to the river for the purposes of restoration and conservation. Landowners would be under no obligation to sell their property to the Service.
Two open houses have been scheduled to give the public an opportunity to review the refuge documents and submit comments. Refuge staff will be available at several stations located in the meeting room to answer questions and gather comments on the draft Environmental Assessment. Locations and times for the two open house meetings (on November 28 and 29) can be found on the refuge website.