Lake Sonoma volunteer group set to reopen visitor center

  • (From left) Toni and Dorthea Walk of Germany and Fred and Helen Wulff of Penngrove have a picnic in the marina at Lake Sonoma after discovering that the overlook remained closed after the end of the government shutdown. Photo taken north of Healdsburg, California on Thursday, October 17, 2013. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

The Friends of Lake Sonoma say they will be able to reopen the visitor center at the reservoir in January and they plan to take over staffing of public tours of the fish hatchery, at least for school groups, after the holidays.

The center and other public services at both Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino were shuttered in October during the two-week shutdown of the federal government. A quirk in the wording of the budget resolution that ended the shutdown, on top of years of budget cuts, led the Army Corps of Engineers to keep most public facilities closed, including campgrounds and restrooms. Boat ramps and day-use areas remain open.

Friends Executive Director Jane Young announced the visitor center and tour reopening on Wednesday. Details, such as the opening date and service hours, are still being worked out.

The organization is also seeking volunteers to help staff the school tours. For information, email janehyoung55@aol.com.

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