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Volunteer group reopens Lake Sonoma visitor center

  • Shoreline at Lake Sonoma is exposed, due to ongoing dry weather, Friday Nov. 9, 2013. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

The visitor center at Lake Sonoma will reopen Thursdays through Sundays under the auspices of the volunteer Friends of Lake Sonoma starting Jan. 9, the group said on Tuesday.

The Friends will keep the center open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through at least the end of February, allowing for school tours of the center and nearby fish hatchery and ensuring public access on weekends during spawning season, President Harry Bosworth said.

"Ideally, we'd like to have it open seven days a week," he said in announcing the reopening. "But there are limitations on the number of days we can operate the facility."

The visitor center and other facilities at the lake have been closed since October, when they were shuttered by the federal government shutdown. A quirk in the resolution that ended that shutdown, along with several years of accumulated budget cuts, led the owner, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to keep the center, along with restrooms and campgrounds, closed after the shutdown.

The Friends organization continues to look for ways to fund reopening of the restrooms and other facilities at the lake, Bosworth said.

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