Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin
(USFWS Photo/Stephen Sheppard)

San Joaquin River NWR Expansion

Current Status:

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to announce the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Expansion of the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge.

Public meetings were held in Modesto and Lathrop in November, and comments are being accepted on the Draft Environmental Assessment until February 1, 2013.


The Fish and Wildlife Service is considering expanding the Refuge in two sections; north and south of the existing boundary along the San Joaquin River. The northern portion of the study area includes a 15-mile reach of the San Joaquin River from the existing boundary of the Refuge north to a point west of Manteca, in San Joaquin County. The southern portion lies between the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge and the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, 26 miles to the south. This segment is located in Merced and Stanislaus counties, California. The proposed expansion presents a unique conservation opportunity to restore and enhance a major migratory corridor through the center of California to benefit the birds of the Pacific Flyway and numerous other wildlife species.

The San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge is located west of Modesto, within the historic floodplain of the confluences of the San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Rivers. The Refuge was established in 1987 because of the importance of the area as habitat for the Aleutian Canada goose. Refuge lands consist of oak-cottonwood-willow riparian forest, pastures, agricultural fields, and wetlands. The Refuge protects habitat for a diversity of wildlife including numerous imperiled species.

Documents Available Online:

The following documents may take a few minutes to read, print, or download using Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). A free copy of the Adobe software is available from the Adobe website.

Draft Environmental Assessment:

Draft San Joaquin River NWR Environmental Assessment (3MB, PDF)
Appendix A - Land Protection Plan (1MB, PDF)
Appendix B - Conceptual Management Plan (600KB, PDF)
Appendix D - Species List (100KB, PDF)
Appendix E - Scoping Comments (100KB, PDF)

Planning Updates:

Planning Update #3, November 2012 (3MB, PDF)
Planning Update #2,October 2011 (2.6 MB, PDF)
Planning Update #1, May 2011 (4.3 MB, PDF)

Fact Sheets:

San Joaquin River NWR Fact Sheet (1.6 MB, PDF)

Availability of Alternate Text Format

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing information about its operations to the public. If you are unable to access any of the information contained on our site, please email us at: Your request will be referred to the appropriate program for assistance. Please indicate the nature of the accessibility need, your preferred format (electronic format, print, etc.) the web address of the requested material, and your full contact information so we can reach you if questions arise while fulfilling your request.

Our contact mailing address
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-2606
Sacramento, Calif., 95825
Phone: 916-414-6464
Fax: 916-414-6486

Project Contacts:

If you have questions and concerns, or would like more information, please feel free to call or write us at the following addresses and phone numbers:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 8, Refuge Planning
Richard Smith
2800 Cottage Way, W-1832
Sacramento, CA 95825
Phone: (916) 414-6502
Fax: (916) 414-6497

Kim Forrest, Project Leader
San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex
P.O. Box 2176
Los Banos, California 93635
Phone: (209) 826-3508

You may also use our e-mail and website

(Please use "San Joaquin River" as the subject.)

Refuge Planning Website: