By Bob Difley
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s mission is to “manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American Public.”
This mission encompasses 289 developed recreation areas on 6.5 million acres of land and water in 17 western states, mainly for water-based outdoor recreation including camping (350 campgrounds), fishing, boating (1,000 boat launch ramps), swimming (140 swimming beaches), bird and wildlife viewing, and sightseeing.
Many of Reclamation’s projects are co-managed with partners such as Indian Tribes, states, and other Federal agencies such as the Forest Service (FS), BLM, Fish & Wildlife Service, and National Park Service (NPS).
Eleven Reclamation projects have been designated National Recreation Areas (NRAs) and managed by the NPS or FS. But beyond the projects managed by other agencies, there are still Reclamation projects that have campgrounds and some have dispersed camping (boondocking) as well — and they are not so easy to find.
Look at maps and check with local visitor bureaus for campgrounds, many of which are mostly only used by locals. And if you do find one, it will probably be uncrowded and inexpensive. Another win-win.
You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.