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Partners Celebrate Completion Of Gray Lodge Improvement Project
The Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is currently hosting thousands of ducks and geese on their winter migrations to and through the Sacramento Valley. CDFW Photo By Travis VanZant

A broad group of state, regional and local leaders recently celebrated the completion of the Gray Lodge Water Supply Improvement Project, a six-year, $52 million water infrastructure project to benefit one of California’s most important wildlife areas. This agriculture friendly project will provide a secure source of water for the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area in Butte County.

A gathering to highlight the project completion featured a lunch and guest speakers on Friday, Nov. 3 at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, approximately eight miles from Live Oak.

Guest speakers included Jeff McCreary, Ducks Unlimited Western Region director of operations; Charlton H. Bonham, California Department of Fish and Wildlife director; Ernest A. Conant, Bureau of Reclamation director, California-Great Basin Region; and Danny Robinson, Biggs-West Gridley Water District general manager.

One of California’s most spectacular and popular wildlife areas now has a secure water supply. Construction recently wrapped up on 5.5 miles of upgrades to the canals that ship water from the Thermalito Afterbay to the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area near Gridley.

The work, which involved 17 contractors and consultants, included replacing four county road bridges, seven large water-control structures, three farm bridges and 45 water structures that move water into neighboring farm fields. Not only does the project help the region’s farmers, it ensures there’s a steady supply of water for the millions of birds and other wildlife that rely on the wetlands that make up this stunningly beautiful 9,100-acre wildlife area. More than 100,000 people visit Gray Lodge each year.