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Federal Budget Cuts Hit Lake Berryessa Area

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Craig Miller/KQED

A marina at Lake Berryessa, northeast of Napa.

The battle over the federal budget in Washington, D.C., is taking a toll on rural communities around Lake Berryessa, a popular destination for boating and fishing northeast of Napa. 

Most of the lake's marinas and recreation sites have been shut down for years after a federal contractor failed in its promise to develop lakeside resorts. Now comes word that emergency budget cuts -- the so-called sequester -- will set back some of the few remaining activities at the lake. 
 
Drew Lessard, an area manager with Bureau of Reclamation, says he sympathizes with residents and visitors who are growing impatient.
 
"I completely understand that," he says. "We're really working hard. It's unfortunate we're here, but we're going to try to push forward and try to get this done as fast as we can."
 
Meanwhile, federal officials are still searching for interim contractors to keep some facilities going. Two marinas remain open at the lake. The bureau says it has canceled guided kayak tours and nature hikes at Berryessa, at least through May.
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