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For Immediate Use                                                                                               Contact: Alison Sheehey, (760) 378-2531
November 26, 1998                                                                                                                    


Weldon, CA – The deed to the 1136-acre Kern River Preserve, located along the South Fork of the Kern River east of Isabella Reservoir, was transferred from The Nature Conservancy to the National Audubon Society on November 25, 1998.

The Kern River Preserve is the core of one of the first ten Globally Important Bird Areas to be designated in the United States. It is Globally Important for its protection of Fremont cottonwood and red willow habitat and major populations of migrating Turkey Vultures and nesting Western Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Southwestern Willow Flycatchers, Summer Tanagers, and Kern Red-winged Blackbirds.

"As the preeminent private bird conservation organization in the United States it is wholly appropriate that the National Audubon Society through Audubon-California, its state branch, take title to the Kern River Preserve. The preserve is at the heart of the South Fork Kern River watershed which hosts an unparalleled two hundred species of native nesting birds," states Bob Barnes, Audubon-California's State Director of Bird Conservation.

Dan Taylor, Executive Director of Audubon-California, passed along the news of the transfer to staff at the Kern River Preserve with a message for Kern County residents, "On behalf of the entire Audubon family, we are delighted to complete the transfer of the Kern River Preserve. In two short years, the Kern Preserve has become one of the crown jewels of our sanctuary system. We look forward to many years of restoration and conservation of this remarkable place in partnership with the local community."

Upon hearing the news Reed Tollefson, Kern River Preserve Manager, reflected "I am looking forward to continue working with our neighboring landowners in the Kern River Valley to promote the protection and good stewardship of the valuable riparian, wetland and agricultural lands that are so important to wildlife and people."

The Kern River Preserve is, also, one of four Flagship Projects of the California Riparian Habitat Joint Venture, a coalition of private and public organizations working to restore and enhance the Golden State's riverside forests. The preserve is open to the public every day of the year, including holidays, from dawn until dusk.

About Audubon Kern River Preserve
The Kern River Preserve is managed by Audubon California for the preservation of one of California’s largest contiguous cottonwood-willow riparian forests and the wildlife it supports.

Audubon Kern River Preserve supporters provide financial and volunteer support for Preserve outreach, education, wildlife habitat protection & stewardship.


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Kern River Preserve • P.O. Box 1662 • 18747 Hwy. 178 • Weldon, CA 93283 • E-mail
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