– 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
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.