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Audubon Kern Valley Restoration Projects

Bob Powers Gateway Preserve

The Bob Powers Gateway Preserve is an 18-acre wetland along Hwy 178 & 155 in Lake Isabella. This downstream site has cattail marsh, perennial and annual grassland. It supports a thriving population of the rare Alkali Mariposa Lily and is next to many of the Lake Isabella's (hot springs valley) rare hot springs. Each year, the Kern Valley Heritage Foundation works on improvement projects with assistance from Audubon staff and volunteers.

Both former Outreach Directors for Audubon Kern River Preserve have helped to conduct annual plant and wildlife surveys on this important gateway to the Kern River Valley and ecological exit to the valley downstream of the junction of the two forks of the Kern River.

Efforts by Audubon staff began with a riparian tree planting in 2001. Manager Reed Tollefson with the assistance of Breck McCallister borrowed an auger from local contractor Country Huckberry. They dug many holes to place dozens of Fremont Cottonwood poles. Sixth-grade students from Wallace Middle School under the tutelage of Ms. Debbie Campbell-Wingerden helped to plant the cuttings. These trees are now visible along the southern fence next to the buildings along Suhre St.

Since 2007, Audubon's former Outreach Director, Alison Sheehey, conducted annual Alkali Mariposa Lily surveys on the property during their blooming period from mid-May to early-June. For many years volunteers have conducted butterfly counts as part of the official NABA Sequoia National Forest South Butterfly Count.

On December 10, 2010, staff and volunteers from the preserve helped to plan and plant nesting habitat for both Tricolored  and Kern Red-winged Blackbirds. Bob Barnes, former Outreach Director and BPGP Board member, started a volunteer program to seed and plant a trial area for blackbird habitat. Bob Barnes, Audubon Kern River Preserve Land Steward, Sean Rowe and Jeff King, our retired stewardship assistant and ten volunteers worked for two-hours prepping the 2,000 square foot site, and then planting mugwort seeds.

The third week of April 2011 the second phase of the nesting habitat enhancement project began. Eleven hundred feet of irrigation line was laid out on April 12th by Kern River Preserve staff, Bruce Vetger, Christine Vetger and Bob Barnes. Then on Friday, April 15th volunteers and Preserve staff including Preserve Manager, Reed Tollefson, collected 150 stinging nettle and mugwort plants from the Preserve nursery and then planted them next to drip emitters on the berm forming the pond on the BPGP property. The rest of the project was completed on Sunday, April 17, 2011.


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.

Since 1905 Audubon has been protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.

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Kern River Preserve • P.O. Box 1662 • 18747 Hwy. 178 • Weldon, CA 93283 • E-mail
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This site was created on October 21, 1998. Please Email to make comments or offer suggestions.