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21st Century Accomplishments & Ongoing Activities


The following is a comprehensive sampling of accomplishments and ongoing activities at the Kern River Preserve. We are confident that you will realize the great work being done on your behalf by the Kern River Preserve and volunteers from Audubon Kern River Preserve. We are hopeful and confident that this list will spur you on further to make as generous a contribution as possible at this time to NAS/KRP Friends. We need and appreciate your ongoing support.

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In 2012 Audubon partnered with the Mojave Desert Land Trust to purchase 1,341 acres that will be added to the Kiavah Wilderness Area. This effort helps to protect Sage and Horse Canyons on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. These canyons that open out to the Mojave Desert and their riparian oases are exceptionally important to migrating birds on this critical link in the Pacific Flyway.

In 2010, we purchased then transferred 601 acres into the BLMs Bright Star Wilderness along Kelso Creek.

Purchased 80 acres in 2010 between original preserve and Alexander addition, bringing total acreage to 2,987 acres.

Purchased 26 acres next to the South Fork School and Audubon's Alexander addition. Contiguous Kern River Preserve now 2,907 acres.

Purchased 1,666-acre Cyrus Canyon and transferred to BLM for permanent protection in August 2006.

Added 105 additional acres on 31 January 2006 to the Kern River Preserve, now encompassing 2,881 acres.

Added 1,640 additional acres on 31 March 2005 to the Kern River Preserve, then encompassing 2,776 acres.

Established Audubon's new 492.5-acre Allen Wildlife Sanctuary in 2002 including 291 acres in fee title and 201.5 acres of conservation easements on property retained by Mr. Allen and the Allen South Fork Wildlife Sanctuary in 2002

Secured from the Army Corps of Engineers a $140,000-grant for a Kern River Management Endowment administered by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation in 2002

Established Audubon's new 156-acre fee title Kelso Creek Sanctuary in 2000 followed by annual work weekend, ongoing inventory program, and fencing of property

Entered into effective partnerships with the Allen South Fork Wildlife Sanctuary, US Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Fish & Game, Kern River Valley Heritage Foundation, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA-Sequoia National Forest, Southern Sierra Research Station, USDI-Bureau of Land Management, USDI-Fish & Wildlife Service, Wildlife Conservation Board (State of California)


In 2010 we established a pioneer Tricolored Blackbird habitat enhancement area.

From 2006 through 2012, with the help of many volunteers and KRP staff, we planted thousands of desert plants in our upland restoration site.

In 2006 & 2007, with the help of KRP Friends volunteers and KRP Staff, we planted hundreds of native plants on the 400-acre Sprague Riparian Forest Restoration Project

In 2002, with the help of KRP Friends volunteers and KRP Staff, we planted thousands of native plants on the 20-acre Bartolas Riparian Forest Restoration Project

Completed Canebrake Ecological Reserve (CA Department of Fish & Game) Riparian Forest Restoration Project with funding from the Wildlife Conservation Board

With a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and plenty of hard work, we have removed hundreds of salt cedar, Russian-olive and purple loosestrife


Hired a new Land Steward in 2009

Hired a new Outreach Director in 2006

Removed dilapidated fence and built new fence at Rocky Point along Kelso Creek in 2005

Restored the Sprague Ranch House

Continued to maintain the Kern River Preserve web site

Produced new Kern River Preserve Trail Guide and trail markers

Established signed butterfly and hummingbird demonstration gardens at Kern River Preserve Headquarters

Monthly KRP Restoration Days & Work Days

Removed dilapidated fence and built 14,500 feet of new fence at the Kelso Creek Sanctuary and Kern River Preserve in 2001

Kelso Creek Sanctuary Work Weekend Bar-be-cue & Campout

Annual Kern Valley Pride Day Clean-up participant and 2000-2008 Award Winner

Established professional quality newsletter

Established a Friends of the Kern River Preserve e-mail communications list in 2002

Leader of numerous Audubon Chapter field trips to the Kern River Preserve that additionally serve as fund raisers for the Preserve

Recorded the largest known Red Willow in existence with the Society of American Foresters

Established a Planned Giving Program for the Kern River Preserve in 2002

Secured multi-thousand dollars worth of furniture and office equipment from Northrop-Grumman Corporation for distribution to over twenty Kern River Valley non-profit organizations


Sponsored Southern Pacific Pond Turtle headstart program, built a professional enclosure and pond structure, restored a travel trailer as an incubation facility.

Host numerous K-14 class visits to the Kern River Preserve

Hosted Willow Flycatcher and Yellow-billed Cuckoo survey techniques workshops for professional biologists and interested lay people

Hosted research on plants in the genus Clarkia (2007), hummingbirds (2007), behavior of Lark Sparrows (2007), black rat impacts on nesting birds (2002), Turkey Vultures (ongoing), Yellow-billed Cuckoo (ongoing), Willow Flycatcher (ongoing)

Host ongoing Wood Duck nest box program conducted by the local Fish & Game Habitat Club

Annual Western Bluebird and Tree Swallow nestbox program

Hosted University of Arizona water-use monitoring study of the South Fork Kern River

Served as the base camp in 2001 and 2002 for core recordings for Cornell University Library of Nature Sounds upcoming commercial "Bird Songs of California" CD package. KRP will be the featured location on the jacket and in the booklet accompanying the CD.

Gave keynote presentation on the Kern River Preserve and South Fork Kern Globally Important Bird Area at the March, 2002 meeting of Audubon's Important Bird Area Program directors from throughout the United States and Latin America held at Big Sur Lodge conference center

Commissioned the community-based and Cal-Poly, Pomona, produced "A Vision for the Kern River Valley; Principles for Economic and Ecological Sustainability" with implementation ongoing

Hosted University of Arizona economic study of Kern River Preserve visitors


Kern River Valley and South Fork Christmas Bird Counts

Helped to showcase Kern County as America's Birdiest Inland County several years in a row. Won from 2004 through 2011 with over 230 species seen in the county over a single weekend each time.

Helped coordinate successful effort to set a National Interior County Birding Big Day record in Kern County with the second highest total in U.S. history; 206 species


Annual Host of Kern River Valley Spring Nature Festival (18 years)

Host of California Amphibian & Reptile Celebration (10 years)

Host of South Fork Valley Rapid Assessment Summer Bird Count (5 years)

Host of South Fork Kern Butterfly Count (9 years)

Annual Host of Kern River Valley Hummingbird Celebration (13 years)

Annual Host of Kern River Valley Turkey Vulture Festival (18 years)

Hosted an average of over 8000 Kern River Preserve visitors a year

Hosted the 2003 Hummingbird Bander's Conference

Hosted the 25th Annual Meeting and 30th Anniversary Celebration of Western Field Ornithologists in July, 2000

Hosted the Kern River Valley Exchange Club Spook Night (October, 2001)


Kern River Valley Specific Plan


"Out & About with Roger Martin" filmed a segment about Turkey Vulture migration during the Kern River Valley Autumn Nature and Vulture Festival in 2011.

PBS Nature filmed Black-chinned Hummingbirds as part of their special on hummingbirds that aired in 2010.

Brighthouse Network, Bakersfield cable company, featured the Kern River Preserve in its "On a Tankful" series in 2007.

Huell Howser's Special on Audubon California's Kern River Preserve in Autumn 2006.

Featured articles or mentions in "Outdoor California," "American Butterflies," Peterson Field Guide's "Hummingbirds of North America," "Birding", "Audubon" and "Birding World" (United Kingdom)

Numerous articles about the preserve appeared in the local Kern Valley Sun and Kern River Courier and print media in Bakersfield and Ridgecrest

Hosted video-taping of Turkey Vulture migration through the Kern River Valley that appeared on CBS Sunday Morning

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