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New Partnership for the Kern River

Panorama Vista Preserve, Kern River, Bakersfield, CA. Photo by Julie Rentner, Restoration Ecologist.

Working with the nonprofit organization, the Kern River Corridor Endowment, River Partners is preparing a conceptual restoration plan for riparian habitats along the Kern River at the Panorama Vista Preserve in Bakersfield. It is the largest private-lands project for River Partners in its 11- year history.

“What is really unique about this restoration initiative is that it was spear headed by a group of private individuals who really care about the Kern River,” says Julie Renter, Restoration Ecologist. “They make up the Kern River Corridor Endowment and worked to buy and protect the land.”

River Partners staff has started assessing the 936-acre site, which has supported a variety of human uses, from agriculture to oil drilling. By considering the local ecology and historical land uses, this pre-restoration plan will make habitat recommendations for restoring significant swaths of native vegetation within this privately-owned reserve.

“If this preserve could be restored, it would be a significant stepping stone in the Kern River Corridor for wildlife,” says Tom Griggs, Senior Restoration Ecologist. “It will be large enough acreage to support migration, especially for songbirds.”

River Partners thanks the Kern River Corridor Endowment for inviting us to participate in their restoration efforts and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife (Kern National Wildlife Refuge) for partially funding the pre-restoration plan.

The above article originally appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of the River Partners Journal.