The Kern River Valley Historical Society is celebrating over 50 years of operation! Our mission is to preserve and communicate the rich and colorful history of this region. The Kern Valley Museum in downtown Kernville, next to the Post Office, welcomes visitors to explore our rich history.

What's Happening

In our April General Meeting, Reed Tollefson of the Kern River Preserve gave an outstanding program about the preserve, its history, challenges, and successes. Its mission is “to protect California’s largest contiguous cottonwood-willow riparian forest and the wildlife it supports.” The drought is taking a toll on the preserve. As the river gets smaller and the lake recedes, invasive plants are taking over the exposed riverbanks and choking out native plants, resulting in a 2/3rds reduction in native species. Through cooperation, the preserve and the ranches around it have benefited. The Audubon Society has acquired a total of 18,379 acres in the Walker Basin and South Fork of the Kern River to be kept as natural as possible including 660 acres by Kelso Creek that has the biggest Gray Pine on Earth.

 

Reed also cautioned us about the danger to birds of open metal pipes used for gate posts, fence posts and the like. Open pipes need to be capped because birds will go inside the pipe and then can’t get out. He found one such pipe with an accumulation of five feet of dead birds inside it.

 

There was much more to this program, which was informative, exciting, and well received.

 

--Hal Chiprin