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The Bob Powers Gateway Preserve (BPGP), a community resource, is an 18 acre preserve  strategically located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Highways 155 and 178. It is at the main entrance to the Kern River Valley and the town of Lake Isabella. More than 9,000 vehicles pass this intersection daily and both highways are elevated providing excellent visibility of the Preserve. Its development is a long-term effort. Goals include wetlands enhancement, nature trail & wildlife garden development and visitor/interpretative center construction.

A map of the BPGP showing wetland enhancements

Bob Powers Gateway Preserve
Strategic Plan; download here
The Preserve supports rare alkaline/subalkaline marsh, meadow, seasonal wetland, and upland habitats. It contains sedges and rushes in moist zones and grasses and flowering plants growing on slightly drier areas to the east. In this upland, saltgrass-dominated area, there occurs part of  the second largest known mega populations anywhere of the rare alkali mariposa lily. Two California Bird Species of Special Concern, "Kern" Red-winged Blackbird and Tricolored Blackbird, use the Preserve annually with both having nested and raised young on site.

Much needed rain arrives to fill Bob Powers Gateway Preserve Pond
December 16, 2016
Over two inches of rain recorded

2016 Alkali Mariposa Lily Survey 

McCormick Biological, Inc. did the annual lily count on May 21st & 22nd.  Last year we had a record count of 1,255 plants. 2016 was even better with 2,909 plants counted within the grid system. Outside the grid system six small areas were found (2 more than 2015) with 133 plants. Thus, the total exceeded 3,000. 
Click here to see the complete report

Excavation Begins for the Second Pond

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The heavy equipment is on site and preliminary work has started.
The exact location of the berm and resulting pond was staked by our survey team.
Equipment operators remove the grass where the pond will be located.
The berm location is then compacted to ensure integrity.

Watch for more pictures as the progress develops


Here our contractor is applying water to make the soil more workable.
This 4000 gallon tanker has already delievered 15 loads of water.
There is a fine line between the right amount and too much water.
When the water content is just right the digging is easy.
If you have a big enough dozer that is!
This pictures shows what the soil has done to the bucket.
The polishing comes from the pumice in the soil.
It is finer than any sand and hard to keep on your shovel.
Another beautiful day in the Hot Springs Valley.
Here the operator is moving the top turf .
The soil needs to be clean where the pond will be.

Wind was from the south at 15 mph, gusting to 25.
October 7, 2016

The depth of the pond is now begining to show
October 7, 2016

Plenty of soil to move and the water content always a concern
Sunday October 9, 2016

The heavey equipment is parked for the day but the pond is really taking shape now.
This is the view looking East from Hwy 178

Excavation Completed


This 2nd and final berm, designed and engineered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, under their Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program, was a cooperative effort, including ongoing assistance from the Fish & Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the Lake Isabella Community Services District. Funding was through the California State Wildlife Grant Program, plus grants from Southern California Edison, Kern Community Foundation (178 Corridor Fund) and from donations by several individuals. 

Thursday October 13, 2016

We are very excited to announce the completion of the second pond on the Bob Powers Gateway Preserve



Winter Storms Fill The New Pond

January 27, 2017
We would like to thank Michael Spradlin for this fantastic picture he took with his drone.

The new upstream pond is completely full and water is cascading to the pond built in 2007.

Water leaves the downstream pond via the regulator which then flows onto the Hot Springs Valley Preserve.

The overflow spillway is also in use for the first time.
Look closely and  water can be seen leaving the East side of the downstream pond.

This picture looks towards the South with Hwy 178 on the right heading to Bakersfield.


Ready for Final Inspection

With the drier weather we were finally able to get the equipment in place to install the water level control box
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