Collaboration between the Kern River Equestrians for the Preservation of Trails, the Kern River Parkway Foundation and the Kern River Public Access Committee (the “KRPAC”) led to acquisition of  83.55 acres of land below the Panorama Bluffs from Castle & Cooke.  This land was subsequently deeded over to the Kern River Corridor Endowment and Holding Company, Inc. (the “Endowment”) after its inception in 1998 
1997  An additional 758.12 acres below the Panorama Bluffs, on both sides of the Kern River,  were purchased  from Atlantic Richfield Corp. (“ARCO”) gas and oil company for $118,000.  ARCO retained its mineral rights.
1998   The non-profit 501c3 Kern River Corridor Endowment was established by the Panorama Vista Acquisition Project Committee. 
2001 and 2003
30.2 acres of land adjacent to the acquired property was given to the Endowment.  This was known as the Gartner property;  it is immediately adjacent to the Golden Bear Refinery on the western end of the Preserve and to the west of the Patricia Brown Grove.  Restoration has not begun there. 
2004  The name “Panorama Vista Preserve”  was given the property.  A fence was built on the north side of the river, a parking/staging area was established and signage was placed at strategic spots in the preserve to identify it and post use requirements and restrictions. 


 Kern River Public Access Committee purchased 65 additional acres adjacent to this property and subsequently donated it to the Endowment. This was known as the Goodman-Kelly property;   its western boundary is the River Ranches housing development and its northern boundary is the Beardsley Canal.   The Preserve’s nursery, well, and solar panels are now located on this section. 

Volunteers began collecting cuttings for the Chevron Grove (see map above);  they then  planted 100+ cottonwoods and red willows.   Chevron assumed responsibility for watering this grove. 
Volunteers began planting the grove now known  (see map) as the Hampson Grove, named for early volunteer and botanist, Dr. Steve Hampson.
Historic well (dating from the 1940s) was restored to working order and drip lines were laid out in preparation for  plantings  in the Brown Grove.  Ten thousand gallon tank installed (winter 2009-2010).

    trench2   wellrig                

In early 2010 , volunteers built  a native plant nursery and potted hundreds of cuttings or seeds  from cottonwoods, 4 species of willows, California sycamores, California roses, blackberry, Baccharis emoryii, Buttonbush, blue elderberries, and Oregon ash.  These were later planted in the Brown Grove (map) according to a plan worked out by River Partners, a habitat restoration firm based in Chico and Modesto.
Grants were received from California Wildlife Conservation Board for Riparian Habitat Restoration, the California Natural Resources Agency, the federal  Bureau of Reclamation (part of the Central Valley Project Habitat Restoration Program), the Rose Foundation and Shell Oil.
Installation of Solar Panels to power pump from 10,000 gallon tank to the field.
Plans have been drawn up for planting of an additional 129 acres in several new portions of the Preserve.


This California Sycamore was planted in 2008 .  It was regularly irrigated until 2011 when it reached water level.  It as grown to more than twice as high as the truck.  It is hoped that eventually most, if not all, of the plantings on the Preserve will become similarly self-sustaining.

The Kern Island and Shell Groves were planted.  Water for the Kern Island comes from the Kern Island (Carrier) Canal and water for the Shell Grove comes from PV's restored 1940s well.  The Barn Grove was begun with water under contract from neighbor Jack McGee.

Sources:  the Panorama Vista Preserve Master Plan and personal information and photos  from Andy Honig and Sasha Honig

© Sasha Honig                                                                                            Updated Feb. 7. 2016