New ranger station opens in Kernville
November 6th, 2017 by Eric Mart
PORTERVILLE, Calif., Nov. 6, 2017—More than 100 Kern Valley residents, state and federal representatives, and partners gathered Nov. 1 to celebrate the grand opening of the new Sequoia National Forest Kern River Ranger Station in Kernville, California.
Community leaders and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partners joined Randy Moore, Regional Forester for the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region, Sequoia National Forest Supervisor Kevin B. Elliott, and Kern River Ranger District Acting District Ranger Philip DeSenze, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opening the 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility.
The LEED (Leader in Energy and Environmental Design) – and Forest Stewardship CouncilTM– certified facility was built with sustainable materials and employs lighting, HVAC and irrigation control systems that promote energy efficiency and waste reduction. The building’s solar panels will produce 17,000 kWh and provide nearly all of the facility’s energy needs each year.
This facility combines personnel and functions from the former District office located in Kernville and the Lake Isabella Visitor Center. The Lake Isabella Visitor Center is slated for demolition to make way for a 300-foot-wide emergency spillway as part of the Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project. In 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District awarded an $8.58 million construction contract to Macro-Z Technology Company of Santa Ana, California to relocate and build the new Forest Service administrative building and warehouse in Kernville.
The new facility will continue to offer visitor information, wood cutting permits, public meeting space, and serve as a hub of operations for recreation, fire, timber, and other activities for the Sequoia National Forest. These are the programs that allow the Forest Service employees to sustainably manage all of the uses on the nearly 700,000 acres that make up the Kern River District in the Sequoia National Forest.
“The construction of the new facility would not have been possible if not for the support of the community,” said Moore. “Thanks goes to the community for your passion and dedication. We couldn’t have found a better partner than the (Army) Corps to make this happen.”
The new Kern River Ranger Station is located at 11380 Kernville Road, Kernville, California and opens to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.