The North Fork of the Kern River was in severe danger due to exorbitant,
uncontrolled visitor use in "Dispersed Camping Areas" on public lands.
There was too much impact from too many people concentrated along the river's edge that caused vegetation trampling and destruction, soil erosion, and enormous amounts of trash and human waste that was polluting the river and surrounding public lands.
We Cleaned It! Trash Warriors At Work!
Rex and Barbara Hinkey are the brother and sister team who founded Keepers of the Kern in October, 2013 after realizing complaining about a situation does not solve the problem. They made a plan, acted on it and it happened. Perfect timing, as there were so many who wanted changes; the communities, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, local businesses, visitors, and folks from all over the world who camp, fish and raft on this spectacular
white-water river. Keepers is now seven years old and going strong thanks to the volunteers and people who are following and supporting our mission.
One Person Can Make a Difference
Together We Can Make It Right
The Wild and Scenic Kern River is one of the finest rivers in
California and it needs to be protected!
The Kern River Valley's economy is driven by recreation and tourism and a clean and healthy Kern River
and Lake Isabella is essential to supporting local businesses, jobs and families*.
Here Are Recreation Economics Reports
The purpose of Keepers of the Kern is to bring the Kern River to a condition
that ensures public safety, environmental and human health.
During the past many years the Kern River's ecological balance has been damaged
by abuse and over use by the public who recreate here.
It is imperative the problems be addressed by the responsible land management
agencies, the pollution stopped, management changes made, promotion of
Leave No Trace education and enforcement of resource protection rules and regulations**.
Here Are The U.S. Forest Service Recreation Prohibitions
Here Are Sequoia National Forest Orders
The Keepers of the Kern actively cooperate with the Sequoia National Forest in improving recreational and sanitation facilities, updating and improving the Wild and Scenic Kern River Management Plan***.
Here Are The Wild and Scenic Kern River Management Plans
News - May 9, 2020
News - March 26, 2020
Due to the situation regarding the spread of the Coronavirus, Keepers of the Kern will not be holding any meetings, gatherings or clean up events until at least April 30 in ANY areas in the valley. The safety and health of all our volunteers and the public is number one. There are very limited sanitary facilities available for areas not included in the U.S. Forest Service closure, so it is up to the public to take precautions when using the portables that are there, bag all trash and find a dumpster to dispose of it. DO NOT…we repeat…DO NOT leave your trash in your campsite, campground or roadside it will create a serious health issue as dangerous as what we are dealing with now. We will keep you informed when and if any changes are announced. Please stay safe and healthy and STAY HOME!
News - March 27, 2020
Jon and Celine Memorial Fund
Keeping a relatively safe distance with trash pickers, Reid Hopkins, founder of One Spade Youth Packers received a check in the amount of $500.00 from Rex and Barbara Hinkey, founders of Keepers of the Kern.
This much needed donation to the youth organization is made possible by the Jon and Celine Memorial Fund, organized and sponsored by Keepers of the Kern and many generous donations from friends and family of Jon and Celine.
“Our organization is a leadership and character-building program for “at risk” and “economically disadvantaged” youth here in the valley.” Said Hopkins. He went on to say, the kids participate in various projects for the Forest Service, such as the maintenance of public pasture fences in the Dome Lands and the Golden Trout Wildernesses. They also participate in the annual Mule Days in Bishop and have earned many awards through the years.
Due to the Coronavirus, many of their fundraising events were cancelled, including the Sportsman Show in Bakersfield, the Ridgecrest Home Show and the big feed at the Masonic Lodge. “This was a loss of about $6,000.00 for us.” Hopkins added. “We are very grateful for this help.”
“Over the past four years, I have come to know Reid and what he does with the boys and girls he works with.” Rex Hinkey said. “I’ve seen the results of his training and example.” He added. Hinkey went on to say that One Spade Youth Packers has been a vital part of so many young adults and has redirected their paths and taught them many valuable life skills for their continued successful venture through life.
News - September 14, 2019
Keepers of the Kern Announce
Jon and Celine Memorial Fund
(Click On The Image To Enlarge)