USACE to host public meetings for proposed visitor center in Lake Isabella

US Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District
Published April 15, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District has released new environmental documents regarding the permanent relocation of the U.S. Forest Service visitor center in Lake Isabella and will host a virtual public meeting to discuss the documents on April 22, from 4-5:30 p.m.

Call-in and viewing details for the virtual meeting can be found at the project website at or

The previous Forest Service visitor center was demolished to make way for the new emergency spillway and Labyrinth Weir currently under construction by USACE as part of the Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project.

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment #8 presents a final array of site alternatives for consideration of the replacement Forest Service visitor center. The meeting will include a presentation of the alternatives and provide an opportunity for public comment.

The public comment period is open through May 12, 2021, and official comments can be submitted via email to

Completed in 1953, Isabella Lake Dam is located approximately 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield. The reservoir is impounded by two earthen dams on the Kern River and Hot Springs Valley. Today, Isabella Lake and its dams reduce flood risk for Bakersfield and the surrounding region and is a primary water source for water users throughout Kern County. The Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project is addressing overtopping, seismic, and seepage issues identified with Isabella Lake’s main and auxiliary dams to reduce the likelihood of dam failure. Construction of the dam modifications began in 2017 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

For more information on the Lake Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project, visit

Rick Brown

Release no. 21-004