Corps to host public meetings discussing Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project

Published Oct. 9, 2015

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District will host a series of informational meetings Oct. 19-21 to discuss the latest status of the Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project.

The meetings will provide a brief project update as well as open discussion on the upcoming relocation of U.S. Forest Service administrative and recreation facilities, including an interim visitor center, in order to construct necessary upgrades at Isabella Lake’s main and auxiliary dams. 

Discussion of a permanent USFS visitor center, including any proposal for it to be located at the Bob Powers Gateway Preserve, will be the subject of separate public meetings and will not be addressed or discussed during these meetings.

The public meetings will be held:

Oct. 19, 2015; 6-7 p.m.
Bakersfield City Council Chambers
1501 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, CA

Oct. 20, 2015; 6-7:30 p.m.
Woodrow Wallace Middle School
3240 Erskine Creek Rd., Lake Isabella, CA

Oct. 21, 2015; 6-7:30 p.m.
Kernville Elementary School
13350 Sierra Way, Kernville, CA

A draft supplemental environmental assessment outlining proposed measures to offset impacts to recreation, including the relocation of the USFS Kern River Ranger District fire station and temporary relocation of the Lake Isabella Office, is scheduled to be released for public review in November 2015. Additional notification, information and public meetings will be scheduled once the report is released.

Completed in 1953, Isabella Lake Dam is located approximately 42 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 will address overtopping, seismic and seepage issues identified with Isabella Lake’s Main and Auxiliary dams to reduce the likelihood of dam failure. In 2013, the Corps entered the pre-construction engineering and design phase of the project. Relocation construction work is scheduled to begin in 2016. Construction of the dam modifications is scheduled to begin in 2017. 

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

Tyler Stalker

Release no. 15-047