Winter is coming

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On Oct. 23, the Idyllwild Snow Group attended a very productive meeting with County Supervisor Chuck Washington  and a host of officials representing 10 federal, state and county agencies — many of whom we have met with over recent months.

We were delighted at the amount of progress that has been made. Many of our suggestions are being considered and acted upon, and it was clear at the meeting that interagency collaboration has been taking place.

Everyone in the room seemed to have a grasp of the snow-visitor problems that have been plaguing Idyllwild and only getting worse in recent winters — the jammed streets, the littering, trespassing, threatening behavior … well, it’s all been discussed in previous columns. Several solutions to these problems are on the table, and a number will be enacted shortly.

For example:  Idyllwild has two county snow-play areas and a third will be designated soon. Snow-play visitor traffic directed toward these areas will result in less congestion in residential areas as well as safe, open places with facilities where visitors can enjoy the snow.

New signage will prohibit parking on the upper portion of Fern Valley Road for snow play. The road leading into Humber Park Trailhead will be be barricaded at unsafe times to prevent cars from entering. Only foot traffic will be allowed. In the future, more of Fern Valley may be designated a “no parking” area.

Both the California Highway Patrol and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department have expressed their desire to provide the Hill with greater coverage, but are constrained at this point by lack of funds.

More details on these and other actions being taken or considered by various government agencies will be the subject of a future column.

We appreciate Supervisor Washington and all the agency representatives who attended this meeting, including Idyllwild’s own Fire Chief Patrick Reitz.

It is gratifying to see the progress being made to help keep Idyllwild a safe place for residents and snow-play visitors alike.

More in the next column. Stay tuned with us at Idy Snow Talk on Facebook and on our web site idysnowtalk.com.

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