Snow group has county take down mention of snow/sledding in Idyllwild

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Last week, Riverside County’s Watershed Protection Agency distributed an email encouraging recipients to visit its website to learn more about several topics. One of the topics was titled “Enjoy A White Christmas in Riverside County.”

This story had a photograph of two children being pulled on a sled in the snow. The first recommendation was to visit Mt. San Jacinto using the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

However, the third paragraph spoke to Idyllwild and encouraged readers to visit and use Humber Park for sledding adventures.

“Humber Park in the Santa Ana Watershed is another prized spot often recommended as the best location for sledding in Riverside County,” began the three-sentence recommendation of Idyllwild.

When Marsha Kennedy, head of the informal Snow Talk group formed in response to snow visitors who skirt politeness and good behavior, learned of the watershed agency’s suggestion, she quickly responded with calls to county officials. She also made Facebook postings, which encouraged people to write the agency about its promotion.

“The dept. has a Facebook page. Please message them regarding their email blast,” she urged readers.

Within two days, the paragraph mentioning Idyllwild had been deleted.

“The County Watershed people handled the situation with speed and courtesy. I am extremely pleased with their response,” she wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “I’m sure they, like most people, only think of Idyllwild as a charming mountain village with snow. They have no idea of the problems caused by snow-play visitors who we have no way to accommodate or inform.”

Going forward, Kennedy and the Snow Talk group will rely on the internet, she said. There is both a Facebook page, IdyllwildSnow, and a website, idyllwildsnow.com,
“… to inform potential snow-play visitors of the situation up here.”

Jeff Comerchero, Supervisor Chuck Washington’s (3rd District) chief of staff, and Scot Bangle, director of the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District, both contacted the Watershed Protection Agency on Idyllwild’s behalf, too.

“To be clear, the offending posting came from the Flood Control District, not the county proper,” Comerchero emphasized.

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