By Marsha Kennedy

Idyllwild Snow Group

“Idy, Pine Cove and Fern Valley suffered an invasion tantamount to a disaster. Our roads were icy and the invaders weren’t prepared, didn’t know how to drive in the snow and didn’t care. Our Mountain Community Patrol was called out to help with some roads in Fern Valley that were impassable. The invaders ignored them and slid into resident’s yards, cars and trees anyway. There were a lot of problems with tourists parking four deep at the Nature Center. One group started up their barbecue in the yard of a Fern Valley home. Trash abounded. They brought their own food, didn’t patronize our restaurants and left their trash. I really hate the dirty disposable diapers.”

“I pointed out the No Trespassing sign and asked them to leave. When I again asked them to leave, they told me to get f---ed.”

Did these quotes come from 2017? 2016? 2015?  Nope. They are from the Town Crier’s “Readers Write” archives of 2008 and 2009.

Some folk on the Hill have become aware of the recreational snow visitor situation only during the last winter or two. However, the problem has been growing for years. Not coincidentally, so has the population in areas surrounding us.

Banning, the desert cities, Hemet, in fact all of Riverside County’s growth projections are robust and impressive. According to the Southern California Association of Governments, the San Gorgonio Pass communities are projected to more than double in size between 2000 and 2020. The Coachella Valley’s unincorporated areas alone should more than double between 2005 and 2030.

From 2005 to 2035, Riverside County projects growth of 72 percent. Hemet’s contribution is 61 percent and San Jacinto’s is a stunning 230 percent.

For those who live in these areas, Idyllwild offers the nearest snow. It’s understandable that they are drawn to us. The problem is that our quiet residential community is not prepared for the surges we have recently seen.

And, by every appearance, our recreational snow visitor problem will not go away. Does anyone else see irony in the fact that we have a fort in the middle of town?

The Snow Group is gathering information and working on possible solutions to help our community. To find out more or to comment, please visit our website,, or our Facebook page Idy Snow Talk.