By Marsha Kennedy

Last week, Idyllwild Snow Group members met at the Creekstone Inn with Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Hemet Station Capt. Leonard Purvis. From left, Jean Stein, Doris Ferguson, Morgan Cannon, Cathy Edberg, Jim Ferguson, Sherry Edwards, Marsha Kennedy and Purvis. Photo courtesy Marsha Kennedy

Idyllwild Snow Group

The Snow Group had a very positive meeting last week with Riverside County Sheriff’s Hemet Station Capt. Leonard Purvis. Purvis listened to our summation of the Idyllwild/Fern Valley/Pine Cove recreational snow-visitor problems. He completely understands our concerns for the safety of people and property. We all agreed that one key to safety during snow events is the increased presence of sheriff’s deputies.

Regarding staffing, Purvis responded that he wants one deputy on the Hill 24/7, all year round. During snow events, (that “perfect storm” of heavy snowfall followed by a weekend of fine weather), he indicated he will deploy as many deputies as necessary. “I’ll come up myself if I need to,” he stated.

Purvis spoke of the cross-agency coordination and cooperation between his department and the California Highway Patrol. Each helps the other whenever and however needed. This echoes the same declaration made by Capt. Kari Clark, the CHP’s San Gorgonio Pass Office commander, with whom the Snow Group met a few weeks ago.

Purvis recommends that area residents not hesitate to call and report trespassing, threats or other illegal behavior on the part of snow visitors. These situations are the responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department. Their non-emergency number is 951-776-1099.

A record is kept of all calls made to this number and to 911. The volume of calls will help determine the extent and severity of the Hill’s snow-visitor problems.

Also, callers can ask for contact by the responding deputy, to have closure and to know what has been done.

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.