Other than the occasional wandering bear, lake-stocked fish and migrated bald eagle, our wildlife population primarily derives from their own local ancestry — generations and generations preceeding from time before maybe even the American Indians settled here.

That’s not the case with the human population. Even most of the Native Americans, other than on nearby reservations, dispersed or multiplied through non-Native cultures.

Many of you who’ve lived here a few years, like me, are noticing a turnover in the past few years of our local human population.

For many, many years the Chamber of Commerce strove to bring awareness to tourists of Idyllwild’s uniqueness. But in the past few years — without a Chamber, I might note — we’ve been “found.”

Everywhere I go, I’m introduced to new residents, whether part- or full-time. Houses on the market now sell quickly and for premium prices.

I especially notice this now that I handle the Memberships that include subscriptions. I receive regular calls from people who have sold their cabins and want to cancel the paper. I receive calls/letters from people from all over who recently bought second homes and need a Membership.

New people enamored with this idealic village settle in to retire, raise their kids, get involved volunteering, share their talents, etc. For the most part and despite their varied traits and character, they rarely upset the general culture of the community — that of an industrious, charming community that enjoys its art, musicians, wine, craft beer and great restaurants, and who appreciates its salt-of-the-earth hard-working service industry and helpful neighbors.

Idyllwild and environs’ human population provide a palm-of-your-hand warmth and caring when you face challenge — whether surgery, illness, death or hardship. Nowhere but here, some say, would you be able to meet a major life challenge head-on  because of the people.

Volunteering is mostly a pleasure in this community not only because of the satisfaction of helping, but because you get to meet many of these new residents.

Back when I was publisher/editor all those years working for a different newspaper owner and Jack worked off the Hill, my associations with people were through work, volunteering (Chamber, Idyllwild Community Fund, PTA), my children’s teachers/friends’ parents, or a knitting group.

Now, my children are grown. And because of Jack’s and my work constraints in not just running but owning a business, joining local volunteer organizations puts an added strain. I need to pay attention to my health now more. My volunteering primarily is through the state newspaper community four or five times a year.

So it is with pleasure that since we bought the paper, we’ve come to know more and more of these “newer” (newer than us) residents through weekly/monthly get-togethers. We treasure these times with people who, like us, truly love living in this paradise (except for the occasional brouhaha) — far from the madding crowd but not too far that we can’t be a little mad ourselves.

Becky Clark, Editor