Small town, visitors in the midst of a pandemic


I am a native Desert resident who just recently moved above Palm Desert to a town called Mountain Center which neighbors Hemet, Anza and Banning. This community has been impacted in a good and bad way with visitors enjoying nature and outside activities as they are social distancing. But since the snow storm that happened 12/28/20 there has been a crazy amount of people in the town that have brought a long a lot of trash, bad attitudes, waste and traffic violations. It has gotten so bad that people are setting up bbq’s in resident’s yards, they are jumping barbed wire fences to enjoy snow play with their children, lots of accidents, illegal parking, it has gotten to the point of harassment by visitors towards the residents asking people to move out of their driveways and roadways.

Not only has it brought an influx of visitors and other issues, it has also brought more people into town coming into contact with residents who haven’t had any type of outbreaks or exposures. There have been a few exposures but for the most part, the town stays on lockdown. Businesses are reporting that visitors haven’t made an impact on their revenue which is weird.

The County has taken down trash cans and there are no public restrooms open so if you can imagine the type of stuff left behind.

I myself don’t have any issues with the visitors, but I also don’t live in the heart of Idyllwild where all of this happens. I do see the people pulled off the side of Highway 74 for miles though, and I know they are just seeking some well-justified outside time but totally at the expense of the people who own that private property. The trash is terrible that they are leaving behind. I am wholeheartedly hoping the visitors can be educated as to how to pack it up and leave no trace behind. The locals have formulated a community trash pickup where they walk along the road and collect litter, but it does such a disservice to them and the animals as well as this mountain environment.

We were hoping to get some light shed on this issue, ask people to educate themselves, possibly consider staying home during a stay at home order, find a way to increase law enforcement presence as there is only 1 CHP and 1 Sheriff to cover from Anza to Idyllwild and also to teach people the etiquette when visiting as the community will never be able to keep people from coming up even being in a pandemic.

I hope I am not chatting your ear/eyes off but really wanting some sort of news outlet to cover this and hoping you can help!

-Amber Jordan

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