Although Keep Scott Valley Rural is not opposed to the expansion of the Kidder Creek Orchard Camp children’s program, the camp, now known as Mt. Hermon/Kidder Creek Orchard Camp, is seeking approval to expand from 310 to 844 attendees per day. Their plan includes a massive commercial year-round conference center. This is to be built up a box canyon, in a heavily forested area, during a severe drought with the high potential for catastrophic wildland fire.
We fear for our lives! South Kidder Creek Road is the only paved road into and out of the camp. At present, there are plans for an alternate route exiting onto Patterson Creek Road. Both exit roads are winding, steep and narrow. Neither road is capable of handling 844 campers, trucks, horse-trailers, rv’s, buses, the surrounding neighbors and emergency responders in the event of a wildland fire. The residents of South Kidder Creek Road, North Kidder Creek Road, Kidder Loop, Kellums Lane, Patterson Creek Road and Partridge Pines are most vulnerable.
The County Board of Supervisors is poised to make their decision on this expansion of the Mt. Hermon/Kidder Creek Orchard Camp next Tuesday, March 21, at 9:00 a.m. at 311 Fourth St. Yreka. Concerns or comments can be sent to our Board of Supervisors at [email protected]
Patterson Creek Homeowner Ltr
March 13, 2023
Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors
1312 Fairlane Rd
Yreka, CA 96097
Dear Honorable Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors,
I live on Patterson Creek Road, just outside of Etna. I’m writing to you to oppose the proposal to expand services at Kidder Creek Orchard and want to say that I’m dismayed!
There will be significant impacts from Mount Hermon’s Kidder Creek Orchard Camp (KCOC) application to increase its current occupancy from a maximum of 165 to 844. In reading through some of the material, it appears their application is predicated on the idea of Patterson Creek Road as an egress for evacuation purposes and with the goal of using the road to bring in visitors. This is unacceptable. Patterson Creek Road is a private road with some limited rights to the public at large, not an ingress/egress for KCOC.
In many of the documents and statements on their website, KCOC claims they have done outreach to the community impacted by this massive expansion. This is not true. My neighbors and I have not been connected by KCOC once to discuss my thoughts about how increasing traffic on Patterson Creek would impact my personal enjoyment of my property, how my property values would be negatively affected or how evacuating 844 people, horses, etc. might impact my own family’s ability to evacuate from a fire safely emergency.
The impacts that concern me and my neighbors are many:
- Our quiet country neighborhood roads will be subjected to a considerable amount of traffic.
- There will be more wear and tear on our roads.
- We have chosen to live here in the Valley because we value the beauty and serenity of country living. That will be significantly impacted by the considerable amount of traffic from the proposed camp expansion.
- We are living in precarious times, with wildfires gaining in frequency and strength with each summer season. In the event of an emergency evacuation, how would that much traffic be managed on Kidder Creek and Patterson Creek roads?
- Water is another consideration. Has anyone looked into what the impact of providing water to accommodate the increase of people proposed? We are STILL living in a drought even with these big rains brought by the atmospheric rivers. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAP4gLGT7Nc )
Providing services for 844 people per day is best done somewhere where there are many access roads and services, not here. I am opposed to this expansion.
As a citizen of Scott Valley, I strongly urge you to deny the application by Mount Hermon as it does not conform to our rural lifestyle. If Mount Hermon wants to expand, tell them to do it in Santa Cruz.
Thank you for your consideration.
BOS Comment Ltr
March 10, 2023
Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors:
RE: Kidder Creek Orchard Camp
Zone Change Z-14-01 and Use Permit UP 11-15
South Kidder Creek Road bisects my 64 acres, which are located approximately one mile east of Kidder Creek Orchard Camp and one-half mile west of Hwy 3. Nearly twenty years ago, when I moved to the banks of Kidder Creek (which also crosses my 64 acres), there were still salmon in the creek in the Fall months and the mountainsides lush and green. This, sadly, is no longer the case. The extreme drought, coupled with blistering hot summers have drastically impacted creek flow and turned our timber into tinder. Now water is the new gold and catastrophic wildland fire is always on our doorstep.
Fourteen years ago, when we learned that Kidder Creek Orchard Camp was considering an expansion we started asking questions. KCOC came to the neighbors with their plan. They were going to build a camp that would be able to entertain 844 campers and staff per day. The idea that a commercial recreational development (non-profit or otherwise), larger in size than either of our valley towns of Fort Jones or Etna, perched above us in a box canyon was simply inconceivable! Their plans included a seven-acre pond diverted from the Barker Ditch off Kidder Creek (legally they claim, though they have yet to produce documentation), a projected 1,500 cars per day on the narrow, winding road, use of 38,000 gallons a day from well water, included no waste management – only septic pits in highly granitic soil, and provided no clear title to an easement for their unfinished and inadequate evacuation road.
We started asking questions. We’ve kept asking questions. Fourteen years later, we’re still asking the same questions. The final one being: Why in God’s name would our County approve a project that blatantly violates CEQA, ignores the Scott Valley Area Plan, arbitrarily decides which mitigation measures to adopt, does not meet current 4290 CalFire regulations, endangers everyone’s safety in the face of potential, almost certain, catastrophic wildland fire, and risks setting dangerous precedent with regard to water in our drought impacted valley.
I respectfully request that you deny this permit application. To do otherwise seems unbelievably irresponsible and incredibly negligent.