More Than 30 Tents Found When County Delegation Visits Garberville’s ‘Hippie Hill’
Yesterday morning, the transient/homeless camp just north of Garberville was visited by Supervisor Estelle Fennel, deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and a member of the Department of Health and Human Services. “We came and were trying to address Hippie Hill,” explained Sgt. Jesse Taylor who said the group’s goal was to have the DHHS worker “videotape environmental and human waste issues.”
Campers were told that they were trespassing and local residents report that after the visit, many of them packed their tents and left the area. Where the many camp residents will relocate if this area is emptied is unclear.
Taylor said when the County delegation arrived, there were “more than 30 tents up there” and that efforts are being made to “work with the property owner to let him know his options.”
According to Taylor, the area between the north offramp from 101 to the Bear Creek bridge has become a favored camping ground for people without places to stay. “Its convenient [and] out of sight. Five minute walk from town. It’s flat mostly.”
However, many in the community including the Sheriff’s Department do not want people staying there. “There’s violence up there,” he said. “An unsolved homicide that occurred up there, numerous assaults with deadly weapon calls up there,…drug overdoses…so we’re really trying to limit the access.”
The landowner does not want them there either, explained Taylor. “The property owner is definitely not on board with this…I have a signed letter…from the property owner.”
Taylor said there were “several violations” found at that camp and at another also visited yesterday located in the Sprowl Creek area. “There was the trash factor, a bucket with human waste, evidence of toilet paper…You can smell and see where they usually go,” said Taylor.
He credited the ERCP (the Eel River Cleanup Project) with helping mitigate the waste issues. “The
ERC group goes up there pretty regularly. If they didn’t, I can only imagine how bad it would be.”