Church Of The Woods Plan Jars Residents

Many residents of the Twin Peaks community expressed wariness over the proposed sports and worship complex to be built by the Church of the Woods along Highway 18 in Rimforest.

Church of the Woods is proposing to clear forest land on the east side of Rim Forest west of Daley Canyon and to fill in the marsh that exists at the headwaters of Little Bear Creek to accommodate the development.

Some local residents and members of the Save our Forest Association object to the plan to remove 350,000 cubic yards of dirt from the area and to cover with soil the wetlands and natural spring, which feeds the blue line creek flowing into Lake Arrowhead.

A preview of the project, which is to be considered by the county planning commission next month, was provided to interested Twin Peaks and Rim Forest residents recently as the public input deadline for the environmental impact review of the project approaches.

Of concern is that the grading and leveling that will be done for the project, which includes filling in a natural depression in the forest will result in potential landslides and increased run-off downstream, together with erosion, flooding and debris saturation into Agua Fria and Blue Jay during rainstorms.

Historically, there has been difficulty with unstable slopes in Rimforest. Less than a quarter mile from the sports and worship complex site, a large scale landslide took out homes in 1993. One issue embraced by opponents of the project was inadequate focus on the impact to endangered species, such as the Southern Rubber Boa, in the environmental impact study. The environmental impact report calls for those matters to “be dealt with later.”

Flow of Little Bear Creek is subject to regulation by the Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service.

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