“Hoarder”, Santa Cruz clash over redwood forest ends

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Finally, the end was reached in the prolonged battle involving Santa Cruz County and “Hoarders”-featured the odd inventor, KRON4 reported.

The issue revolved around the 153-acre redwood forest in Boulder Creek and Roy Kaylor.

On Tuesday, the Sempervirens Fund said that it was about to raise sufficient funds to buy the land and have the forest preserved as Big Basin Redwoods State Park gateway. The property will be a “gem” of wilderness, according to the nonprofit.

The property has been under Kaylor’s ownership since 1984. In 2006, the county made the first legal move against him for multiple county codes violations. He was named the “King Tut of Hoarders” by one Santa Cruz County supervisor.

“Hoarders” once featured him, showing his web of machines including old boats, surfboards, junk cars, among others, that were spread across the redwood tree forest.

Apart from this, Kaylor also let squatters use the land for them to live.

Kaylor was ordered to tidy the forest and get all his hoarded items out, after a trial in 2012.

He was said to have failed to satisfy the orders of the county, as ruled by a judge in 2019, and his land is still considered as a “public nuisance.”

“Kaylor stated that he had hauled 72 pickup truck loads of trash and 10 large dump trucks of trash to the dump and filled over 300 large trash bags. He also asserted that he had evicted approximately 250 people, mostly methamphetamine addicts, from the property over a 26-year period,” according to the judge.

He and “Hoarders” claim that the fine is at $20 million when in fact it is only at $12, 500, according to county environmental coordinator Matt Johnston.

“Roy faced $12,500 in fines, which were eventually paid out of the proceeds from the sale of the property. The county code allows for us to seek penalties not to exceed $2,500 per penalty per day. Roy took that and did the math on what that might amount to, and has told everyone from Hoarders to anyone who would listen that we were fining him 20 million dollars,” Johnston shared to KRON4 Wednesday.

“After years of Roy fighting the cleanup and ignoring court orders, the county asked the court to appoint a receiver to take responsibility for the property,” Johnston said.

Several receivers did a colossal cleanup in the forest.

An end in the battle finally reached its ending when Verve Coffee Roasters co-founder Colby Barr purchased the land in 2020.

The amount from the purchase was allotted in a clean-up effort which got rid of Kaylor’s junk and also improved soil conditions.

A campaign “Preserve the Gateway to Big Basin” was initiated by the Sempervirens Fund, which coordinates with Barr.

“Mr. Barr has put a lot of love and care into the gateway property, and we are grateful for his stewardship and his commitment to restoring the natural conditions of this magnificent fores,” Sempervirens Fund executive director Sara Barth said.

“Working with Mr. Barr, Sempervirens Fund will ensure the property is free and clear of remnant debris. Resetting the property to a natural state will set the stage for Sempervirens Fund to implement forest, watershed, and habitat restoration programs… and improve forest resilience in the aftermath of the CZU fire,” the nonprofit said in a written statement.