The battle between ‘hoarder’ and Santa Cruz over redwood forest finally ends


SANTA CRUZ, California (CROWN) – A long-running battle between Santa Cruz County and an eccentric inventor who starred in the show “Hoarders” has finally reached a peaceful end.

Roy Kaylor and a 153-acre redwood forest in Boulder Creek were at the heart of a controversy that dragged on for two decades.

The Semperviren Fund said Tuesday it has raised nearly enough money to buy the land and preserve the forest as a gateway to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The nonprofit said the property will become a “gem” of wilderness.

Kaylor has owned the land since 1984. The county took its first lawsuit against him in 2006 for violating several county laws. A supervisor in Santa Cruz County called Kaylor “King Tut of Hoarders.”

Kaylor was on one episode of “Hoarders” who documented his maze of machines.

Hans had old engines, broken school buses, dozens of junk cars, surfboards, boats and huge piles of rubbish. He allowed many squatters to live on his land over the years, county officials said.

While some despised Kaylor as a hamster, others appreciated him as a Stanford University-trained electrical engineer. After all, a man’s waste is another man’s treasure.

Kaylor calls himself “Redwood Roy.”

Kaylor wrote on Facebook about his inventions, including “the prototype of the Toyota Prius. And an SF Muni bus transformed into a laboratory, where the power supply to your computer, the inside of the battery to your car, the main power supply to Voyager (V-GER ) and satellite power supplies were designed. “

Following a 2012 lawsuit, the court sided with county officials and ordered Kaylor to clean up the woods by dragging out hundreds of hoarded items. He was fined $ 20 million.

A Santa Cruz County judge ruled in 2019 that Kaylor had not complied with county orders and that his property still constituted a “public nuisance.”

Kaylor said he had towed 72 garbage trucks and 10 large dump trucks with garbage to the landfill and filled over 300 large garbage bags. He also claimed he had thrown about 250 people, mostly methamphetamine addicts, from the property over a 26-year-old period, ”the judge wrote.

The judge said Kaylor had not done near enough to clear up the woods.

The saga finally found a solution when Colby Barr, co-founder of Verve Coffee Roasters, bought the property from Kaylor and the county in 2020.

Funding from Barr’s purchase went to cleaning up the property, removing cars and other junk, and improving soil conditions. In close collaboration with Barr, the Sempervirens Foundation launched a campaign, Preserve the gate to the Big Basin.

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

The 153-acre property is wooded from three ridges down into streams, waterfalls and gorges that form their own miniature basin next to the Big Basin. It is home to mountain lions, gray foxes and many other forest animals.

“Working with Mr Barr, the Semperviren Foundation will ensure that the property is free and free of debris. Resetting the property to a natural state will set the stage for the Sempervirens Fund to implement forest, watershed and habitat restoration programs … and improve forest resilience. in the wake of the CZU fire, “wrote the Sempervirens Fund.

Sempervirens Fond is currently asking for donations from the public to buy the land from Barr and permanently protect the forest. The nonprofit has already raised $ 2.18 million through donations, but it still needs an additional $ 68,000.

Barth said: “We really need public support to make a difference. If you love redwoods, the Big Basin or both, this is a great moment for their future.”

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