Something is disturbing the peace and quiet at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony on the outskirts of Temecula.
The historic artists’ retreat is under fire from gun enthusiasts who have mistakenly assumed their target practice in the rural reaches of the colony’s property.
“They are using the far west side of the property. At first, they would shoot occasionally. But, now it’s out of control. It goes on from sun up to sun down. Word has gotten out and they keep coming back,” said Colony Manager Jill Roberts.
Roberts said that there are so many shooters using the area as a shooting range that a new “road” has been driven onto the property.
“The mission of Dorland is to provide a quiet retreat (for our artists),” Roberts said. “It’s been a misunderstanding. (The shooters) think they’re on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) property where they would be free to shoot. But that is not the case.”
Dorland has hosted hundreds of writers, painters and composers from around the world – many of them taking residence in the quaint cottages for up to a month in order to create their next masterpiece.
Alice Sebold wrote the blockbuster novel “The Lovely Bones” at the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony.
Not only have the colony’s residents complained about the disturbances of loud bangs and whizzing bullets, but so have neighbors, she added.
Roberts has secured aerial photos of the property line proving that the impromptu shooting range is on Dorland’s property, but still the shooters won’t budge.
According to Roberts, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department officials have advised that she will have to fence the area and post No Trespass signs in order to enforce her land rights.
Temecula City Councilman Ron Roberts has also been helpful in pursuing answers for the issue, Roberts noted.
As a non-profit, funds are already tight, so the colony is planning a fundraising event today that they hope will draw attention to their dilemma and help fund the fencing project, she said.
Dorland Mountain Arts Colony is a non-profit artists’ community set on 300 acres along a ridge overlooking the Temecula Valley.
The colony covers about 10 acres with the rest of the land left in its natural state.
Roberts said she hopes supporters will dine today at T.G.I. Friday’s, located at 40830 Winchester Rd., in Temecula.
By presenting the flyer, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony will receive 20 percent of the meals purchased throughout the day.
All of the proceeds will apply toward the purchase of the signs and fencing.
Anyone wishing to donate time, money or services to the cause can click here.
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.