The Friends of Jawbone has gotten pretty good at route signing over recent years. In fact, we've invented new technologies such as special auger trucks that can install signs in seconds. Therefore, it should come to no surprise that FOJ assisting the local Bureau of Land Management (BLM) field office on their major court-ordered signing effort in the West Mojave desert.
All of the BLM's routes in and around Jawbone Canyon were designated through the West Mojave Plan (WEMO) plan and these are the routes that are required to be signed. The Jawbone Canyon/Dove Spring area and the Rand Mountains have been fully signed for some time. Other areas that are less often visited are currently the focus of the BLM signing effort.
To better manage the effort the BLM divided the WEMO Plan area into 32 subregions. One of these is the El Pasos Mountains, the triangle just east of Jawbone Canyon between Highway 14 and Highway 395. In order to help the BLM meet the court's deadline, the Friends of Jawbone was assigned this subregion to sign with its crews and equipment.
Signing the routes in the El Paso Mountains subregion was especially challenging because the WEMO Plan did not update the designations in the El Pasos. Rather, the plan temporarily carried forward the existing designations from 1985/87. A great deal has changed on the ground in the ~25 years since, and the mapping methods used at the time were far less accurate than the GPS-based technologies commonly used today. This required FOJ's El Paso Mountains signing crew to pay special attention to the details on the ground.
With the signing project nearly completed, the next deadline is for the BLM to produce new maps by the end of August. The Friends of Jawbone appreciates the opportunity to partner with the BLM to ensure motorized access to the many diverse opportunities for recreation on our public lands.