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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 398

Friends of Jawbone speeds up desert task

The Friends of Jawbone, one of BLM's partners in the Ridgecrest Field Office, promotes wise off-highway vehicle use on public lands in the California Desert, including public lands in the Jawbone recreation area near the town of Mojave, Calif. Part of this effort is to install signs in OHV areas, to educate riders on the importance of staying in approved areas or on approved routes.  Friends of Jawbone recently developed equipment to make it easier to place these signs in the ground.  (text continues below)

Man operates truck-mounted auger with a wired remote control
Kevin shows volunteers how to operate the new equipment

After a short training sessions, installers can drive a truck-mounted power auger to the site and make proper holes for the signs.  These photos show a prototype the group developed with inventor Michael Sellard.  After training one morning, several members of Friends of Jawbone were able to drill holes themselves, to install new signs. “The key is to get the job did right the first time, not have to come back again and again putting signs into the ground so they stay,” said Ed Waldheim of Friends of Jawbone.  “Also key is that anyone, I mean anyone can do the job now.”

Waldheim said the group is already planning the next generation of equipment, a smaller size that can be put in the back of a pickup truck.

Woman controls the auger with the wired remote, as it drills a hole in the ground 
Shelly (at left) practices using the remote control to drill a signpost hole in the ground, as others wait their turn.

Volunteers stand near a newly-installed that welcomes visitors to the Jawbone Open Area
Volunteers admire a newly-installed sign

A man takes his turn operating the wired remote, while a woman looks on
After the short training session, Armando and Shelly install a sign completely on their own.

 Another new sign tells OHV visitors that "You have the power to destroy everything we've accomplished here. You have control over our future rights to come here..."
Another newly-installed sign explains the rules of the area.

Three signs installed along the dirt access road, with a gap for a sign that is on the way
Three signs installed in much less time than before.  Space is reserved for a fourth sign about safety, that is set to arrive soon.

A white truck has a wooden cage around the rear deck, with a crane-like mechanical auger painted red mounted in the middle
A view of the truck and the mounted auger


BLM-California News.bytes, issue 398

Last updated: 09-02-2009