Keep an eye out for Hikers in the Canyon

With May now upon us and June fast approaching, the first of the Pacific Crest National Trail (PCT) hikers are starting to filter through Jawbone Canyon on their way to Kennedy Meadows. No section of the PCT is easy, but the section that runs from highway 58 to Walker Pass presents some difficult logistical problems: namely that water is hard to find in regular supply in the desert.

In fact, the longest section of the PCT without any reliable water happens just north of 58 and has just a little over 38 miles between water sources. Other parts of the PCT cross and re-cross streams and rivers that run with fresh snowmelt year-round, but the section in our backyard doesn’t have any springs directly on the trail and some of the more reliable water-sources are up to three miles off the main trail. Thus, at key points, hikers must step off the trail and head down the local dirt roads in search of springs or the water caches that were left for them.

Read more: Keep an eye out for Hikers in the Canyon

No 420 on Federal Lands!

With the recent legalization of marijuana in California and other western states, also came some confusion.  Although it may be legal to consume marijuana on private and other non-federal property, it is NOT yet legal to possess or use it on federal lands.

So, if your visit to a national park, national forest, BLM or other federally managed lands today, or any other day, includes a nod to 420, know that you face the possibility of arrest, citations, fines, and/or confiscation.

But most importantly, please understand that marijuana use can impair your riding abilities and skills. Offroading after consuming alcohol or drugs endangers your life and the lives of others around you.

Ride sober, ride safely!

California State Parks and Recreation Transition Plan

On October 3, 2017, the California Department of State Parks and Recreation (DPR) released its long awaited Operational Transition Plan that will restructure and guide the department's efforts to enhance service delivery, better support staff and key partners, provide career paths for diverse professional groups to develop as park leaders, and put program expertise closer to the public.

This development is important to Friends of Jawbone because it affects our neighbor and partner, Red Rock State Park, which is home to hundreds of miles of world class recreational OHV touring opportunities. It also affects the operation of the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division which administers the Grants and Cooperative Agreements program that funds FOJ's ground operations and restoration work, as well as its rider education and safety projects.

Those who have been following this transformation effort by DPR may want to download and review the final Operation Transition Plan. Please let us know how you think this plan might affect OHV recreation in the greater Jawbone Canyon area.

Drone Flying On Public Lands

The popularity of drones, or unmanned aircrafts, is on the rise in the United States. There are many public lands that allow drone use, however, flying in prohibited areas could result in civil and/or criminal penalties.

First, all drone users must follow Federal Aviation Association (FAA) rules regarding registration and operation of recreational unmanned aircrafts. Consumer drones weighing between .55 and 55 pounds are required to be registered with the FAA.

Read more: Drone Flying On Public Lands

Governor Brown Signs Bill to Save OHV Program

Friends of Jawbone is happy to report that on October 3, 2017, Governor Brown signed state legislation into law the renews and makes permanent California's Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation program. This year-long push to reauthorize the OHV program and to make it permanent proved successful because the Governor and members of the State Senate and Assembly heard from thousands of OHV enthusiasts like you. Such an accomplishment would never have occurred if it weren't for your letters, telephone calls, emails and contributions.

“Members’ calls to their legislators worked,” said Amy Granat, Managing Director of CORVA, the California Off Road Vehicle Association. “The off-road vehicle community was able to convince the author of the bill and legislative leaders to work with off-road representatives on Senate Bill 249 and companion bill Senate Bill 159.”

Read more: Governor Brown Signs Bill to Save OHV Program