A History of the Friends of Jawbone - 2000s

By 2000, one year after the first edition of the Friends of Jawbone map was printed, it had sold over 10,000 copies. In response to the growing demand, the map went into a second printing, and has seen many more editions produced since, with Edition 14.1 currently in production.

The following year, in November, high winds forced the closure of Highway 14 on Thanksgiving Day. Thirty-two people were unexpectedly stranded in the parking lot at Jawbone Station. Luckily for them, they had landed the day after the Friends of Jawbone’s annual Thanksgiving lunch, and FOJ was happy to share the leftovers with the stranded travelers.

2002 proved to be a year of big changes at the station. Jim Keeler and Dave Kotlarski accepted new positions elsewhere in the state, and Myrtle Railey retired. With staff now spread thin, BLM decided to outsource the station’s operation to the Friends of Jawbone, and Robin Mallow was hired to manage the station. FOJ has managed the station ever since. The Friends of Jawbone also adopted the Josie Bishop property at the request of her grandson, and now manage it in conjunction with BLM.

In 2003, Robin spearheaded a school outreach program for elementary school children (although in later years the program was expanded to include both junior and senior high schools). From 2003 to 2005, she traveled to local schools, teaching kids proper OHV conduct and emphasizing the importance of preserving desert habitats. The program was suspended in 2005 due to a lack of staff available to travel to the schools. Now, with our new Interpretive Center, FOJ will enter into grant requests to have school children bussed to the center to be educated on-site.

In 2004, the fifth edition of the Friends of Jawbone map was printed. At the same time, new maps were created to include Los Angeles County, Los Padres National Forest, and the Angeles National Forest. Vault toilets were installed in the Jawbone Station parking lot and at several locations in Jawbone Canyon and Dove Springs. Toward the end of the year the first plans were put forward to expand Jawbone Station, although the expansion would have to wait for the passing of a bill in order to go forward.

The year 2005 saw the first Student Conservation Crews arriving in the canyon to do restoration work and trail maintenance and they have continued to return each year to Jawbone. Also in 2005, in recognition for his efforts, not only at Jawbone Canyon but throughout the Southern California Desert, Mr. Waldheim was elected to the Off-Road Motor Sports Hall of Fame in Reno, Nevada and also into the American Motorcyclist Hall of Fame in Ohio. Ed Waldheim was also honored as a volunteer of the year for Ridgecrest BLM at a ceremony in the Department of the Interior in Washington DC.

2006 started with a bang, with the Friends of Jawbone assuming full operation of the bookstore from Southwest Natural and Cultural Heritage association, allowing all profits to remain with the Friends of Jawbone and to be used to operate the station, purchase equipment, and fund various projects. FOJ also assumed financial support of Bickel Camp, a historic mining site located in the El Paso Mountains. Funds were used to purchase several parcels on the main street in Randsburg and to create an Off-Highway Vehicle parking lot with signs telling riders what was, and was not, legal in the area. In April, we celebrated the 10th annual Moose Anderson Days. Grant money was utilized to purchase a quad for the BLM Rangers, which became the first in a fleet of vehicles the Friends of Jawbone would acquire. In May, we applied for funds to expand the Jawbone Station and to build a garage/shop to house the growing fleet of vehicles.

2007 was a turning-point, funding wise, for Friends of Jawbone. First, the Recreational Trail Program (RTP) was created and funded by federal transportation taxes and administered by the OHV Division. As a result, Friends of Jawbone received over $250,000, which made it possible to purchase the equipment currently used at Jawbone for maintenance of recreational facilities. In subsequent years, RTP has played a key role in fencing projects to protect natural resources and to assure the continued use of existing designated trails. 2007 also saw new legislation passed that changed the availability of grants for Non-Profit organizations. Since then, FOJ has made huge strides getting Operations and Maintenance, and Restoration grants, as well as Education and Safety grants and as a result, has made great strides in the work we do in and around Jawbone Canyon.

In May of 2007, a bookstore was opened at the El Mirage BLM Visitor Center. The books were purchased from the Friends of Jawbone Bookstore at Jawbone Canyon. In 2008, Honda, ever a good partner to the Friends of Jawbone, topped their usual yearly donation of a generator (which was always raffled off during Moose Anderson Days) and donated a quad to Friends of Jawbone.

In 2009, the Friends of Jawbone learned we would receive funds for the station expansion. Also that year, an information kiosk was installed outside the station. In June, funding was received for the station expansion and work started in July of that year. In October, Friends of Jawbone extended our online presence by starting a Facebook page and, before the end of the year, we had 316 friends on their page. Today, we are followed by more than 15,000 who tune in for regular updates on the goings-on in Jawbone. The story continues into the 2010s and beyond in Part Three.

A History of the Friends of Jawbone: Part One

Part One of Three of the History of the Friends of Jawbone, detailing the timeline of our organization from 1996 through the present day.

In this section: The formative days of the Friends of Jawbone from its inception in 1996 through the year 2000.

A History of the Friends of Jawbone: Part Three

Part Three of Three of the History of the Friends of Jawbone, detailing the timeline of our organization from 1996 through the present day.

In this section: 2010 through the present day, recapping the stories and events of the last decade and change.

Dedicated to Ed Waldheim

Man standing next to dirt bike

Founder of the Friends of Jawbone (FOJ)

Friends of Jawbone is a non-profit corporation under section 501(c)(3). If you or your business would like to support Friends of Jawbone, please click here.

Special Thanks To:

Please join us in thanking our Supporters:

Shaw Charitable Fund


Please join us in thanking the sponsors of our 26th Moose Anderson Day:

Bureau of Land Management

CarMax Foundation
Mojave Gold