A History of the Friends of Jawbone - 2010s
2010 and 2011 proved to be boom years for the Friends of Jawbone despite a down-turning economy. Honda topped themselves once again and donated a box truck to FOJ. In April 2010, the Jawbone Station bookstore’s monthly sales reached $10,000, and in September a groundbreaking was held for the station expansion. The following month FOJ received the “Business of the Year” award from the city of California City.
On October 27th, Jawbone Station played host to ATV Safety Classes and on October 30th they held their first Halloween Safety Event and Poker Run. In December, the foundation was poured for the station expansion. In April of 2011, the Bookstore once again set a record, this time recording sales of $10,695. June marked an emotional time as long-time vice president June Paul Kober moved to Alabama and the framework for the shop was finished.
In December of 2011, the Friends of Jawbone launched the OwlsheadGPS website, a venture designed to make access to accurate route information easy and available to the general public. It has since seen a number of updates, improving both the quality and quantity of trails and regional information within the program.
Initially, OwlsheadGPS was a small endeavor with the aim of expanding into the whole of the Western Mojave Desert. In the years since its creation, OwlsheadGPS far exceeded its expansion goals and now covers 101+ million acres of land across the entirety of California. With 37,000+ routes mapped across 57,000+ miles of trails, OwlsheadGPS is the most comprehensive OHV trail network of California available to the general public.
On its way towards covering all of California, OwlsheadGPS completed coverage of all of Southern California in 2014, and by 2015, had expanded further to cover all of Central California. By the end of 2016, OwlsheadGPS completed its expansion in coverage to encompass all of California.
In April of 2012, the station expansion was completed, and began to be staffed 365 days a year. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the expansion. The Friends of Jawbone map released its 9th edition. In the following year, Ed Waldheim received the Jimmy Radoumis award from the Kern County Board of Trade.
2017 saw the purchase of the Harts Place property, formerly a trading post during the time of Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” policies. Though it burned down in the 1950s, Friends of Jawbone purchased the property in order to ensure a legal OHV crossing route across CA Highway 14. In 2018, California State Senator Jean Fuller awarded Ed Waldheim with a Lifetime Recognition Award.
After many years of work that culminated in 2019, Friends of Jawbone achieved a 41,000-acre expansion, as well as special protection for the nearby Spangler Hills OHV Recreation Area with the passing of the John D. Dingell Act. This landmark legislation also designated the Dumont Dunes, El Mirage, Rasor, Stoddard Valley and Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Areas.
Despite the success of the John D. Dingell Act passed in March of 2019, Friends of Jawbone had to say goodbye to founder and president Ed Waldheim, who passed away in December of that year. A tribute to Ed was planned for the upcoming Moose Anderson Day in 2020.
Unfortunately, 2020 saw the temporary closing of Jawbone Station due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Moose Anderson Day was also cancelled for the next two years in an abundance of caution. Despite the shutdown, a record number of OHV users made their way to the Jawbone Canyon area, beginning an upward trend in visitation that continues to this day. By 2021, pandemic restrictions were relaxed enough to allow for Jawbone Station to reopen for all visitors.
In 2022, Moose Anderson Day made its long-awaited return after the COVID-19 hiatus, and included the previously slated tribute honoring the life of Ed Waldheim.
And as of 2023, Friends of Jawbone is celebrating 25 years of incorporation as a 501(c)(3)! With the hiatuses of 2020 and 2021, Moose Anderson Day 2023 is also the 25th running of the annual event. April 29th, 2023 marks the day of celebration for this dual, silver anniversary for Friends of Jawbone.
Jawbone Station Visitor Center Today
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.
Part Two 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: 2000-2010, recapping the events that took place over the course of the first decade of the new millennium.
Dedicated to Ed Waldheim
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 Business Supporters:
Southern California Overland Trail Association
Please join us in thanking the sponsors of our 25th Moose Anderson Day:
Bureau of Land Management
CSI Electrical Contractors
Andrew & Cherie Holloway
Bank of the Sierra
Green Tea Garden
Dave & Shelly Hammersmith
Kern County Search and Rescue
West Best Pizza
Mojave Off Road Adventures
Jawbone Canyon Store
Fun Time ATV Rentals
Doug & Katie Varner
Doug and Katie Varner
Indian Wells Brewery
Friends of Oceano Dunes
Point Mugu 4×4 Club
Happy Trails Data Management
IMC Real Estate