(CNN) – After a year’s absence, the sign for Hyalite Canyon in the Custer Gallatin national forest has been restored, thanks to a certain venue with a love of the land and a set of power tools.
Liz Johnson, who lives in Bozeman, Montana, just north of federal land, noted last year that the signal for Hyalite Canyon was missing. Although he cannot confirm that the sign has been stolen, he has strong suspicion that it has been taken.
“Gallatin National Forest and Hyalite in particular are so loved by everyone I know,” Johnson told CNN. “It is so close to the city and offers so many different activities for all types of people. This is also probably why the sign was stolen – because it is loved so much!”
Liz Johnson said he spent hours researching, planning and purchasing all the materials to make the sign.
Courtesy of Liz Johnson
As a supporter of the do-it-yourself and creators culture – a culture fueled by people who like to design and work on their own projects, from 3D printing to woodworking – Johnson said he had to take matters into his own hands.
It was inspired by a documentary she saw on Richard Ankrom, who secretly (and without government approval) improved signage on a California freeway.
Johnson describes himself as a “type of handyman hobbyist” who made objects of all sizes.
“I inherited some tools of power and skill from my father, but what I think I really inherited was curiosity and determination to try new projects and get into things right away,” Johnson said.
“Whenever I wanted to try something, I never heard a” what if “,” what about this “or” maybe not “from my parents, but instead a” good luck “and” here are some ideas to take you started. ‘”
Johnson said it took her a week from start to finish to complete the score.
Courtesy of Liz Johnson
Johnson said he thought about the project all year round, but continued to postpone it. However, she was motivated to have the sign ready in time for when Hyalite Canyon opened again so that people could see it on the inauguration day.
“I thought the forestry service should have more important things to do than replace a cartel that probably continues to be stolen, or maybe they haven’t even noticed,” Johnson said. “Anyway, I thought it was a problem I could solve on my own. I didn’t let them know in part because I thought they would say no, but also because I wanted to be a little rebellious. To do something I shouldn’t be, even though it’s probably okay and only brings good. It’s easy to steal a sign, it’s much more difficult to replace it. “
He said he wanted it to be “indistinguishable from the real deal”, and he hoped he would have a better chance of staying on his feet if he followed the rules as closely as possible if the Forest Service found out what he was doing.
Johnson spent hours planning, researching, writing words, and purchasing all materials. However, once the power tools burst, it took her a “very busy” week from start to finish to complete her job.
Now, the sign welcomes all visitors to Hyalite Canyon and even Bozeman Mayor Chris Mehl approves of his work.
The forestry service said it appreciated the gift, but call them next time.
CNN attempted to reach the forestry service for further comment.
The road to Hyalite Canyon was reopened on May 16.
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