A sign from the National Forest in Montana has disappeared

A sign from the National Forest in Montana has disappeared

(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

Hyalite receives over 20,000 visitors per month in winter and over 40,000 visitors per month in summer, said the United States Forest Service.

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 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.

The road to Hyalite Canyon is closed every year for a few weeks in April and May to allow the thawing of the road surface. A nonprofit club called Ialite’s friends also organizes a “cleaning day” during this closure to help maintain the road in order to support the conservation of hyalite.

“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. “

There are federal regulations established out from the U.S. Forestry Service for signage, and Johnson said she made sure to follow them while making the sign. He found the hexadecimal codes for the color, a very similar font, the type of wood (MDO plywood), the size and the shape.

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.

“Thanks Liz!,” Mehl wrote in a tweet. “A big step forward to get things done. I will think of your community spirit every time I see that sign for years to come.”

The forestry service said it appreciated the gift, but call them next time.

“We would prefer people to coordinate with us before embarking on such a project because it obviously took a lot of effort, but we certainly appreciate the people who want to help and want to contribute,” Wendi Urie, manager of the recreation program for the forest Service Bozeman Ranger District, he said Daily Chronicle of Bozeman.

CNN attempted to reach the forestry service for further comment.

The road to Hyalite Canyon was reopened on May 16.

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