Dallas writer and creative director Greg Christensen has launched ThanksBus.com, a non-profit website created to preserve the history and design of the iconic National Forest signs. It began with simple curiosity. Driving through the American West Christensen started wondering, “How did a government agency create such well-designed signs?” There wasn’t much information online. But a little digging revealed they were created by a ranger named Bus Carrell. A little more investigating connected him with Bus’s daughter CJ. The story snowballed from there. Realizing the National Forest Service hadn’t retained much institutional knowledge, Christensen and long-time collaborator, Mollie Wilkie, launched ThanksBus.com as a receptacle of the stories he discovered along with an Instagram account where followers are encouraged to perpetuate the story by tagging images of forest signs with #thanksbus.
In Texas, Bus’s signs can be found in two National Grasslands just north of Dallas, as well as four National Forests throughout the state. With COVID restrictions easing, Texans wanting to travel for the summer, and National Forest Week being observed July 12-18th, it’s an opportune time to be aware of this all-American design.