As the calendar page flips to July, we’ve completed our first official month of Trail Ambassador work in the Inyo & Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests!

Our Trail Ambassadors (TAs) hit the ground running this year and have been out and about working hard. Here are just a few highlights of what they’ve been up to:

  • Lily (FOI TA), Carol (volunteer), Paul (volunteer), and Nate Bech (FS Wilderness Manager) strike their best “band pose.”

    Lily Emerson, our TA partnering with the Bridgeport Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, took two volunteers out to Eagle Creek in the Hoover Wilderness to monitor for invasive weeds in the area. Over their three-day/two-night trip, they found no weeds above 8,300 feet in the Eagle Creek drainage, a great baseline of data that will be hugely helpful to the agency going forward. Special thanks to the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance for providing support to this backcountry volunteer program.

  • Tess & the Minarets!

    Tess Irving-Ruffing, our TA in the Mammoth Ranger District of the Inyo National Forest, has been spending valuable time with INF Wilderness Ranger Jake Groce and the District’s Trail Crew to do some amazing work. From dismantling illegal fire rings in the Duck Pass drainage with Jake to bucking out downed trees on the Minaret Lake Trail, Tess has been getting out — AND making many contacts with the visiting public as well:  sometimes as many as 40 or more in one day! Special thanks to the Town of Mammoth Lakes, Measure U, and Mammoth Lakes Recreation for supporting Tess’ work in the Mammoth area.

  • Lindsay training up Kayla, our Mt. Whitney Ranger District TA.

    Lindsay Butcher, our lead TA and presence in the White Mountain Ranger District, has been on trails as varied as the Methuselah Loop through the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains, to the trails below the Palisades Glacier up the North Fork of Big Pine creek. She has been hitting the busy trailheads of our area, making lots of visitor contacts and educating the public on how to recreate responsibly.

  • Kayla working with Chris from the FS on a crosscut saw project.

    And our newest TA addition, Kayla Browne, has been hard at work in the Mt. Whitney Ranger District of the Inyo National Forest. Despite her delayed hiring and start date, Kayla caught up quickly and has been a huge help in our southernmost summertime work area. Especially with the recent Inyo Creek Fire and the closure of the Mt. Whitney Trail, Wilderness Managers Brian Spitek and Calder Reid have relied on Kayla, who is doing great work, from brushing the remote Shepherd’s Pass Trail to interacting with and educating visitors: On a recent busy Sunday, 43 public lands users on the Kearsarge Pass trail benefited from interacting with her.

  • A stellar crew puts in an Adopt-a-Trail sign on the Reserved Peak Loop.

    Oh, and we had our 11th Annual June Lake Trails Day on Saturday, June 26th! It was a great event with over 50 volunteers coming out to put in signs, pick up trash, paint kiosks, and give back to the trails around the June Lake Loop. After over a year and a half of no volunteer events because of COVID-19, it was “a good kind of scary” to be planning a community event again. But our friends and supporters showed up, everything went off without a hitch, and it was so much fun to be around others giving back to the public lands we care about so much! Thanks to the June Lake Trails Committee, Mono County, the Inyo National Forest, and all the businesses that donated to our opportunity drawing and made this event possible. And, of course, a round of applause for our volunteers!

Phew! I’m exhausted just writing about all we’ve done — and in a mere month! Huge thanks to our amazing Trail Ambassadors, and our Forest Service partners who make it all possible. If you see us out on the trails, say “Hi!” Be safe, have fun, and happy trails!

Comments (1)

Thanks for such a fun day at June!

Good on you, Trail Ambassadors!

And thanks to the staff for taking the keyboard time to let us know out here (in here?) about the on-the-ground work you are all doing. Kudos for all that public contact!

We really appreciate your effort. Hope to see you out there.

Doug Robinson

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