With federal budgets dwindling, our local Inyo and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests have less and less ability to adequately staff our trails. Coupled with the millions of visitors to each forest every year, and our public lands are seeing adverse effects in the form of trail maintenance backlogs, trash strewn about, and habitat degradation.
In the summer of 2017 we launched our current iteration of the Trail Ambassadors to educate trail users on how to best recreate responsibly, provide interpretive talks and hikes, engage the public in volunteer public lands stewardship events, and provide a presence on the ground.
The Trail Ambassadors are making a big impact! In the summers of 2018 and 2019 alone, the Trail Ambassadors have amassed some staggering stats:
- 5,452 visitor contacts
- 1,597 pounds of trash removed
- 233 logs removed from trails
- 128 campsites cleaned
- 196 interpretive hike participants for 633 hours
- 1,034 miles of trail monitored
- 130 miles of trail maintained
Friends of the Inyo would like to recognize the following organizations for their financial support over the past five years of the Trail Ambassador program:
Support the Trail Ambassadors
Trail Ambassador Program Receives National Forest Foundation Grant In March, as spring arrived and the Worm full moon hung large in the sky, Friends of the Inyo received the exciting news that our National Forest Foundation (NFF) grant application to help fund our Trail Ambassador program was successful! This $47,000 grant is a huge boon to our ability to staff the Inyo, Humboldt-Toiyabe, and Sierra National Forest lands in the Eastern Sierra with five Trail Ambassadors this season. In addition to myself and Lindsay Butcher, we are going to be able to hire three additional staff members to provide…
Doris the Water Molecule, a free coloring book! In partnership between Friends of the Inyo, Mono County Libraries Makerspace, and the River Network, 2020 Trail Ambassador Julia Tawney created a “do-it-yourself” coloring storybook exploring the Owens River Headwaters. In response to the pandemic, Mono County Libraries Makerspace is offering free maker kits “to-go” at its 6 branches, with take-home art activities for all ages to learn new skills and engage with the natural world. Download the free coloring book by clicking this link.
Update: Winter recreation survey at Rock Creek For the past few months Friends of the Inyo has been collecting winter recreation data at Rock Creek Sno-Park. Data collection will conclude March 28th and we will provide a final report to Winter Wildlands Alliance and the Inyo National Forest. The data collected will help FOI make informed comments on the Inyo National Forest’s Over-Snow Vehicle (OSV) planning process which is set to kick off next year. If you would like to learn more about the OSV planning by the Inyo National Forest, you can find more information here. This season was…