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
In case you missed our Communications Director Lou Medina’s interview with KMMT FM Arts, Culture & Entertainment (ACE) Show Host John DeMaria on September 3, please use our media player to listen to the full interview. You’ll get an update on our backcountry stewardship work done in early August in the Cottonwood Creek Wilderness; learn about volunteering events and outings coming up in September and October; find out about the upcoming issue of our Jeffrey Pine Journal celebrating FOI’s 35th Anniversary, and how you can receive it by becoming an FOI supporting member; hear about our Spanish-language outreach and more….
This FAQ document hopes to answer common questions for recreators on our National Forests from Deb Schweizer. We recommend contacting the Forest Service or Interagency visitors centers for up to the minute conditions.
By Lindsay Butcher, Lead Trail Ambassador Flowing southeast from White Mountain Peak, Cottonwood Creek is fed by numerous springs that pop up all the way into the Great Basin Desert. In 2009, as part of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act signed by President Barack Obama, Cottonwood Creek was designated as a protected Wild and Scenic River (WSR). Today, the creek’s comprehensive management plan is still under development; however, its WSR designation meant no more cattle grazing in the area. From August 6 through 9, Friends of the Inyo set out with a hard-working group of volunteers and Inyo National Forest…
The dog days of summer are here, and wouldn’t you know it, our Trail Ambassadors have hit full gear! We’ve hit the halfway mark of our summer season, and my goodness, things have flown by! From volunteer events and interpretive hikes to backcountry trail work and log-outs with Forest Service partners, our TAs have been busy. Here are just a few highlights of what they’ve been up to since our last edition of the Juniper: Lily Emerson, our TA partnering with the Bridgeport Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, has been getting up to a variety of different projects….
We are excited to share the full slate of our weekly Interpretive Hikes led by our great group of Trail Ambassadors this summer. Check out the offerings below: Mammals of the Eastern Sierra at North Lake (Bishop) with Lindsay Butcher – 7/16, 8/14, 9/11 Beavers and Meadows in the Eastern Sierra in Bridgeport with Lily Emerson – 7/22, 8/21, 9/17 Jeffrey Pine Trees Interpretive Hike in Lone Pine with Kayla Browne – 7/31, 8/28, 9/24 Geology and Volcanology Interpretive Hike in Mammoth with Tess Irving-Ruffing – 8/7, 9/3
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 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…