Trail Ambassadors

The Challenge

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. 

The Solution

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 Result

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
Our Partners

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:

Thank you!

MU
TOML
MLR
Mono County
NFF
NWSA
Patagonia
ES
RCL
RN
SCE

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Volunteer Events

See our schedule of volunteer
events this summer.

Updates

Stewardship Round-Up: July 2022

Read some exciting progress notes from our Trail Ambassadors, with an introduction and post-note from Stewardship Director Alex Ertaud. “We’re thick into the Dog Days of summer, hitting the midway point of our season, and the Trail Ambassadors (TAs) just keep on rolling! Alongside our Forest Service partners, our TAs have been up to some amazing work. But don’t take my word for it: Let’s hear it from the TAs themselves! Here are some highlights from their last month of work in north-to-south order depending on the Ranger District to which each of them is assigned.” From Bradley Olson, TA…

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Stewardship Round Up – June 2022

June Stewardship Round Up Compiled by Alex Ertaud, Stewardship Director The solstice has passed and summer is truly here, which means  Friends of the Inyo’s Trail Ambassadors have a month of work under their belts and are firing on all cylinders out on the trails of the Eastern Sierra. I could tell you what our TAs have been up to, but why not let them tell you themselves? Below are some updates from the field where our TAs share some of the highlights of their season so far. Lindsay Butcher, Trail Ambassador for the White Mountain Ranger District of the…

Volunteering, Hiking, Learning: Summer Is Always Better with Friends…of the Inyo!

Friends of the Inyo’s Summer Stewardship Program is Off to a “HOT” Start! By Alex Ertaud, Stewardship Director (Middle-Right in photo) As the days grow longer and the last remaining bits of snow melt away, it can only mean one thing: Friends of the Inyo’s Summer Stewardship Season is upon us!  Our Stewardship Team spent the month of May getting ready for the exciting summer season we have ahead of us. We’re thrilled to announce that we are able to staff each Ranger District of the National Forests of the Eastern Sierra with a dedicated Trail Ambassador (TA) this year….

Listen to FOI Executive Director Wendy Schneider in a recent installment of ‘The Oxygen Starved Podcast’

In a recent conversation with “The Oxygen Starved Podcast” hosts Mono County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stacey Adler and Mono County Free Library Director Christopher Platt, Friends of the Inyo’s Executive Director Wendy Schneider talks about public land stewardship and protection, leadership, family and more. Take a listen. Begin at min. 32 of the podcast. Happy listening…And if you like what you hear, happy sharing!

Friends of the Inyo and Our Partners Gear Up for OHV Track Effacement Work in Death Valley for the Second Year in a Row!

By Lindsay Butcher, Lead Trail Ambassador, Friends of the Inyo Did you know that driving off road is illegal in Death Valley National Park? Even so, people get a thrill out of driving in the Park’s open spaces, and OHV-trespass all over the hundreds of miles of roadside terrain. In a matter of minutes, destructive, eyesore tracks that take years, or even decades to heal are left upon the land like scars. Friends of the Inyo, in partnership with the National Park Service and Great Basin Institute, has put together a restoration crew to expedite the healing process. November kicks…

September Stewardship Round-Up by Stewardship Director Alex Ertaud

The aspen leaves are making their annual change from green to orange/yellow/red, electrifying our Eastern Sierra landscape. Sadly, that means the all-important summer stewardship work of our Trail Ambassadors has come to an end. September marked the last month our Trail Ambassadors (TAs) were out and about on the trails of our Eastern Sierra Forest Service lands, from Lone Pine to Bridgeport (a close-to-150-mile stretch of public lands).  Here’s just a bit of what they have been up to during the past several weeks: Lily Emerson closed out the season with a super-successful cleanup at the fourth annual Bridgeport Trails…