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
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…
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…
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….