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! Since 2018, the Trail Ambassadors have amassed some staggering stats:
- 12,585 visitor contacts
- 12,532 pounds of trash removed
- 1233 logs removed from trails
- 765 campsites cleaned
- 1125 interpretive program participants
- 3319 miles of trail monitored and 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
With our typical season timeline pushed back this year, we are a bit delayed in getting our first month of the Trail Ambassador season in the books. Despite all of the roadblocks (figurative and literal) we’ve hit the ground running! We’ve asked the TAs to give us a quick summary of their first impressions. Here’s what they have to say: Logan: Mt. Whitney RD I have been working with the USFS Mt. Whitney Rangers on local trails such as Mt. Whitney, Kennedy Meadows, Kearsarge Pass, Cottonwood Lakes. Lately there has been a lot of trail reporting. With this year’s heavy snowfall,…
Throughout the summer, the Trail Ambassadors do a variety of things: clearing water bars and sawing out downed logs on trails, obliterating illegal fire rings, chatting with visitors, picking up trash, logging all these stats, even…penning haikus! Wait, what?! You read that right. Stewardship Director Alex Ertaud asked each Trail Ambassador to collect their thoughts after each day of work, and come up with a little poetic musing in the 5-7-5 syllable style of a haiku. While they found it a bit odd at first, the TAs came to enjoy plugging into their creative sides during and after long days…
Yee-haw: It’s time for another edition of Stewardship Round-Up! Though this is our penultimate issue of this monthly dispatch, never fear and shed no tear, for we have a great re-cap for you this month. Recap compiled by Alex Ertaud, Stewardship Director for Friends of the Inyo August is always a great month for the Trail Ambassadors (TAs) to sink their teeth into some meatier projects they may have been eyeing and scouting in June and July. So, without further ado, here are some highlights of what the TAs have been up to this month: From Bradley Olson, Trail Ambassador…
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…
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…
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….