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! 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
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

Watch Out for Washouts

Major storms in July devastated Eastern Sierra roads and trails. A 40-foot-high mudslide across 168 West stranded hikers in the Sabrina Basin, and severe washouts made the Pine Creek Pass and Piute Pass Trails nearly impassable. Another mudslide closed the Lundy Canyon Road and destroyed a portion of the trail reroute our Stewardship Crew spent three weeks building in June. Luckily, Friends of the Inyo’s Trail Ambassadors are poised to address exactly this type of emergency. With extensive experience, flexible schedules, and great attitudes, they can act as first responders for trail crises throughout the region. On short notice, we…

Wildfire: the New Normal?

by David Wieland, Friends of the Inyo Trail Ambassador One of the great pleasures of backcountry trail work is disconnecting from the world for eight days at a time. News of new policies from Washington, family drama, and notices of late payment must all patiently wait for me to return to cell range. I distinctly remember leaving a project in the summer of 2015. The crew spilled out of the cramped van like a ripped open box of noodles, a cascading mess of torn sweatshirts, dirty hands, and sweaty faces all competing to get in the buffet first. We proudly…

Pack it in, pack it out… Woof!

It was day one of my first hitch with Friends of the Inyo’s Stewardship Crew, and the energy level was electric. Stepping onto the job site for the first time is like stepping off the plane into a new land where everything is fresh and you can simply soak it up like a parched sponge. Each of my coworkers’ resumes boasted a wealthy history of trail work to supplement my own and I was positively giddy with anticipation for our first project together in Lundy Canyon. The spring snowmelt had loosened the soil on the mountain slopes, resulting in a…

Mono Basin Trails Day

After a massive mudslide destroyed the beginning of the Lundy Canyon Trail in April, our Stewardship Crew has been busy repairing the damage with funding from Mono County. On Thursday, June 14, community members joined the crew in Lundy for Mono Basin Trails Day. We had a great morning learning about the rebuild process from our expert crew, and helping them solidify the new trail corridor. Afterwards we debriefed at the trailhead with watermelon and lemonade. Take a walk up Lundy and let us know what you think about our work!

Welcome our 2018 Seasonal Staff!

June is here, and we are very excited to have our Friends of the Inyo staff more than double in size! Say hello to our amazing summer staff. You’ll find them out on the trails, doing the on the ground work to keep your Eastern Sierra public lands in tip top shape. Stewardship Crew Astra Lincoln, Crew Leader Astra’s spent many seasons as a trail monkey up and down the intermountain west, harvesting plants, teaching antique tool use, and championing the silence of open spaces. She’s passionate about manual labor as a means of spiritual atonement and cultivating a sense of…