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. From south to north, here’s our lineup:

In the Inyo National Forest

  • Cordero Chavez (Rear-Right in photo) will be working on the Mt. Whitney Ranger District;
  • Lindsay Butcher, our Stewardship Programs Manager, will act as our TA on the White Mountain Ranger District;
  • Will Young (Rear-Left in photo) will cover the Mammoth Ranger District;
  • Jean Redle (Foreground in photo) will be posted up in Lee Vining for the summer, covering the Mono Basin Ranger District; and

In the Humboldt-Toiyable National Forest:

  • Bradley Olson (MIddle-Left in photo) will be working on the lands of the Bridgeport Ranger District. 

Our TAs will be out on the ground all summer helping in light trail maintenance, interacting with visitors, spreading Leave No Trace best practices, leading volunteer events and interpretive hikes (more on those in a minute) and doing whatever else is required of them by their respective Forest Service Ranger Districts. 

Friends of the Inyo’s TAs will be an added set of very useful hands for their assigned agencies as we continue to see an increase in visitors to our public lands.You can learn more about them by reading their bios here, and if you see them out on the trail, say hi!

As I teased above, we have been working hard on setting our schedule for Volunteer Events and FREE Interpretive Hikes. We have started confirming dates and projects with our Forest Service partners and have some great events on the calendar for June and July as follows*:

* Please note that any of these events is subject to change depending on weather.

We have two flavors of Volunteer Events to help you give back to your public lands:

  • Our Saturday morning “front-country” events (e.g. June Lake Trails Day or Rock Creek Lakes Clean-Up) are fun for all ages, replete with raffles and refreshments, with no attendance cap (though RSVP through our events page is encouraged). As we finalize dates and projects, we will soon post two more front-country stewardship events in the Bridgeport and Lone Pine areas.
  • With our Wilderness Week multi-day events, folks can expect immersive backcountry experiences for seasoned hikers and campers looking to give back; attendance limited to seven volunteers (so e-mail today to hold your spot). 

Finally, we have our Interpretive Hikes! Led by our Trail Ambassadors in public lands up and down the 395 corridor, we will have weekly programs for your enjoyment beginning in July. These walks/talks will focus on a variety of topics ranging from geology and glaciology to flora, fauna, and natural history. Expect to learn lots on a fun and engaging hike in the beautiful Sierra Nevada. Stay tuned and check our page for those dates as July approaches and our TAs solidify their topics and hike schedules.

All of us at Friends of the Inyo thank the National Forest Foundation, the Town of Mammoth Lakes Measure U, Mammoth Lakes Recreation, Rock Creek Lakes Resort, and many individual supporters for making our Trail Ambassador program possible! We’re looking forward to a fun, safe summer filled with productive, valuable work, and hope to see you at an event or out on the trails.

EXTRA TREAT:  Click on the link below to listen to a recent Arts, Culture & Entertainment Show on KMMT Mammoth FM Radio, featuring our Summer Stewardship Program!