Today I had the opportunity to attend Trail Ambassador Training with Kip Moyer, Flagstaff Biking Organization’s Trail Ambassador Program Coordinator, and Sean Murphy, Trails and Wilderness Coordinator for the Flagstaff Ranger District. The Trail Ambassador Program is a volunteer effort to train and support responsible trail users in promoting responsible trail use. As a Trail Ambassador, I would put on a special volunteer jersey that identifies me as a trail ambassador, and then go out for my normal ride being friendly and available. Trail Ambassadors help users by answering questions, assisting with basic bike maintenance, and calling for help if necessary. They also help the Ranger District by noting any maintenance issues or potential violations and reporting those.
This Trail Ambassador program is very similar to IMBA’s Mountain Bike Patrol (which has 50 patrol groups around the country), except that in the Flagstaff Ranger District it is a collaborative effort by different user types (hikers and bikers and soon trail runners). Since all of the trails are multi-use it is great to have all trail users involved as ambassadors. Having a visible volunteer ambassador presence will hopefully prevent user conflict and improve the response time for trail maintenance concerns. I look forward to getting involved with this unique opportunity.