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 WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards 
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Mountain Maestro
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 WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
Hey,
I just discovered this (after reading the Randolph MC newsletter). Seems late for this year (training was May 30th), but I suppose they will need some fill-ins (I'd call anyways). You are positioned at one of the more popular trailheads to provide info to day and overnight hikers in advance of their hike. Program kicked off last year. Of the 16,000 people they contacted, 1,000 went back to their vehicles for more gear or rethink their plan. Sounds like a great idea to minimize the ignorant from calling S&R for dope-slap moves, and keep the S&R monies available for bona-fide services.

http://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=13995

Description: The White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) is currently seeking applicants for the role of trailhead steward. The trailhead steward program is a new program designed to equip backcountry users, both dayhikers and backpackers, with information they need while travelling in the backcountry. The information is intended to help the user protect the fragile resources of the WMNF and keep themselves safe. They key to this program is these users will be equipped with this information BEFORE they hit the trail. This will be accomplished by hikers interacting with the trailhead steward in the parking lot.

Duties: The steward will help staff some of the busiest trailheads, during peak use, on the Pemigwasset Ranger District of the White Mountain National Forest. The steward will staff a display table with canopy tent to include maps, photos and other display materials. Typically, two stewards will work together and engage hikers to be sure they are equipped with the right information. Information will be focused around weather, Leave No Trace principles, how to store food properly in bear country and general hiker preparedness. Volunteers are responsible for transportation to and from their trailhead of choice.
...
Locations: Old Bridle Path / Falling Waters Trailhead, Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead and Lincoln Woods Trailhead; New for 2015: Welch Dickey Trailhead, Champney Falls Trailhead and Rumney Rocks
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Benefits: Forest Service will provide necessary training for position and volunteer uniform. Volunteers are eligible for a White Mountain National Forest parking pass after 16 hours of volunteer service. Lead volunteer stewards are eligible for a trailer/ RV campsite with hook ups and the use of a Forest Service vehicle on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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Bill

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Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:50 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Re: WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
I never ran into this last year (granted I did most of my summer hiking in Maine last year...), but did this past weekend. There was a guy setting up at the Ammo Trailhead (USFS lot) Sunday morning. I overheard him mentioning to a couple ladies that asked him what he was doing about the project. The one that puzzles me is that they only do it in the morning, yet how many end-of-the-day rescues have there been due to folks starting up at 3PM with only a cellphone for a flashlight? Still, it sounds like it may have helped some last year, and every little bit helps.

Fwiw, the guy only said good morning to be as I walked up the trail, no questions about my plans, gear, etc. I guess I passed the offhand "does he look like he is prepared" glance ;)

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Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:23 pm
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Mountain Maestro
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 Re: WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
Nah madmatt, you got approved under the "Best to let him fall of the cliff" rule ! :mrgreen:

They must have had sporadic coverage. I agree, the late in the day crowd is the one that bugs me the most. I was thinking of working mornings, then doing an afternoon hike. Maybe it would be better to do a short morning hike and work afternoons roasting marshmallows in the parking lot, and selling fleece, snowshoes and energy bars!

Well, I left them a phone message anyways.

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Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:30 pm
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 Re: WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
This sounds familiar. 8)
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8561

I became one. Have yet to do a day yet though. I am bad at remembering but last year they only did this at Falling Waters. And told us the number of people that either went back to there car for more gear, or completely changed their plans do to the information/advice they got. It was a pretty significant number. It did not dawn on me until after the meeting to ask that very question Matt, about why not go later into the day. Maybe they don't think the numbers starting after 12 warrant it. Hey, you can't save everyone. 8)

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Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:44 pm
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Mountain Maestro
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 Re: WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
JustJoe wrote:
This sounds familiar. 8)
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8561

I became one. Have yet to do a day yet though. I am bad at remembering but last year they only did this at Falling Waters. And told us the number of people that either went back to there car for more gear, or completely changed their plans do to the information/advice they got. It was a pretty significant number. It did not dawn on me until after the meeting to ask that very question Matt, about why not go later into the day. Maybe they don't think the numbers starting after 12 warrant it. Hey, you can't save everyone. 8)


Umatilla National Forest :shock: ?????

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Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:31 pm
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 Re: WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
Being old school, I called (remember that) on the telephone (remember that?) John Marunowski, WMNF BC/Wilderness Manager. While training is over, they still need folks to help. So, for all the lurkers, here's the deal - go to the volunteer.gov site and apply to help as a helper, not as a lead (just make note on the form).

Once you are enrolled, they send you a link to a scheduling portal, where you pick the place and date you want to work. Simple as that.


trivia, those that come at 7am or earlier are well prepared. Those that come after 8:30 are mostly unprepared.

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Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:19 pm
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 Re: WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
billski wrote:
Nah madmatt, you got approved under the "Best to let him fall of the cliff" rule ! :mrgreen:

Sounds about right :)

I agree that the overwhelming majority of unprepared folks are going to be starting late(ish). Of course there are exceptions on both sides, but in general...

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Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:27 pm
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Mountain Maestro
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 Re: WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
Did my first day at Welch-Dickey last Saturday. Roughly 200 hikers and 40 dogs in 5 hours. Egads. About half of them learned a little something from us. I'll be at the Ammo trail this Saturday.
They still need more folks.

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Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:40 pm
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 Re: WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
Staffed Ammo trailhead lastweekened. Helped guide some overly ambitious hikers ratchet back plans. :beer:

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Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:31 pm
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 Re: WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
billski wrote:
Staffed Ammo trailhead lastweekened. Helped guide some overly ambitious hikers ratchet back plans. :beer:


Way to go Billski! Hoping my outings that are coming up at Ammo first then Falling Waters are as helpful.

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Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:38 pm
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 Re: WMNF Volunteer Trailhead Stewards
Be confident. You know vastly more than 90% of those on the trail - trust me. Even if you just impart one small thing, you might be keeping someone from making a foolish choice on the trail.

If you enjoy talking you'll be just fine.

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Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:47 pm
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