MISSOULA, Mont., June 2, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Forest Foundation (NFF) and REI are joining forces again in 2018 to improve National Forests across America. In 2017, REI supported $1 million worth of work on America's National Forests and Grasslands -- from the Tongass National Forest in Alaska to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie near Chicago. REI's support generated significant positive benefits for our National Forests, including:
- More than 66 miles of trail restoration and maintenance,
- More than 660 volunteers engaged on projects,
- More than 16,627 volunteer hours dedicated to projects,
- 17 campsites maintained or improved,
- More than 1,200 acres of wildlife habitat restored or maintained.
In 2018, REI will donate up to $1 million to the NFF through the REI members-only REI Co-op World Mastercard®. With every purchase made on the REI Co-op Mastercard®, REI makes a donation to the National Forest Foundation1. This year is also the 50th Anniversary of the National Scenic Trails Act, making 2018's slate of projects that focus largely on restoring, maintaining and building trails on National Forests especially relevant.
"Access to quality trails is key to a life outdoors," said Taldi Walter, REI community and government affairs manager. "As we celebrate 50 years of the National Scenic Trails Act, we're grateful for partners like the National Forest Foundation who are working to improve access in America's national forests and ensure these spaces remain accessible for all."
Projects in 2018 will help repair damage that 2017's hurricane season wreaked on National Forests in Texas and Florida including trail restoration on the Sam Houston National Forest and on the Ocala National Forest. Additional projects include:
- Trail restoration in the Seneca Rocks – Spruce Knob National Recreation Area on the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia;
- Pairing midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy with volunteer crews to conduct wilderness restoration in the George Washington-Jefferson National Forest in Virginia;
- Building more than six miles of new trail for mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers on the Tahoe National Forest in California;
- Working with Native American youth from Oklahoma on forest restoration and archeological projects in Georgia's Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest;
- Repairing and rerouting trails on popular peaks in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, including Pikes Peak;
- Trail restoration and trailhead improvements in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument,
- Trail restoration and trailhead improvements on the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington.
"REI's commitment to our National Forests is truly extraordinary," said Mary Mitsos, NFF president. "Today is National Trails Day and we couldn't find a better opportunity to express our appreciation for the leadership that REI demonstrates and the impacts they've had on our National Forests and other public lands."
To celebrate the partnership and National Trails Days, the NFF and REI are collaborating on a volunteer trail restoration event in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, outside of Los Angeles. For detailed descriptions of 2017 and 2018 projects supported by REI, please visit www.nationalforests.org/REI.
About the National Forest Foundation
The National Forest Foundation promotes the enhancement and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System. By directly engaging Americans and leveraging private and public funding, the NFF improves forest health and Americans' outdoor experiences. The NFF's programs inform millions of Americans about the importance of these treasured landscapes. Each year, the NFF restores fish and wildlife habitat, plants trees in areas affected by fires, insects and disease, improves recreational opportunities, and enables communities to steward their National Forests and Grasslands. Learn more at www.nationalforests.org.
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation's largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 17 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 152 stores in 36 states. If you can't visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn't just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs more than 170 custom-designed itineraries worldwide. The REI Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.
1This year, REI will donate $0.10 per REI Co-op Mastercard purchase transaction made to the National Forest Foundation, up to $1 million. Non-Purchase transactions, including cash advances, convenience checks, balance transfers, and other advance transactions as defined in the Cardmember Agreement, as well as interest charges and fees, do not qualify. Transactions posted in late December of the current year may be applied in the following year. REI may change the benefit or named charity in future years. REI is solely responsible for making the donation.
The creditor and issuer of the REI Co-op Mastercard® is U.S. Bank National Association, pursuant to a license from Mastercard International Incorporated.
© 2018 U.S. Bank
© 2018 Recreational Equipment Incorporated. All rights reserved.
SOURCE National Forest Foundation