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.”