Funding will improve National Forest recreation, support youth engagement in the outdoors and encourage Americans to enjoy their National Forests.
Missoula, Montana, May 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- “We are proud and excited to be partnering with REI for a third year on projects to make recreational opportunities on our National Forests more enjoyable for the public and more ecologically sustainable,” says Mary Mitsos, NFF president. We are grateful to REI and to the REI Co-op MasterCard users who invest in their National Forests and Grasslands every time they make a purchase.1 This unique partnership demonstrates the deep commitment that REI and its members have to restoring and protecting our public lands.”
REI’s investment in the NFF is on behalf of REI members using the REI Co-op Mastercard. Every time REI members make a purchase, REI will make a donation to the National Forest Foundation¹—up to $1 million. This year funds will support up to 15 high-impact projects on National Forests around the country, including:
- California - San Bernardino National Forest: Revitalization of Lytle Creek Recreation
- California - Tahoe National. Forest: Jackass Trail Maintenance and Extension
- Colorado ‐ Find Your Fourteener‐ Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest: Grays and Torreys Peak
- Georgia - Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest: Jake and Bull Mountain Trail System
- Idaho - Sawtooth National Forest : Sharp's Fires Restoration
- Illinois - Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie: Midewin Youth Corps
- New Hampshire - White Mountain National Forest: Crawford Path Trail
- North Carolina ‐ Nantahala/Pisgah Natl. Forest: Pisgah Rain Garden
- Ohio - Wayne National Forest: Bailey's Mountain Bike Trail
- Oregon - Mt. Hood National. Forest : Engaging Underserved Youth in Sustainable
- Tennessee - Cherokee National Forest: UKB Youth Conservation Corps (Year 3)
- Virginia - George Washington-Jefferson National. Forest : SAWS and Naval Academy
- Utah - Fish Lake National Forest: Pahvant Range Mountain Bike Trails
- Utah - Uintah-Wasatch Cache National Forest: Trail Sign Improvements
- Washington - Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Natl. Forest: Mountain Loop Trails Restoration Project
Implementation on these projects has begun and will continue through 2019. Additionally, REI and the NFF will use this partnership to help educate millions of Americans about the incredible value of the 193-million-acre National Forest System.
“National Forests offer tremendous recreation opportunities in some of the most scenic parts of the country. As more Americans look to get outside, these areas see a lot of use and need sustainable improvements,” said Kristen Ragain, REI philanthropy and community partnerships manager. “In addition to bringing these enhancements to trails, campgrounds and boat launches, every project our members are supporting this year has a youth element. Whether it’s an internship, a summer field program or a day of stewardship, we realize that inspiring the next generation of outdoor advocates is critical to the future of our public lands.”
In 2018, REI supported $1 million worth of work on America’s National Forests and Grasslands -- from the Ocala National Forest in Florida to the Tahoe National Forest, a playground for those living in the San Francisco Bay area. REI’s support generated significant positive benefits for our National Forests, including:
- 270 youth were engaged on projects
- More than 74 miles of trail restoration and maintenance,
- More than 934 volunteers conducted stewardship work,
- More than 19,300 volunteer hours dedicated to projects,
- 47 campsites maintained or improved,
- Wildlife habitat restored and maintained, archeology studies conducted, site conditions inventoried, and more.
For more information about this partnership and the projects, please visit: 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.
¹REI will donate $.10 per REI Co-op Mastercard purchase transaction made between 4/1/2019 and 12/31/2019 to the National Forest Foundation, up to $1 million. Non-Purchase transactions, including cash advances, convenience checks, balance transfer, 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 2018 may be applied to 2019 contributions. 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.©2019 U.S. Bank
National Forest Foundation