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REI Co-op invests over $250,000 in National Park Foundation to support women’s fire corps crews

Expanded effort will support all-women fire crews in America’s national parks during wildfire season

Jun 28, 2021

SEATTLE – REI Co-op is investing over $250,000 in the National Park Foundation this year to support all-women fire crews in America's national parks. The support builds on the co-op's longstanding partnership with the National Park Foundation. Each year, the co-op donates 10% of profits of America the Beautiful passes it sells to the National Park Foundation.* This year, the donation will help fund women's fire corps crews as part of a concentrated effort to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the National Park Service's wildland fire program while combatting the effects of climate change on public lands.

In 2020, the U.S. saw record high temperatures and prolonged drought, which contributed to one of the most devastating wildfire seasons along the West Coast, burning more than 10.2 million acres and causing more than $16.6 billion in damage.

"Protecting public lands has become ever more important as climate change continues to bring extreme conditions and worsening wildfires," said Marc Berejka, REI director of community advocacy and impact. "Supporting all-women fire crews will build capacity for overall firefighting efforts, while creating more opportunities for women in the field."

The co-op's investment will support two women's fire corps crews in Yosemite and Grand Teton National Parks. Participants will receive firefighting experience and training, while building leadership and teamwork skills. The women's fire corps is one of several single-identity crews that seek to promote inclusive and welcoming experiences for historically underrepresented groups while creating pathways to careers in public land management.

"REI's continued support demonstrates their strong commitment to a more equitable and climate resilient world," said LaTresse Snead, chief program officer at the National Park Foundation. "Thanks to the vision and generosity of partners and donors like REI, the National Park Foundation is helping to preserve parks and grow a more diverse and robust national parks community."

REI and its private charity, the REI Foundation, have contributed more than $12 million in cash and in-kind support to the National Park Foundation since 2015. As a member-owned co-op, REI invests deeply in the outdoor community, supporting efforts that steward local trails and public lands and connect underrepresented groups to the outdoors.

*REI will donate 10% of the retail price of each America the Beautiful pass sold in 2021 to the National Park Foundation with a minimum guaranteed donation of $250,000.

Related links: Q&A with women in NPS wildland fire

About the National Park Foundation

The National Park Foundation works to protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of the parks. We do it in collaboration with the National Park Service, the park partner community and with the generous support of donors, without whom our work would not be possible. For more information visit www.nationalparks.org.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 184 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops 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.