The U.S. Department of Agriculture established the U.S. Forest Service in 1905 with the goal of protecting our nations critical watersheds and timber supplies. Despite the designation of 154 protected National Forests that encompass 193+ million acres of forests, wetlands, and grasslands, more than half of the country's woodlands are privately owned. The timber industry itself manufactures over $200 billion worth of product annually, and is one of the top manufacturing employers in nearly all 50 states.
Chances are you're more familiar with our National Park System, but it's likely you’ve spent more time driving through or experiencing our National Forests than you perhaps recognize. In fact, some of our most spectacular landscapes, including but not limited too, Wyoming's Wind River Range, Colorado's Maroon Bells, New Hampshire's Mount Washington, and Kentucky's Red River Gorge are National Forest land. Part of their beauty is the lack of infrastructure comparatively to their National Park brethren, the additional recreational activities that can be pursued within, and the solitude that can be found.
Think about it. How do we build homes? Publish books? Sit in sturdy furniture? 96% of U.S. consumption of industrial woods comes from domestic supplies. Where do these creature comforts compare to the value associated to healthy forest ecosystems that absorb carbon dioxide, provide shade to nourish life, and supply drinking water for many? Given our forests' economic interests and their inherent place as recreational wonderlands, let alone natural treasures, are we striking the right balance between the two?
The National Forest Foundation (NFF) is a driving force that helps ensure what's taken, is restored...and what remains, remains protected. Consumption, however, isn't the only adversary. Natural disturbances such as wildfire, insects, and disease outbreaks are also jeopardizing the health of our forestlands. Investing in reforestation is paramount for today and future generations. The NFF's "50 Million For Our Forests" is a signature campaign that Wild Tribute is proud to contribute too.
In fact, our continued expansion into the winter recreation market has helped us extend our commitment to unforeseen levels from the time we commenced our relationship with the NFF. (It's also worth noting all of Wild Tribute's designs featuring Smokey the Bear contribute an extra 10% on top of our standard 4% donation to the Forest Service!) Regardless of aforementioned "balance", if you have or haven’t had the chance to soak in a beautiful panorama at the top of a mountain pass, slice into fresh mountain powder, watch a sandhill crane step gingerly through marsh, smell the pines on the floor of an established backcountry trail, or even drop a bobber into a hidden lake within our National Forests, consider donating to the NFF's efforts to maintain the core of America's wild.
The National Forest Foundation is the leading organization inspiring personal and meaningful connections to our National Forests, the centerpiece of America’s public lands. Working on behalf of the American public, the NFF leads forest conservation efforts and promotes responsible recreation. We believe these lands, and all they provide, are an American treasure and are vital to the health of our communities.