In November 2015, Eddie Bauer announced actor and activist Ryan Reynolds as its philanthropic ambassador with the planting of American Forests’ 50 millionth tree in a drought-stricken and fire damaged area of the San Bernardino Mountains. To recognize the 20th anniversary of its partnership with American Forests, the brand pledged to plant 20,000 additional trees in the San Bernardino Mountains in 2016.
Since partnering with the national nonprofit conservation organization 20 years ago, Eddie Bauer has helped plant more than 6.5 million trees. With the launch of The One Tree Initiative, Eddie Bauer pledges its continued support of American Forests’ mission to protect, restore and conserve threatened forest. All year long we will be profiling the projects supported by this partnership, starting, this month, with the one where the 50 millionth tree was planted.
American Forests and the Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District, with the help of local volunteers, are reforesting up to 200 acres of San Bernardino County, Calif., with 20,000 Jeffrey, sugar, ponderosa and Coulter pines to reforest an area severely affected by drought, a bark beetle infestation and intense wildfires.
In the early 2000s, six years of severe drought in the San Bernardino Mountains were followed by an unprecedented bark beetle infestation, resulting in the die-off of approximately 12 million conifers. Severe wildfires in 2003 and 2007 added insult to injury. Since 2005, American Forests has partnered the Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District for this project, joined in the planting efforts by hundreds of volunteers. Our years of work are paying off. Managers report the return of many animal species to the reforested areas, where many of the planted seedlings are now five- to six-foot tall trees. In some areas, trees planted through this project are beginning to produce cones.
East of Los Angeles lie the 60-mile-long San Bernardino Mountains. Formed 11 million years ago, the mountains are home to many headwaters, including those of the Santa Ana River. The Santa Ana is one of the largest river basins in southern California; approximately 4.8 million people live there. San Bernardino County also provides habitat for dozens of endangered and threatened species, including the California condor, southwestern willow flycatcher and mountain yellow-legged frog.
The San Bernardino project is only one of many that will continue to benefit from the brand and nonprofit partnership. Eddie Bauer and American Forests first partnered in 1995 through Eddie Bauer’s “Add a Dollar, Plant a Tree” project, in which the brand plants a tree every time a customer chooses to add a dollar to his or her purchase. Eddie Bauer donates 100 percent of these funds collected from customer donations to American Forests’ reforestation projects in the U.S. and Canada.
Eddie Bauer’s 20-year partnership with American Forests is the most successful reforestation project by a retail business in the United States. More than 6.5 million trees have been planted in more than 150 unique ecosystems across the U.S. and Canada. The estimated worth of these trees is $110 million in improved air quality as a result of absorbing pollutants such as ozone and nitrogen oxides from the air; $16 million in sequestered carbon dioxide; and $20 million in improved water quality. -LYA Editor
For twenty years, Eddie Bauer has been helping American Forests restore threatened forest ecosystems, one tree at a time. Last year, we helped plant their 50 millionth tree. With the One Tree Initiative, we’re partnering with actor and activist Ryan Reynolds to raise even more awareness around protecting and restoring forests for future generations of outdoor adventurers. Learn more about the One Tree Initiative at eddiebauer.com or donate at AmericanForests.org.
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