Outdoor clothing companies call for help at national parks during shutdown

Outdoor clothing companies call for help at national parks during shutdown
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Outdoor clothing companies are calling for help at national parks during the partial government shutdown, which has led to overflowing trash and damage to buildings in parks where workers are furloughed.

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a sporting goods company, over the weekend released a report documenting the negative impact the shutdown has had on the country's national parks. The report details the economic strain experienced by businesses and employees in Ashford, Wash., a town near Mount Rainier National Park. 

"In rural communities like Ashford, the economic ramifications of the government shutdown could be significant," the REI report reads. "On an average day in January, 425,000 park visitors spend $20 million in gateway communities across the U.S." 

The REI report ultimately asks customers to reach out to their legislators about the shutdown, clean up after themselves if they visit national parks, and donate to the National Park Foundation.

REI last week said it would donate $250,000 to aid the parks as they are restored.

The Trump administration decided to leave parks open to the public while nearly all staff are furloughed during the shutdown, which has led to messes and destroyed nature, including Joshua trees being cut down at California’s Joshua Tree National Park.

Columbia Sportswear last week took out full-page ads in multiple newspapers railing against the shutdown as it entered its fourth week, according to Vox.com

"Make America's parks open again," the ad reads, a play on President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.

“During the 80 years [Columbia Sportswear has been in business] I’ve never seen our national parks treated with the level of disrespect that’s being shown during the federal government shutdown,” Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle told Vox. “To leave the parks open but understaffed is a blatant disregard for our natural treasures.”

The North Face has taken to social media to speak out amid the shutdown, tweeting "#WallsAreMeantForClimbing." 

The government shutdown was triggered by an impasse between Democrats and Trump over the proposal for more than $5 billion in border wall funding.  

The North Face also tweeted a link to donate to national park restoration.

 "Explore responsibly, leave no trace, and pack it out," the company wrote.

The National Park Foundation, a congressionally chartered organization that serves as the National Park Service’s official charity, launched the Parks Restoration Fund last week amid growing concerns about the damage the shutdown is inflicting on parks.

The administration decided last week to use money from visitor fees to help some parks, some of which are now closed for restoration.