As part of an exciting new partnership between outdoor retailer Filson, the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the National Forest Foundation (the official nonprofit partner of the USFS), Filson has announced the launch of a limited edition capsule collection. Photographer Cole Barash and producer Brandon Kuzma were commissioned by Filson to produce a photo essay and film which showcases and drives awareness to the work of Forest Service employees in Region 6, the Pacific Northwest. The project highlights just a few of the stories of the 3,500 men and women who dedicate their lives to conserving our public lands.
In addition to the capsule collection, a group of volunteers from Filson, along with the NFF and other local partners, are working to complete the renovation of the Heybrook Lookout Tower in Index, Washington. The tower is one of only two historic fire-lookout towers open to the public in the state of Washington. Heybrook was deemed unsafe and closed to overnight visitors in 2015. Its restoration will attract backpackers from and visitors to the Central Cascades.
"We're excited to be partnering with Filson, which understands and appreciates the Pacific Northwest's rich outdoor heritage," said Jim Peña, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester said in an official statement. "Working together, we'll be able to restore the Heybrook Lookout Tower and help tell the story of the many ways national forests contribute to the people and communities of the Pacific Northwest."
An informal partnership between Filson and the USFS dates as far back as the federal agency's inception in 1905. Hard-pressed to find durable clothing and gear, early Forest Service employees often turned to Seattle-based Filson for their outfitting. It wasn't until the 1940s that the USFS adopted standard-issue uniforms. Several Filson items are approved for wear and use to this very day.