By Brecken Branstrator
Outdoor clothing, accessory and watch brand Filson hired photographer Cole Barash to create a photo essay that documented and celebrated the work of the U.S. Forest Service. It presented the collection at an event at the Brooklyn Navy Yard earlier this month.
Seattle--Filson, a brand that offers outdoor clothing, travel bags and watches, has inked a partnership with the United States Forest Service and its nonprofit partner, the National Forest Foundation.

Through the collaboration, the two will work together to raise awareness and appreciation for all National Forest System lands in the Pacific Northwest, where Filson is based.

The Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region consists of 16 national forests, 59 district offices, a National Scenic Area and a National Grassland comprising 24.7 million acres in Oregon and Washington and employing approximately 3,500 people.

The partnership will see the promotion of the “outdoor heritage” of the Forest Service in the area through storytelling content about the organization’s efforts, priorities, workforce and partners.

Specifically, the content will include photo essays, videos and blog posts from U.S. Forest Service employees, highlighting the individuals who spend time maintaining public lands, fighting fires, clearing trails and surveying the forests to make sure future generations can use and enjoy the lands.

This week, Filson will debut its Thought Leaders series, comprised of video interviews with Simon Roosevelt, the great-great-grandson of former President and conservationist Theodore Roosevelt; Gifford Pinchot III, grandson of Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the Forest Service; and Tom Tidwell, the chief of the U.S. Forest Service.

As part of the partnership, Filson also has introduced a limited-edition collection of products, including a watch based on the Filson Dutch Harbor Watch, featuring a quartz movement, SuperLuminova hands and stainless steel case, for $750.

Additionally, the National Forest Foundation and volunteers from Filson, along with help from other local partners, are restoring the Heybrook Lookout Tower in Index, Washington, seen below.

20170816 Heybrook Tower

The tower is an important part of Washington State’s forestry history as it is one of only two fire lookout towers in the state available for the public to reserve.

It was deemed unsafe for overnight stays in 2015, but when it is reopened to the public later this summer, it will provide a space for outdoor enthusiasts to escape in the Central Cascades.

“From its legacy of stewardship managing 193 million acres of public lands and natural resources, to its steadfast commitment to serve ‘the greatest good for the greatest number in the long run,’ the U.S. Forest Service embodies the ethos of the Filson brand and our customers,” said Filson Creative Director Alex Carleton.

“We have a fundamental belief that our country’s greatness is rooted in its natural resources, and we’re happy to collaborate with the organization responsible for managing those resources.”

The Forest Service and Filson already had a connection prior to this partnership: employees of the former often wore Filson gear in the early days of its operation after it was founded in 1905.

There still are a few Filson items approved for wear and use by Forest Service employees, like the Filson wool Mackinaw Cruiser coat and wool pants.

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