Burlington, VT — Two outdoor retailers in Burlington are reacting to Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard‘s decision to give away the company to help fight the climate crisis.

On Wednesday, Chouinard announced he is transferring ownership of the $3 billion company to the Patagonia Purpose Trust and the nonprofit Holdfast Collective.

The news sent a ripple across the outdoor community in Burlington.

“I was blown away,” said John George-Wheeler, operating owner of Skirack.

Kenzie Fuqua of Outdoor Gear Exchange called it “ completely amazing.”

Patagonia Burlington opened in 2011. Manager John George-Wheeler said his mission was to inspire the community to pursue a lifetime of outdoor activity and environmental stewardship.

“So this totally aligned with what we are passionate about,” said George-Wheeler. “Just last Wednesday we were closed for our annual field day. We shut down the entire store and the entire staff got the chance to play or volunteer in the Intervale.”

At the Outdoor Gear Exchange, Patagonia is the biggest seller, making up 10 percent of their overall sales. “You get the used gear back out into the environment being utilized,” Fuqua said. “We don’t want it to go into the landfill, we don’t want it to cause harm to the environment.”

George-Wheeler said Chouinard’s decision reminds him of a “basic fact.”

“Without our planet,” he said, we don’t exist.”