In a move intended to bolster their support and work in behalf of Glacier National Park, the Glacier National Park Fund and the Glacier Association have announced their intentions to merge into the Glacier National Park Conservancy as of January 1, 2013.
The Conservancy’s goal will be to generate financial support for Glacier National Park in an era of reduced federal budgets through increased private fundraising and philanthropic activities, and continued operation of the bookstores within Glacier National Park and at other federal agency partner sites in Montana.
The Glacier National Park Fund and the Glacier Association currently provide aid and support to Glacier National Park in related ways:
* The Glacier National Park Fund focuses on fundraising and philanthropy from individuals and organizations in order to help support designated projects within the Park in areas related to research, preservation, trails and education.
* The Glacier Association provides financial aid through sales of educational and interpretive materials to the public from bookstores at visitor centers and ranger stations throughout the park, as well as from its headquarters bookstore at the Belton Depot in West Glacier.
The Glacier Association also currently manages sales outlets at other federal agency sites, including the National Bison Range, the Flathead National Forest, the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, and the Big Hole National Battlefield. These agency partners will continue to be supported by the new organization.
Merging these two organizations will allow fundraising activities for Glacier National Park to be accomplished in a cooperative and more effective manner, the groups said in a release. The merger will also provide a “single voice” to their constituencies and stakeholders – reducing confusion and enhancing overall visitor awareness.
Budgetary constraints brought on by diminished federal support make private gifts and other aid to the park more important than ever before. The Conservancy will strive to enhance public engagement and increase support for Glacier National Park.
Upon the merger, the membership of the Conservancy Board will be based on current managerial needs and will include both local and national representation. In addition, a National Council of Advisors will be created to assist the board and Conservancy staff with strategic planning and outreach activities. The logistical details will be determined as the merger moves forward.
The Glacier National Park Fund was established in 1999 as the non-profit fundraising partner for Glacier National Park. The Fund’s mission is to support the preservation and protection of the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Glacier National Park, through private philanthropy, for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. To date, the Glacier National Park Fund has provided over $3.5M in support of the park.
The Glacier Association is a non-profit cooperating association of the National Park Service that supports education and interpretation through the sale of books and other merchandise at the visitor centers in Glacier National Park and at other federal agency sites. Originally formed in 1941 and incorporated in 1946, the Association has provided more than 70 years of monetary and in-kind assistance for Glacier National Park and these other sites.