A Letter To You
From Theresa & Elizabeth
We are so excited to share with you the National Park Conservation Association’s 2022 annual report, Rooted in History, Preserved for the Future. Each victory is a testament to the commitment you have made to protecting and enhancing America’s national parks for present and future generations. Thank you.
We were grateful to begin gathering in person once again. Across the country, our regional and field offices hosted service projects to bring people back into the parks. We convened NPCA supporters for our Annual Meeting Week in Washington, D.C. and met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for our national parks. We launched our Veterans Council and expanded our Young Leaders Councils in cities nationwide.
Although the past 12 months have been full of incredible park victories and overdue reunions, there have also been difficult moments for our parks. This summer, historic flooding in Yellowstone washed out roads, cut off communities and closed the park’s northern entrances for months. In California, wildfires threatened the iconic sequoia trees in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Severe droughts in the Southwest continue to shrink water levels in Lake Mead and Glen Canyon National Recreation Areas and to starve the Colorado River, lifeblood of the Grand Canyon.
Together we have continued to stand up and speak out for parks and it is making a difference. From historic investments in climate resiliency to the establishment of new national parks that help tell a fuller, richer American history, your efforts are building a better and brighter future for our national parks that will carry on for generations to come.
We are so grateful for your support of NPCA and our national parks. Because of you, NPCA has protected parks for over 100 years. And thanks to you, we will continue to protect them for 100 more.
President & CEO
Who We Are
Since 1919, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been America’s only nonpartisan, independent voice for the national parks. From opposing logging in Olympic National Park’s old-growth forests during World War II to advocating for new parks, such as Pullman National Monument, NPCA has fought to protect America’s most treasured places and preserve our most important stories.
NPCA founder Robert Sterling Yard knew that our parks needed a community of voices, independent of government, to speak out and protect them. Today, we are that community of voices. NPCA and our 1.6 million members and supporters are safeguarding the landscapes, stories and cultures that make up the unique fabric of our nation for the next century and beyond.
Over the last year, we have secured victories that will help national parks thrive. Congress invested $2 billion to restore waters in the Florida Everglades and across the Great Lakes region. The designation of Amache National Historic Site permanently preserves the experiences of Japanese Americans incarcerated in Granada, Colorado during World War II. Years of NPCA advocacy paid off when President Biden restored protections to three national monuments in Utah and off the New England coast.
As an organization, NPCA continues to find creative ways to engage a new and diverse coalition of park supporters. We launched our Veterans Council to provide an avenue for the military community to defend parks through service projects and advocacy. We hosted our first hybrid Salute to the Parks gala. You can learn about these victories, events and more online at our website.
Generations of park advocates helped create the national parks we enjoy today. With your help, NPCA can continue to preserve the stories of our past while strengthening the parks of today and planning for the parks of tomorrow.
NPCA celebrated the restoration of protections for three treasured national monuments – Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England in October 2021. Following calls from Tribes, local communities and hundreds of thousands of park advocates across the country, President Biden used his authority under the Antiquities Act to again safeguard these special places and protect them for generations to come.
NPCA advocated for years to restore protections to these landscapes and waters after former the previous administration dismantled the monuments in 2017. NPCA argued these actions are illegal, joining a coalition of nine conservation groups represented by Earthjustice in filing a lawsuit. We mobilized our more than 1.6 million members and supporters to speak out, helping gather more than 685,000 comments to the Department of the Interior in support of protecting Bears Ears National Monument alone.
Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante are sacred, living landscapes that provide healing and sustain life for many Native American Tribes. They preserve ancient fossils and artifacts, dark night skies and pristine views across red rock canyons and mesas, and they connect some of the region’s most iconic national park landscapes. Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument protects three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon and supports a vibrant marine environment including fish, sea turtles, sharks, seabirds and endangered North Atlantic right whales.
Protected Wildlife & Habitats
Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
a Major Win for National Parks
In September 2021, national parks saw a major victory when Congress passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, providing much-needed funding for America’s aging national park infrastructure. NPCA and our 1.6 million members and supporters have been strong, vocal advocates of this bill, which will improve visitor experiences and safety in our national parks. For years, we have advocated for provisions and protections provided in this bill, including improved connectivity for wildlife, resources to improve climate resilience, and enhanced visitor experience and access.
This bill provides:
- $1.7 billion over five years to improve park roads and transit systems
- $1.4 billion for transportation improvements and enhanced transit access to parks and public lands
- $350 million to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and support enhanced connectivity for wildlife
- $3.2 billion for aquatic ecosystem restoration projects in the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Basin
From adding wildlife corridors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and fixing flood-damaged roadways in Harpers Ferry to addressing the climate crisis in Denali National Park and improving access to Chicago’s Pullman National Monument, this bill is an investment in America’s greatest treasures – our national parks.
Over the years, donors have sought to provide for the long-term fiscal stability of National Parks Conservation Association and its work protecting America’s National Park System. Some endowed funds have been created with gifts in honor or in memory of, special individuals. Endowed funds may be restricted for specific programs or aspects of NPCA’s conservation work. Such gifts are invested, and only a portion of the annual earnings is available for programs expenses each year, as directed by the Board of Trustees.
Norman G. Cohen Park Education Endowment
This fund, in honor of a former Board of Trustees chair, supports education activities for Washington, D.C.- area youth to help them appreciate and understand the parks.
Created by Armstrong Chinn, Jr., this is a permanent endowment fund to further NPCA’s mission for the protection and enhancement of the national parks.
Frank H. Filley and Family Endowment Fund
This fund provides unrestricted support for park protection programs.
General National Parks Conservation Association Endowment Fund
This fund, initiated through the generosity of John and Jane Strandberg, provides perpetual support for NPCA’s current programs and park protection initiatives.
Gretchen Long Endowment
Members of the Board of Trustees established this fund to honor former Board of Trustees Chair Gretchen Long for her outstanding voluntary leadership and service to National Parks Conservation Association.
Stephen T. Mather Aware for Excellence Endowment Fund
Endowed by Booz Allen Hamilton, this award is presented annually to employees of the National Park Service for exemplary service. The endowment is named for the first director of the National Park Service and cofounder of NPCA.
Northeast Regional Office Endowment
This fund was established to support NPCA’s work in the Northeast region.
Park Protection Endowment
Funded by an anonymous donor, this endowment was established to enhance NPCA’s long-term financial base and further the organization’s goals of protecting and enhancing national parks.
Kathryn B. Sehy Memorial Endowed Internship
This endowed internship was established in memory of Kathryn B. Sehy by her husband, Lawrence Sehy.
H. William Walter Endowed Internship Program
This fund was created to support and NPCA internship program for college and graduate students to gain experience at a park conservation organization and possibly pursue a career in the field.
Yellowstone Conservation Fund Endowment
This fund was created as a permanently restricted endowment for the purpose of broadly supporting NPCA’s work to protect the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Ruth Hammett Memorial Desert Protection Endowment
Created to honor the life and legacy of Ruth Hammett, a longtime supporter of NPCA and our national parks, to support the work of the California desert region.
STTP & NPCA
New Veterans Council
In April, NPCA launched the Veterans Council, bringing together thirteen diverse, influential and respected veteran leaders from around the country. Council members will lend their unique advice, perspectives, skills, and voices to help advance NPCA’s policies and campaigns, including helping to guide NPCA’s veteran engagement strategy, while also becoming more deeply involved with park protection.
Donors & Supporters
Our dedicated and passionate supporters have made the victories in this report possible. We are pleased to recognize the numerous individuals, foundations and corporations that have provided philanthropic support to NPCA. We are so grateful for your role in ensuring NPCA can remain a strong leader for our parks.