Green Tracking Library

 

National Parks
Conservation Association

National Parks Conservation Association
1300 19th St NW
Ste 300
Washington, DC 20036

www.npca.org
Phone:
(800) 628-7275
Fax:
(202) 659-0650

EIN:
53-0225165
Founded: 19
19
Exempt since: 19
59

Self-Description: NPCA is America's only private, nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated solely to protecting, preserving, and enhancing America's National Parks for present and future generations.


Actual:
Prime destroyer of private property in the United States. Attacks property owners within and around existing units of the National Park System to set up federal confiscation or condemnation of private property as a way to endlessly expand ("enhance") NPCA's territory of influence and fundraising. Funded in part with federal taxpayer money, nearly $300,000 in 2007.

Background: Created by millionaire Chicago borax magnate and Sierra Club member Stephen Tyng Mather (he had met Club founder John Muir, climbed Mount Rainier with Club bigwigs, and considered himself a conservationist), who lobbied the Woodrow Wilson Administration and Congress to establish a bureau of national parks. Mather, president and owner of the Thorkildsen-Mather Borax Company, contacted Secretary of the Interior Franklin Knight Lane in 1914 complaining that the nearly 40 existing national parks and monuments (including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Mount Rainier, and Devils Tower) had no department of their own and were being mismanaged by unregulated profiteers - farmers diverting water for irrigation, aggressive drivers actually dragging people off trains to take them to competing park hotels, promoters cutting giant sequoias for exhibitions, and the accommodations were sub-standard. Lane shot back a famous message: "Dear Steve: If you don't like the way the national parks are being run, come on down to Washington and run them yourself."

The National Park Service: It was a set-up. Lane had previously visited Mather in Chicago and sized him up as "a man of prodigious energy, a born promoter," who could actually do what President William Howard Taft told Congress in 1912: "I recommend the establishment of a responsible Bureau of National Parks to properly manage those wonderful manifestations of nature for the edification and recreation of the people." Lane lured Mather to Washington, supposedly only for a year, to draft a national parks bill and manage the large publicity campaign to get it passed. Lane gave him a competent young assistant named Horace Marden Albright, an Interior Department staff man. They hit it off immediately and remained friends for the rest of Mather's life.

Becoming Director: Mather hired noted writer Robert Stirling Yard to promote the concept through popular magazines of the day, while tirelessly lobbying congressional leaders with Albright. After a brutally long and stressful two-year campaign, Congress passed the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. Mather's public service was done - he thought. The Service's first director, a lackluster geologist named Robert Marshall botched the job and Lane convinced Mather to take over as director in 1917. Albright became assistant director. Mather hired Bob Yard as Park Service publicity chief, paying the bulk of Yard's salary out of his own pocket, which was illegal. Mather, exhausted from two years of lobbying, had a nervous breakdown and Albright covered for him. Mather's disability, which came and went for a decade, was not widely known.

The Dual Mission: Taft's "edification and recreation" turned out to be contradictory goals. Congress wrote the Organic Act mandating both "conservation of the scenery in its natural state" and "public use and enjoyment of the parks." The tension between these goals immediately clashed. Mather was a utilitarian who established private concessions to build and run the hotels that hosted visitors, based on the public utility theory, with government owning the land and writing the rules, and private investors owning the buildings and equipment. Yard, who was a purist at heart, railed against this "commercialism" while still encouraging people to come and love the parks. The dual mission particularly stressed Mather the businessman, because he had to coax railroad magnates into building rails to - but not through - the parks. They were the only investors with the capital and motive to build and operate the huge lodge concessions needed to accommodate visitors - and visitors were the future lobbyists who would convince Congress to endlessly expand the number, size, and prestige of the national parks. But those visitors wanted to see untouched nature despite having to share solitude with thousands of others at every attraction. Getting them to come required untouched scenery. Accommodating them once there required commercial food, housing, and in-park transportation. Endless conflict.

The National Parks Association: In one of his lucid periods in 1919, Mather, realizing that private citizens could not give money to the government (promotional money that was needed to attract public visitors and encourage private concessioners to invest private money in facilities), decided that a private advocacy organization was necessary, and conceived The National Parks Association. Albright wrote of it in his autobiography:

It was organized along the lines of the American Civic Association, with several distinguished national leaders on its board. Its president was J. Horace McFarland of the American Civic Association, and vice presidents were Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, Congressman Billy Kent of California, Henry Suzallo, president of the University of Washington, and John Mason Clarke, chairman of the geology and paleontology section of the National Academy of Sciences. The stated purpose of the National Parks Association was "to defend the National Parks and National Monuments fearlessly against the assaults of private interests and aggressive commercialism."

Robert Yard became NPA's first president and immediately began making enemies in the National Park Service with his purism against visitors and the concessions that Mather and Albright provided for visitor accommodations. Mather had a totally disabling stroke in 1928 and was replaced by Albright, who had been running the National Park Service most of the time since 1917 anyway. Yard and Albright fought endlessly.

Yard was generally hated in the National Park Service by the early 1930s. He took a dictatorial stance against including "inferior" new areas such as the Grand Tetons, which enraged John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who used a local Wyoming banker as a front to buy up all the land surrounding Jackson Hole in hopes of donating it to the United States in return for having the area designated a National Park and his own company getting the visitor concession. Yard opposed including Kings Canyon, which outraged the Sierra Club, which wanted exclusive use of the area for their membership. Yard lasted until 1934, when he resigned and drifted to the Wilderness Society, which was as purist as he was, where he remained for the rest of his life.

The rest of the story is one of increasing empire building, helping the National Park Service find new areas, regardless of their quality, to seize into federal ownership. Privately owned areas were confiscated or condemned for new "historical areas," "recreational areas," "scenic byways," "viewsheds," and any other imaginary classification it could push past Congress.

Today the National Parks Conservation Association is the most potent destroyer of private property in America, all in the name of "conservation" and "for the good of all." The federal government owns more than one third of America's land. Other governments, State, County, Municipal, Tribal, and more, bring the total American land area owned by some government to more than half. NPCA wants it all and is determined to get it all.

 

National Parks Conservation Association
 financial condition 2006

 Revenue     Expenses
Contributions $24,921,889
Government Grants $368,071
Program Services $430,085
Investments $762,045
Special Events $929,995
Sales $0
Other $1,107,770

 

Program Services $17,198,303
Administration $2,643,011
Other $3,271,066
Total Expenditures $23,112,380
Total Revenue $28,519,855   NET GAIN/LOSS $5,407,475

National Parks Conservation Association
Officers, Directors, Trustees, and Key Employees - 2006

Name Title Compensation
THOMAS C. KIERNAN PRESIDENT $235,000
THOMAS MARTIN EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT $166,985
VINCE HOENIGMAN TRUSTEE $0
DWIGHT C. MINTON TRUSTEE $0
ANNE WEXLER TRUSTEE $0
ROGER KENNEDY TRUSTEE $0
THOMAS SECUNDA VICE CHAIRMAN $0
GRETCHEN LONG TRUSTEE EMERITUS $0
OLENE WALKER TRUSTEE $0
JOYCE C. DORIA TREASURER $0
MARTIN BROWN TRUSTEE $0
JOHN E. HUERTA TRUSTEE $0
MICHAEL V. FINLEY TRUSTEE $0
DIANA BLANK TRUSTEE $0
AUDREY PETERMAN MEMBER AT LARGE $0
STEVEN A. DENNING VICE CHAIRMAN $0
GENE T. SYKES CHAIRMAN $0
PAMELA MATSON TRUSTEE $0
SUSAN BABCOCK TRUSTEE $0
GLENN A. PADNICK TRUSTEE $0
JESSICA H. CATTO MEMBER AT LARGE $0
WILLIAM J. PADE TRUSTEE $0
HENRY A. JORDAN TRUSTEE $0
ROBERT KEITER SECRETARY $0
DENIS P. GALVIN TRUSTEE $0
FRAN ULMER MEMBER AT LARGE $0
THEODORE SMITH TRUSTEE $0
SALLY JEWELL TRUSTEE $0
W. RICHARD WEST TRUSTEE $0
ALAN J. LACY TRUSTEE $0

Five Highest Paid NPCA Employees - 2006

Name Title Compensation
JAMES NATIONS VP PARKS $143,170
RONALD TIPTON SVP PROGRAMS $137,587
CRAIG OBEY VP GOVT AFFRS $125,962
THERESA PIERNO VP, REG OPERATIONS $123,195
ALEXANDER BRASH SR REG DIR, NERO $117,710

50 most recent foundation grants to
National
Parks Conservation Association

Total:     Number of Grants: 

 

Donor Foundation
 

Amount

Year

Grant Description

THE VINCENT HOENIGMAN PRIVATE FOUNDATION
San Francisco
California

$155,000

2008

 

G UNGER VETLESEN FOUNDATION
New York
New York

$25,000

2007

General operating

MCCUNE FOUNDATION
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania

$125,000

2007

Phase IV business plan initiative

GREENHILL FAMILY FOUNDATION
Greenwich
Connecticut

$25,000

2007

For the Organization's Use

RENAISSANCE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION INC
Indianapolis
Indiana

$10,000

2007

Support for environmental projects

RENAISSANCE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION INC
Indianapolis
Indiana

$9,850

2007

Support for environmental projects

SHARED EARTH FOUNDATION
Chestertown
Maryland

$20,000

2007

Clean Air for parks and people

BOSTON FOUNDATION INC
Boston
Massachusetts

$10,000

2007

 

NORCLIFFE FOUNDATION
Seattle
Washington

$5,000

2007

Environmental protection and civic involvement outreach for volunteers enhanced by renovation of pioneer square information center and art gallery

WILBURFORCE FOUNDATION
Seattle
Washington

$100,000

2007

Northern Rockies Regional Office Glacier Program and Crown of The Continent Campaign

WEEDEN FOUNDATION
New York
New York

$10,000

2006

 

HENRY P KENDALL FOUNDATION TRUST
Boston
Massachusetts

$50,000

2006

 

ROY A HUNT FOUNDATION
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania

$20,000

2006

Barriers project continuation

PEPSIAMERICAS FOUNDATION
Schaumburg
Illinois

$10,000

2006

 

EDWARDSON FAMILY FOUNDATION
Vernon Hills
Illinois

$4,000

2006

General operations

PFEIFFER FAMILY FOUNDATION
Newark
Delaware

$10,000

2006

General operating

TIFFANY & CO FOUNDATION
New York
New York

$500,000

2006

To restore the 26000 acres of marsh and coastal park known as Gateway National Recreation Area (GNRA)

THE KEITH CAMPBELL FOUNDATION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Annapolis
Maryland

$100,000

2006

General operations

THE MORAINE FOUNDATION
Seattle
Washington

$10,000

2006

Environmental

SYKES FAMILY FOUNDATION
New York
New York

$225,000

2006

Support for conservation activities

LSR FUND
New York
New York

$42,000

2006

 

ROBERTSON FOUNDATION
New York
New York

$10,005

2006

 

ROBERTSON FOUNDATION
New York
New York

$355,000

2006

 

THE KEITH CAMPBELL FOUNDATION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Annapolis
Maryland

$27,500

2006

Outreach in central valley

SHARED EARTH FOUNDATION
Chestertown
Maryland

$20,000

2006

Motorized Abuse Program to prevent further damage to national parks from unregulated motorized abuse

PANAPHIL FOUNDATION
New York
New York

$20,000

2006

 

MAX & VICTORIA DREYFUS FOUNDATION
Washington
Dist Of
Columbia

$7,500

2006

Preservation programs

TURNER FOUNDATION INC
Atlanta
Georgia

$160,000

2006

 

SARAH & ISIDOR KOREIN CHARITABLE TRUST
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania

$10,000

2006

 

THE VIRGINIA & L E SIMMONS FAMILY FOUNDATION
Houston
Texas

$5,000

2006

Support National Parks

MCCUNE FOUNDATION
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania

$25,000

2006

Marketing & Audience Development

MSST FOUNDATION
Santa Barbara
California

$67,000

2006

 

THORNTON FOUNDATION
New York
New York

$15,000

2006

 

ATTICUS TRUST
Nashville
Tennessee

$60,000

2006

 

G UNGER VETLESEN FOUNDATION
New York
New York

$25,000

2006

 

ROBERT E FRASER FOUNDATION
Minneapolis
Minnesota

$25,000

2006

 

TOWNSEND FAMILY FOUNDATION
Saratoga Spgs
New York

$10,000

2006

 

CATTO CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
Denver
Colorado

$50,000

2006

 

BULLITT FOUNDATION
Seattle
Washington

$50,000

2006

 

THE BOBOLINK FOUNDATION
Chicago
Illinois

$25,000

2006

 

MERCK FAMILY FUND
Milton
Massachusetts

$50,000

2006

Second year of a two-year, $100,000 grant to support the National Park Clean

MAKRAY FAMILY FOUNDATION
Chicago
Illinois

$16,000

2006

 

THE VINCENT HOENIGMAN PRIVATE FOUNDATION
San Francisco
California

$5,134

2006

General support

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