The Yosemite Fund and Yosemite Association, two of Yosemite National Park's major nonprofit groups, said they’re forming a unified nonprofit to support projects and programs that preserve park resources and enrich the visitor experience.
"This is an exciting moment for a special place that we all treasure," said the Yosemite Fund’s chairman, Hal Cranston. "By combining the best elements and proud histories of the two organizations, we can do more than ever to protect Yosemite and inspire enduring connections for current and future generations."
The groups said in a news release that after "overwhelming" votes of approval by association members and the fund's council, the boards of trustees of both organizations agreed to form a unified organization.
The groups said they expect state approvals for the merger to take effect in January. Outwardly, the fund and association said, they’ll operate as they are now until mid-year, while a transition to a consolidated organization occurs.
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"Providing for Yosemite’s future is our passion," said Christy Holloway, chair of the Yosemite Association Board of Trustees. "We are profoundly grateful for the support of our members, donors, volunteers and staffs who have helped us reach this new and exciting chapter in our proud histories."
Both groups said they see benefits from the merger, such as a larger and stronger base of park supporters, additional expertise and resources to improve overall capabilities, and expanded opportunities for supporters to participate in park programs. For years, the association and fund said they've shared a common goal of helping to preserve Yosemite, along with providing educational opportunities, through complementary programs.
Since 1988, the fund has been raising money to pour back into projects focused on trail repair and access, habitat restoration, visitor services and education, cultural and historic preservation, scientific research and wildlife management. It has supported more 300 projects, providing more than $55 million for projects that preserve, protect and enhance Yosemite National Park.
The Yosemite Association was established in 1923 as the nation's first "cooperating association" with the National Park Service. It's a nonprofit dedicated to the support of Yosemite National Park through volunteerism, outdoor learning, publishing, arts, wilderness and Junior Ranger programs.
News about the transition can be found and contributions made on their websites: www.yosemitefund.org and www.yosemite.org.