Fixing this ain't gonna be easy

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 10:26:17 06/11/20

In Reply to: Just look at the bios of the Board of Directors posted by TravelingBear

Traveling Bear,

I agree wholeheartedly with your statements. I'm just chiming in.

I have vivid memories of the climate created by the merger, at least from the perspective of a long time YA member, dating back to the early/mid-1980s. I was still in Alaska, and it seemed every time I picked up my mail, there was a new donation solicitation letter therein, signed by Missy Heather. Over time, I became so frustrated with the onslaught that I pulled the trigger on the option to opt out of outbound communications from YF. At least, that stopped the insufferable begging.

I am very nervous about Cam Sholly's statements. He has a lot on his plate at the moment, beyond the normal boatload of resource management issues, items of deferred maintenance, and the usual plethora of politics. COVID-19 has been a major game-changer, impacting so many aspects of our national parks. Now, Cam is looking at this sorrowfully aggregated concoction that used to be his visitor education partner and a separate fund-raising partner sliding down a slope toward potential extinction. I have to believe that he is being pressured from within by the Division of Interpretation regarding that which was YA and the YAI. At the same time, as the overall park manager, he is well aware of the financial contribution that the former Foundation was making to various important programs. As I have already voiced in a prior post, I believe the merger needs to be reversed. Questions abound. Do you do it? How do you do it? We know the Institute is going to be limping at best for the next year or two, if we believe what our public health subject matter experts tell us about the future of COVID-19. The bookstores look to me to be the most financially stable operation, provided the virus doesn't start raging in the park, forcing another shutdown. Given all the demands on the national treasury to band-aid the impacts of COVID-19, I can't imagine any bail out money being dispatched to our national parks anytime soon. I hate to see Cam forced into a zero sum game, having to make a Schylla and Charybdis type of decision. My hope is that some super subject matter experts ride to the rescue, offering sage advice on how to resolve this crisis. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the harsh reality of what turned out to be effectively, a hostile takeover when the merger occurred. I'm sure Missy Heather saw the book store operation as just one other mechanism to put the touch on naive park visitors and recruit them to her mission. As anyone who has read any of my posts lately is already aware, I am a big believer in bifurcation. Undue the merger in whatever way is legally doable. Then start triaging each component as a separate entity.

My fear is that Cam Sholly is going to have a major dog in this fight, i.e. the Foundation remnant, because of its cash cow potential. The Division of Interpretation is the primary supporter/partner of what used to be YA and YAI. They are seriously outgunned within the NPS hierarchy. Maybe it is time for some "white knight" to ride to the rescue, like Harrison Ford in his helicopter or Elon Musk in one of his rockets. (I'm only half kidding. There must be some private citizen out there with deep pockets and a soft spot in their heart for Yellowstone.) (Actually, the thought of launching a 501(c)3 specifically designed to "rescue" what was YA and YAI appeals to me.)

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:
Please enter the following value as your Submit Key:     
Submit Key:
Note: The Submit Key is Case Sensitive. Do not Copy and Paste!

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]