Parks’ Non-Profit Partners Merge to Create the Sequoia Parks Conservancy

Mark Tilchen and Woody Smeck
Mark Tilchen (left front), executive director of the Sequoia Parks Conservancy, and Woody Smeck (right front), superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, celebrate the launch of the Sequoia Parks Conservancy.

NPS Photo--D. Dierkes

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News Release Date: October 15, 2015

Contact: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks – Dana M. Dierkes, 559-565-3131

Contact: Sequoia Natural History Association/Sequoia Parks Conservancy – Dayna Higgins, 559-565-4255

Contact: Sequoia Parks Foundation – Kim Hilsmann, 707-217-6561

SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, CA – Sequoia Natural History Association and Sequoia Parks Foundation, the two non-profit partners of the National Park Service at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, are combining forces to become a unified non-profit group—the Sequoia Parks Conservancy. For decades, both groups have shared the common goal of preserving and enhancing the visitor experience in the parks through funding, education, restoration, protection, and visitor services.

Sequoia Natural History Association’s Executive Director, Mark Tilchen, says, “The two organizations have always worked side-by side.” He added, “The public and our supporters should think of this as a great medley of two outstanding organizations working together to fulfill a greater responsibility to our parks and partners. We are excited about the future and ready to get to work.” Tilchen will serve as executive director of the Sequoia Parks Conservancy.

“The decision is quite logical,” said Sequoia Natural History Association Board of Directors’ Chairman Steve Baltzell. He added, “In fact, the Sequoia Parks Foundation was originally created by the Sequoia Natural History Association and, for the first couple of years, shared an office and staff. Other national parks, such as Glacier and Yosemite, have recognized the strength of having one organization and now it is time for our organizations to follow that same path.”

"The Sequoia Parks Conservancy will unify efforts and increase participation to enhance the park visitor experience, protect natural resources and provide quality programs,” said Lee A. Goldstein, chairman of the Transitional Executive Committee (Sequoia Parks Conservancy) and former secretary-treasurer of Sequoia Parks Foundation.

Superintendent Woody Smeck of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park said, “This merger provides an exciting opportunity to leverage the complementary strengths and 89 years of combined experience of both organizations.” He added, “The new organization will enhance the visitor experience and provide for long-term stewardship of park resources as we head into the Centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.”                    


Last updated: October 15, 2015

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