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Our Commitment

National parks tell the story of America, embodying its beauty, culture, and heritage. WNPA helps discover, preserve, and share that story.

But the American story is rapidly unfolding. In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world, WNPA is committed to discovery: new knowledge, new understanding, and new ways to engage with society.

  • Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona

  • Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California

  • Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California

  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

  • Ft. Union National Monument, New Mexico

Our Opportunities

Support partner parks

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Create new gateways to parks

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Learn, Read, and Follow WNPA

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Partner Parks

WNPA supports 71 national park partners across 12 western states.

Throughout our 79-year history as a partner of the National Park Service, we’ve provided millions of dollars in support to national parks across the West. Today we operate stores in all of our partner parks, develop park-focused publications and products, and design programs to get visitors to the parks. We also fund historical, social, and environmental research that creates a better understanding of parks.

Arizona >
California >
Colorado >
Kansas >
Montana & Wyoming >
Nebraska >
Nevada >
New Mexico >
Oklahoma >
Texas >
Utah >
Map of Western United States with highlighted park locations

The National Parks Store

Open daily 10 AM–5 PM. 

Your purchases support parks.

Bring parks to the people and get people to the parks. The National Parks Store in Tucson, Arizona, is a gateway to the beauty, culture, and heritage of national parks throughout the region. It’s the jumping-off point for educational park tours. It’s also the site for events, activities, and programs designed to foster new connections to national parks.

Park Research

WNPA supports research projects in national parks.

Since 1938, WNPA has funded scientific research to help advance the management, preservation, and interpretation of our national parks. We are committed to supporting meaningful inquiry in parks, helping shape the national park experience for every visitor. One of the key goals of our research program is interpretation—turning research findings into relevant narratives that engage, inform, and entertain.

For our national parks to flourish, each new generation must be able to connect with the public lands that are part of our natural and cultural heritage.

Discover some of the historical, social, and environmental research projects that WNPA has funded in recent years.

Learn more about one of our founders, researcher and scholar Emil W. Haury. Every year, WNPA sponsors the Emil W. Haury Lecture Series.

Here are four short videos that summarize the 2016 Haury Lectures:

“Taking Haury’s Monumental Legacy to New Places
Doctoral Candidate Benjamin A. Bellorado

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2016 Emil Haury Lecture Series - Taking Haury's Monumental Legacy to New Places

“Old Sites, New Insights”
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Patricia L. Crown

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2016 Emil Haury Lecture Series - Old Sites, New Insights

Recreating the Past: Understanding the Anasazi using Computer Simulation
Senior Scholar George J. Gumerman

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2016 Emil Haury Lecture Series - Recreating the Past: Understanding the Anasazi Using Computer Simulation

Mogollon Great Kivas Revisited
Preservation archaeologist Katherine A. Dungan

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2016 Emil Haury Lecture Series - Mogollon Great Kivas Revisited

Research Proposals 

To download an application to submit a FY18 research proposal, or for more information, click here.

WNPA’s Research Committee has offered up notes on what the committee feels makes a strong research proposal.  The three top research proposals from FY 2017 were from Chiricahua NM, Pinnacles NP, and Saguaro NP.

Click on the proposal (PDF link) then read the notes from the research committee.

Chiricahua National Monument Proposal – FY 17
What the Research Committee liked about the Chiricahua National Monument proposal:

“Impacts of the Horseshow Two megafire on the vegetation of Chiricahua National Monument”

  • Title: Short, clear, descriptive.
  • Writing: Clear, concise, free of jargon.
  • Broad reach: Research is applicable beyond park boundaries.
  • Importance: Research will assess an understudied area—the long-term impact of megafires on wildlife.
  • Lots of outreach: One or two articles in scientific journals, a short brochure on fire ecology for the public, a more detailed booklet for interpretive staff, a poster for display in visitor center, and a presentation for staff. The research team might produce an interactive version of the brochure, with maps, photos, and text.
  • Bilingual: The research team offered to create a Spanish version of any of these materials.
  • Principal investigators: Descriptions include their reputation, expertise and connection with the study topic, as well as their substantial involvement in the project, including in-kind contributions.
  • Budget: Items are clearly described.

Pinnacles National Park Proposal – FY 17

What the Research Committee liked about the proposal from Pinnacles National Monument
“Predict Condor Range and Habitat Requirements to Reduce Development Threats”

  • Title: Short, clear, descriptive.
  • Writing: Clear, concise, free of jargon.
  • Critical need: Condors are moving into their historical range from central to southern California, so biologists need to understand how the birds are using the landscape.
  • Urgency: It could be an endangered species, an invasive species, spread of disease, climate change, critical habitat, or threats to an archaeological site. In this case, major energy development projects threaten condor recovery as the birds’ population and range expand. We now have a critical window of opportunity.
  • High priority for park: Research will improve condor survival by informing management actions.
  • Impact: Research will result in a GIS modeling tool.
  • Lots of outreach: Research will be shared with visitors through maps, large posters, NPS website, and interpreters on the trails and in the visitor center.

Saguaro National Park Proposal – FY 17

What the Research Committee liked about the proposal from Saguaro National Park
“Are springs and tinajas in Saguaro National Park threatened by groundwater withdrawal outside the park?”

  • Title: Short, clear, descriptive.
  • Writing: Clear, concise, free of jargon.
  • Impact: Addresses an important issue (water) for successful resource management.
  • Urgency: Active groundwater pumping outside park boundaries may affect critical wildlife habitat for sensitive aquatic species as well as terrestrial species.
  • Design and methods: Clearly written. A thorough literature cited. The research team will consult experts (geochemists and hydrologists) to place results in a full conservation context and include management implications for park.
  • Citizen science: Public involvement in research.
  • Innovation: Hikers will use new cell phone technology to exchange information with park staff on changing status of water in springs.
  • Lots of outreach: Technical report, journal articles, interpretive programs, educational materials, social media, water video for visitor center.
  • Broad reach: Use of social media to instill appreciation of desert waters in park visitors and people who enjoy Saguaro National Park from afar. Will encourage people to protect water for future generations.
  • Principal investigators: Descriptions include their reputation and past projects with WNPA, their expertise and connection with the study topic, and their substantial involvement in the project, including in-kind contributions.
  • Budget: WNPA funding will partly support a Next Gen Ranger intern to interpret the park’s waters.

WNPA cares about research in our national parks, and we want everyone to know it.

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Research Matters

“We need to engage the next generation in preserving our heritage.”

Al Remley
National Park Service Ranger
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Support Our Mission

Help Bring the Stories of Our National Parks to Life!

Western National Parks Association’s Members, Donors, and Community Partners give thousands of people a deeper understanding of our 71 partner parks. Their commitment promotes education in the areas of nature, culture, history, and recreation. They make it possible for WNPA to provide unique extended learning opportunities and enhance what the National Park Service is able to offer park visitors.

Give today! You can make a positive impact on the preservation and interpretation of our outstanding national parks.

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For questions about charitable giving, contact Development Manager, Amy Reichgott at 520-789-7406 or amy.reichgott@wnpa.org.