the National Park Service was created in 1916, several nonprofit
organizations formed to support park programs and projects
not covered by government funding. By 1936 cooperating associations
were formally recognized by Congress, which passed laws enabling
them to operate in national parks.
a cooperating association is best described as a nonprofit
organization dedicated to supporting the education and preservation
goals of the National Park Service. Cooperating associations
accomplish this through bookstore sales, membership support,
book and publication development, research funding and other
educational activities. Western National Parks Association
donates over $4 million annually to its national park affiliates.