History of the Association of Partners for Public Lands

CNPCA (APPL) History (1958 – 1996)

1958

1958

At the Board of Directors Meeting of Eastern National Park and Monument Association, there was discussion that cooperating associations were sprouting everywhere and it would be helpful to have an exchange of ideas on common problems. Eastern’s board passed a resolution requesting that the Director of the National Park Service call a meeting on cooperating association matters.

1960

1960

Director Conrad L. Wirth responded by authorizing such a meeting in Washington. All attendees were NPS personnel and the agenda for the informal session was prepared by the Service. Three recommendations were made and approved: (1) set up a Director’s Fund with voluntary contributions, (2) establish a coordinator position to help associations, and (3) arrange for periodic meetings of association representatives.

1966

1966

The next meeting was arranged by Ed Alberts and held at Harpers Ferry, WV.

1967

1967

In March, Alberts became the first cooperating association coordinator, based at the Midwest Regional Office in Omaha.

1970

1970

A meeting of the Conference of Executive Secretaries was held at Albright Center at Grand Canyon. It was decided to hold meetings at two-year intervals. Alberts retired and was succeeded by Francis Elmore.

1972

1972

At a meeting of the National Executive Secretaries Conference in St. Louis, a resolution was passed establishing “The National Council of Cooperating Associations.” Francis Elmore appointed a committee to draft a proposal. The committee was chaired by Ed Pilley and included Eugene Colbert, Charles Marshall, George Robinson, Charles Ross, and Thomas Vaughan.

1974

1974

The proposal was rejected at the Biennial Conference, but it did provide groundwork for the future. James Murfin followed Francis Elmore as the NPS Servicewide Coordinator in January 1974, based at Harpers Ferry. It was Murfin who established training programs and encouraged associations to produce high-quality publications and who, for the eleven years he was coordinator, worked to professionalize the associations.

1976

1976

At the Biennial Convention held in Albuquerque, an ad hoc committee was formed under the chairmanship of Sterling Cramer to again address the question of an “Inter-Association Organization.”The Conference of National Park Cooperating Associations is an outgrowth of that committee. Charles Marshall was elected the first chairman.

1977

1977

Conference of National Park Cooperating Associations was chartered in the State of California. The NPS solicitor recommended distinct management of cooperating associations and the NPS removed its personnel from management and board positions. The first Memorandum of Agreement between an association and the National Park Service was signed.

1978

1978

The first meeting of the CNPCA Board of Directors was held September 18th. The second meeting of the Board of Directors was held December 4th. A Membership meeting was held December 5th in Denver, Colorado.

1979

1979

The first publications seminars were held in 1979. Training courses in cooperating association management and operations had been held since 1974. The training in these early years was funded through the NPS Director’s Fund.

1980

1980

Biennial meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

1981

1981

James Watt controversy over use of Director’s Fund. Realizing the strength of unity, membership in the Conference grew dramatically.

1982

1982

Biennial Convention in St. Louis, Missouri.

1984

1984

CNPCA agreed to assume responsibility for training programs previously sponsored by NPS. An executive director, Michael LeBaire, was hired on a part-time basis. The Biennial Convention was held in Philadelphia.

1986

1986

The NPS position, by this time based in Washington, became “Servicewide Private Sector/Cooperating Association Coordinator.” The CNPCA executive director position was made full-time. Biennial Convention was held in San Diego.

1987

1987

The first executive director resigned. A CNPCA Special Membership Meeting was held in Tucson in July. The membership reviewed current operations and established priorities for future directions: (1) liaison with National Park Service, (2) liaison with member associations and publication
of The Exchange and Newswire ,(3) training, and (4) a biennial convention and trade show. In October, Debra Trout, became CNPCA’s second executive director, and the office moved to Sevierville, TN.

1988

1988

Approximately 300 attended the Biennial Convention in Tucson in October.

1989

1989

NPS position in Washington is full-time Servicewide Cooperating Association Coordinator once again. (Glenn Clark currently holds this position).

1990

1990

Biennial Convention held in Honolulu, Hawaii, October 14
-19. An affiliate membership category was established for organizations similar to NPS cooperating associations that work with agencies other than NPS.

1992

1992

Biennial Convention in San Antonio, February 10-13. Over 350 registered participants, including association staff and board members, NPS and other agency staff and interpretive associations. CNPCA produced and distributed to members:The Exchange, Newswire, Data Base Questionnaire (1991), The Resource Book ,and Bookstore Planning & Design Manual.

1993

1993

Debra Trout resigned due to poor health. Tricia Takacs assumed the role of interim executive director.

1994

1994

Attendance exceeded all previous conventions at the Biennial Convention in Williamsburg, VA, March 8-10, with over 700 registered participants. In May, Bruce Craig becomes third executive director. CNPCA offices moved from Tennessee to Charles Town, West Virginia.

1996

1996

Biennial Convention in St. George, Utah, March 17-21. Over 800 attended. CNPCA and NPS signed a formal cooperative agreement. First series of grants awarded from NPS-CNPCA Partnership Fund, formerly Servicewide Fund. In April, Bruce Craig resigned and Paula Degen became interim executive director. In July, Degen was chosen as fourth executive director. CNPCA offices relocated from West Virginia to Millersville, Maryland, near Annapolis.

APPL History (1997-Present)

1997

1997

Following a lengthy strategic planning process, the members of CNPCA voted to expand membership to include nonprofit organizations that support any public land management agency, not just the National Park Service. After 20 years, the Conference changed its name to the Association of Partners for Public Lands, Supporting Education and Stewardship.APPL Vendor Support program implemented.

1998

1998

The first Biennial Convention as the Association of Partners for Public Lands was held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with 1044 registrants and a Trade Show of 207 vendors.

1999

1999

APPL issues 20th Anniversary Report.

2000

2000

Biennial Convention in Anchorage, Alaska, draws 900 participants. Convention publications earn the American Association of Association Executives (ASAE) Gold Circle Award and first place in Association Trends 2000 publications contest. An APPL board Ambassador program is launched to
provide communication between the board and APPL’s members. Paula Degen resigns as executive director.

2001

2001

APPL members vote to revise dues structure, resulting in a sliding scale of $500 to $7,500 annually for full members and $500 annually for affiliate members – effectively cutting dues revenue in half. Donna Asbury joins APPL as new executive director. First convention to be held on an annual cycle takes place in St. George, Utah in cooperation with Peaks, Plateaus and Canyons Association. APPL moves its offices to Wheaton, Maryland to be more accessible to Washington, DC and our agency partners.

2002

2002

APPL launches customized fee-for service training for members, non-members and agency partners. This includes a new cooperative agreement with the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network for workshops and consultation; a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sales outlet training; and training for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Partnership Development held as a pre-convention seminar at the annual convention in Charleston, South Carolina. APPL’s membership exceeds 80 members for the first time.

2003

2003

The APPL Training Corps is launched, introducing a cadre of ten trainers drawn from APPL’s membership to deliver workshops and seminars to APPL constituents. A core curriculum is assembled in print format, providing the basis for APPL customizable workshops. Two-day agency-focused pre-seminars are delivered at the APPL annual convention in Albuquerque for member and agency staff of the NPS, USACE, USDAFS, and BLM. APPL keeps its members informed and provides input on the GAO review of NPS policies affecting cooperating associations and friends groups. APPL signs its first cooperative agreement with BLM, a memorandum of understanding with the USDAFS, and its first memorandum of understanding with the USACE. APPL introduces an electronic version of its monthly Newswire.

2004

2004

APPL completes 25 years of service as a partner to the NPS and five years serving multiple federal and state agencies. Interagency efforts are strengthened with APPL’s participation on the planning committee for the Joint Ventures: Partners in Stewardship multi-agency conference held in Los Angeles. A new APPL Media and Partnership Awards program is launched, with awards presented at the annual convention in St. Louis, Missouri.

APPL engages its membership and partners in a strategic planning process, culminating with a planning forum in Mesa, Arizona in October involving representatives from 23 member organizations. A new mission of “fostering stewardship and appreciation of public lands and historic sites through effective partnerships” is to be achieved through five focus areas that include: capacity building; collective representation; information sharing and dialogue; marketing and public awareness; and membership, operations and governance.

2005

2005

Nearly 700 individuals convene in March to make the 2005 APPL Portland Pathways a success, and APPL facilitates the NPS Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Conference in April for 200 participants. Member input is gathered and written comment submitted on the revised NPS Directors Order 21: Donations and Fundraising. APPL’s bylaws and board structure are changed by a vote of the membership to move from a board of nine directors drown solely from and elected by full member associations, to a board of a minimum of eleven directors screened and recommend by a nominating committee and approved by the full board of directors.

2006

2006

APPL’s convention is held in Little Rock, Arkansas. APPL member affinity forums are launched as a way in which APPL members can become engaged in the work of the association relative to agency interactions or areas of association work, such as educational outreach. APPL institutes Next Generation summer Intern program with a recent graduate of George Washington University.

2007

2007

APPL’s convention is held in Sacramento, California. National Park Service holds a Centennial Challenge listening session to receive input from non-profit partners. A new affinity group for those engaged in Field Institutes held their first forum. California-based cooperating associations working with national and state parks holds their first forum. 85 nonprofit organizations belong to APPL.

2008

2008

APPL’s convention held in Denver, CO. APPL delivers first Partnering with Friends course in the NPS NE Region. APPL cooperating association members meet with Washington Office leadership, and with members of the NPS Cooperating Association Steering Committee to discuss policies and procedures impacting these partnerships. APPL joins NPS Centennial Coalition to advance the agency’s goals by 2016 and increase public support.

2009

2009

APPL launches its first Emerging Leader Summit at the APPL convention in Baltimore to engage young people of diverse backgrounds in the public lands dialogue. APPL’s committee structure is revitalized. The Government Relations Committee develops a transition strategy to engage new administration and agency leadership. The first APPL online auction of unique public land experiences is a huge success, raising over $10,000 for educational programs.

2010

2010

APPL's education program continues to grow as fee-for-service trainings increase and expand to larger audiences through distance learning initatives. The 2010 APPL Convention & Trade Show is held in San Diego, CA and brings together over 400 public lands professionals, advocates, and students from around the country. The new Bridge to Tomorrow Program builds on the 2009 Emerging Leaders Summit, engaging 13 young public lands professionals in session programming and offering them a platform to share ideas with convention participants. In October APPL kicks off its second online auction.

2011

2011

The APPL Partnership Convention & Trade Show is held in in Dallas, Texas from February 21-24.

2012

2012

The APPL Partnership Convention & Trade Show is held in in Las Vegas, NV from March 4-8.

2013

2013

The APPL Partnership Convention & Trade Show is held in in Portland, OR from March 10-14.

Executive Director, Donna Asbury, retires and Dan Puskar is named new Executive Director of APPL.