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The Fallout from Director's Order 21


    Sometimes, paying attention simply to the "big picture" isn't the best way to run an organization. Sometimes you have to pay some time scrutinizing the fine print, the little things.
    And according to some folks in Maine, home of Acadia National Park, there are some problems deep within Director's Order 21, that infamous directive National Park Service Director Fran Mainella issued in the name of luring more corporate sponsorship money to the parks, that could wind up gumming up the works for park foundations that are trying to raise funds for the parks.

    The problem, as outlined in a story Anne Kozak wrote for the Mount Desert Islander the other day, is the hubris of additional federal regulations groups and individuals will have to jump through to donate their dollars.
    Ken Olson, the outgoing president of Friends of Acadia, told Ms. Kozak that groups such as his will have to wade through 90 pages of guidelines before they try to entice donations to the park. Of primary concern, says Mr. Olson, is that park foundations will have to forward to the federal government the names of any donors of $50,000 or more so the government can vet those individuals to ensure that they're worthy donors.
    To alleviate that sort of nightmare, a group known as the Friends Alliance, which is comprised of three dozen or so non-profit park advocacy groups around the country, has written Mainella with a request that she drop that provision from Director's Order 21.
    Another distressing section of Director's Order 21, according to Olson, is that the National Park Service wants to review all fund-raising programs before they are launched. These and other problems have park officials and advocates worried about their long-time donors.
    "There's great competition for funding from private philanthropy, and if we make it difficult to donate to national parks, it could force donors to go elsewhere," Acadia National Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele told the Mount Desert Islander.
    You can read the whole story at the Mount Desert Islander. And perhaps someone should send a copy or two to Director Mainella.

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