By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The nonprofit arm of Yellowstone National Park launched a fundraiser this week, selling a pass that won’t be good for another 150 years.
The Inheritance Pass, which costs $1,500, is a new fundraising idea developed by Yellowstone Forever, the official nonprofit partner of the park. Since the fundraiser only launched Monday, nonprofit President and CEO Lisa Diekmann did not have a number on how many passes had been purchased so far.
“We thought this was a great opportunity to raise awareness, bring in new stewards and share with people the opportunity to support Yellowstone,” she told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “This [pass] is really making a donation to Yellowstone now for projects that provide that margin of excellence, protect the wildlife, preserve the history, the heritage, the trails and enhance the visitor experience.”
For the $1,500 price tag, a donor will receive a Yellowstone park pass to use for a 1-year period in 2022 and 2023 and a second pass for a person to use in 2172, just in time for Yellowstone’s 300th anniversary.
Diekmann said the staff will keep a record of all people who purchase an Inheritance Pass, just in case the pass becomes lost to time after a few decades or so. She compared the pass to something like a savings bond or a time capsule.
The pass will be available for sale until Dec. 31.
Other instances of the public not being allowed to access modern age projects include a John Malkovich movie entitled “100 Years” that is not to be released until 2115 and the release of “The Day the Clown Cried,” a controversial Jerry Lewis film that involves him playing a clown during the Holocaust, which is not to be released by the Library of Congress until at least 2024.
The reaction to the Inheritance Pass, so far, has been positive, Diekmann said. However, some have questioned why the second pass can’t be used for 150 years.
“Some people have said, ‘That’s a long way away and I’m not going to be here,’ but that’s the point,” she said. “Yellowstone will evolve and change over the next 150 years, but what won’t change is people’s love for the park.”
While Diekmann thinks Yellowstone will likely change somewhat in the next 150 years, overall, she said she believes it will mostly be the same.
“Yellowstone is always changing, but it will be protected with our help, that’s not going to change,” she said.