Who We Are

Black Hills Parks & Forests Association is the official non-profit partner of Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Scotts Bluff National Monument, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Black Hills National Forest, Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands, and the National Grasslands Visitor Center.

We provide vital funding to our public agency partners in support of their education goals.


Black Hills Parks and Forests Association supports wonder and exploration through stewardship of your public lands.


Black Hills Parks and Forests Association ignites a spark of passion for conserving and sustaining public lands for all generations.

History of BHPFA

Black Hills Parks & Forests Association (BHPFA) began in 1946 as the Wind Cave Library Association, an organization dedicated to supporting interpretive, educational and scientific programs and services at Wind Cave National Park. The name was changed in 1952 to the Black Hills Area Association since all National Park Service units in the Black Hills operated as one administrative unit. The name was again changed in 1957 to Black Hills Natural History Association, a more accurate reflection of organization activities at that time.

In 1963, the name was changed to Wind Cave Natural History Association following the separation of Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, and Devils Tower into their own NPS administrative units. Wind Cave NP and Jewel Cave NM joined forces in 1984 to become Wind Cave/Jewel Cave Natural History Association.

The current Black Hills Parks and Forests Association name was coined in 1988 when we welcomed Custer State Park and Black Hills National Forest to the team. Buffalo Gap National Grasslands Fall River Ranger District in Hot Springs signed on in 2002 and the National Grasslands Visitor Center in Wall joined in 2008. In 2015, the Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands became the newest partner, adding 5 more retail locations in Nebraska and South Dakota.

In 2020 BHPFA expanded our footprint in the Nebraska Panhandle when we were named the official non-profit partner for Scotts Bluff National Monument and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.  Currently, BHPFA operates sales outlets in 16 locations among our 7 partners.

What are Cooperating Associations?

Cooperating Associations assist in the production of site-specific products, distribute educational and scientific publications produced by partner agencies, donate materials for use in interpretive programs and exhibits, and work to secure grants and funding. This is accomplished through park store sales, membership support, publication and product development, research funding, and other educational programs and activities. A portion of revenue raised through these means is given back to partner agencies to support educational and interpretive programs, this allocation is typically called Agency Aid. Cooperating associations must hold a federally tax-exempt, not-for-profit status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.