ConocoPhillips and Yellowstone National Park

A century of support and collaboration

ABOVE: Heather White, president and CEO of Yellowstone Forever, second from left, and Meredith McMahon, director of corporate relations of Yellowstone Forever, present ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance, left, and Joe Marushack, president of the Alaska business unit, with an arrowhead plaque and framed print of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone to thank ConocoPhillips for its longtime support of Yellowstone National Park.
by Gus Morgan

Yellowstone National Park is the rock star of the natural world.

People love it. And for good reason.

It’s an environmental masterpiece, featuring everything from bison to bears to geysers and hot springs. The park’s star power comes from its diverse mix of plants and animals and unique geologic features.

And since 1917, ConocoPhillips has been one of its biggest fans, providing millions of dollars in direct funding as well as leadership support.

Bobcat in snow
Bobcat along the Madison River. Photography by Neal Herbert

To commemorate their 100-year partnership, ConocoPhillips and Yellowstone officials recently gathered at ConocoPhillips’ Houston headquarters to reflect on their collaborative efforts to protect and preserve the world’s first national park, which opened in 1872.

Enduring support for an American icon

Over the years, ConocoPhillips has supported a wide range of initiatives and projects at the park.

Some noteworthy ones include helping restore Inspiration Point and the Roosevelt Arch, preserving the historical Haynes Photo Shop and repairing more than 1,000 miles of park trails. Other efforts have included donating firefighting equipment, protecting native fish and conducting a recycling study to help Yellowstone become one of the world’s greenest parks.

Ryan Lance speaking to group of people
ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance talks about his favorite Yellowstone memories during a recent event in Houston to commemorate ConocoPhillips’ 100-year partnership with Yellowstone National Park.

Leading the way

But ConocoPhillips’ support involves more than just charitable donations. Its employees and leaders continue to take an active role in supporting projects and programs to preserve this national treasure.

Since the mid-1990s, ConocoPhillips leaders have served on the board of the Yellowstone National Park’s official nonprofit partner, Yellowstone Forever, and its predecessor Yellowstone Park Foundation.

Inspired by Yellowstone

ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance served on the nonprofit’s board from 2011–2012, and Joe Marushack, president of the Alaska business unit, is a current Yellowstone Forever board member.

“All of us who’ve been involved in this effort know just how special Yellowstone is,” said Lance, during the commemoration.

Lance, who grew up in Montana, said the park inspired his lifelong interest in geology, science and nature. He was five years old when he first visited the park and has continued to visit regularly over the years.

Roosevelt arch
Sunrise at Roosevelt Arch. Photography by NPS / Jacob W. Frank

“We’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to help in its preservation,” he said, “and we look forward to the next century of working together.”

Fond memories

Marushack said Yellowstone National Park is a special place that should be preserved for centuries to come.

Marushack grew up in Wyoming, just a few hours from Yellowstone.

“I have many fond memories of family vacations there — camping, enjoying the wildlife and taking in the picturesque views throughout the park,” he said. Marushack even spent his honeymoon at the park.

Being a board member, Marushack said, has given him the opportunity to blend his personal passion to preserve nature, support the company’s commitment to protect the environment and help steward programs that allow people to experience and enjoy Yellowstone.

“It really makes me proud to work for a company that has such a history with Yellowstone,” he said.

Herd of bison walking toward camera
Bison herd with calves in Lamar Valley. Photography by Neal Herbert

100 years of supporting wildlife conservation, education

At the commemoration, Heather White, president and CEO of Yellowstone Forever, thanked ConocoPhillips for its financial support and volunteer leadership over the years.

“ConocoPhillips doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk for Yellowstone,” she said, “not only with financial support but also with strategic thinking and relationship building.”

Such support, White said, has not only helped meet the park’s needs but has helped create a remarkable experience for visitors.

She praised ConocoPhillips’ support of wildlife conservation and for furthering the park’s efforts to educate the next generation of environmental stewards, so they have a strong connection to nature.

To thank ConocoPhillips, White presented Lance and Marushack with an arrowhead plaque and a framed print of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Committed to protecting the environment

ConocoPhillips’ work with Yellowstone is part of its strategic Global Signature Program. In this program, ConocoPhillips works with community partners to protect species and habitats of concern and advance conservation efforts.