As the idea behind the Global Glacier Initiative advances, it has become time to formalize the mission into an organization. The Global Glacier Initiative, Inc. has been formed as a public benefit corporation in the US State of Wyoming. As of this writing, the exemption application for 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service is underway, itself a very detailed task. While charitable objectives are indeed noble, the amount of paperwork necessary to codify the mission and safeguard tax-protected funds for donors is significant.
It is part conceptual and part pragmatic that the organization is being formed and operated as a nonprofit. From a pragmatic standpoint, previous posts have alluded to the limitations of operating on a for profit author model on many levels. From a conceptual level, I make clear that glaciers largely exist on public land and belong to humanity. It would only make sense that an initiative such as this would be operated on a selfless and public basis.
There are many practical considerations behind the choice of the State of Wyoming as a locale for registration. From a mission standpoint, it is the place where the very first glacier was seen by the founder from the air, and it was the launching pad for the first glacier conquest: capturing the glaciers of the US Rockies before a move to Europe. That task was done based out of Alpine Airpark in the western part of the state, about one hour by air from the Wind River Range and 40 minutes to the glaciers of the Tetons.
The image for this blog post is of the Gannett Glacier in the Wind River Range, Wyoming, the largest glacier in the United States Rockies. It was taken in August of 2015 after an extremely dry winter and before an explosive fire season that would, within days, render flying impossible for three solid weeks. That is one of the many struggles of North American glacier aerial photography, that prime glacier pursuits occur precisely when the air is clogged with smoke.