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Benefits-Sharing in the National Parks

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The Benefits-Sharing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) concerns a Servicewide programmatic proposal to clarify the rights and responsibilities of researchers as well as NPS management in connection with the use of valuable discoveries, inventions, and other developments that result from research involving research specimens lawfully collected from units of the National Park System.

The EIS examines whether the National Park Service should share in potential scientific and economic benefits when researchers studying park resources invent something commercially valuable based on their research.

The EIS evaluates three alternatives for managing benefits-sharing with the scientific community. The Preferred Alternative requires researchers who study park scientific specimens to enter into benefits-sharing agreements with the NPS before using their research results for any commercial purpose. Engaging park researchers in benefits-sharing agreements could return scientific benefits, in-kind services and sometimes royalties and other monetary benefits to parks for conservation-related purposes. Another alternative prohibits scientific research involving NPS specimens if associated with the development of commercial products. The No-Action alternative would allow research that may lead to commercial products to continue in parks but without any obligation to share any resulting benefits with the NPS.

Contact Information
Benefits-Sharing EIS Team
Center for Resources
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190

E-mail: BenefitsEIS@nps.gov