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Benefits-Sharing in the National Parks
Environmental Impact Statement

What is Benefits-Sharing?

We are pleased to announce that the National Park Service (NPS) Benefits- Sharing Final Environmental Impact Statement has been completed. Select "Washington Office" under "Choose a park" and then click "Benefits Sharing."
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Benefits-sharing refers to agreements between researchers, their institutions or companies, and the National Park Service that return benefits to the park when the results of cooperative research lead to the development of something that is commercially valuable.

The National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998 authorizes NPS to negotiate benefits-sharing agreements with researchers: "The Secretary [of the Interior] may enter into negotiations with the research community and private industry for equitable, efficient benefits-sharing arrangements." (16 USC Sec. 5935)

Photo of Collage for Benefit-Sharing in the National Parks
In 1995, Yellowstone National Park began to look for a way that benefits-sharing might work.  Park managers concluded that Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) under the Federal Technology Transfer Act would be one of several legal and appropriate ways to implement benefits-sharing agreements and enhance resource conservation. CRADAs include a commitment by a non-federal scientist or company to share reasonable benefits with the park. Benefits may take many forms, including, for instance, information vital to the protection of park resources.

CRADAs are used routinely by many federal agencies on collaborative research projects with other scientists. For instance, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy, both federal agencies, are engaged in hundreds of active CRADAs in an effort to develop new medicines and energy technologies. In April 2000, a federal judge upheld the use of CRADAs in Yellowstone (1.6m pdf file).

update on 11/23/2009  I   http://nature.nps.gov/benefitssharing/index.cfm   I  Email: Contact Us
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