Benefits-Sharing in the National Parks
Environmental Impact Statement
The Federal Technology Transfer Act defines the term "Federal laboratory" to mean "a facility or group of facilities owned, leased, or otherwise used by a federal agency, a substantial purpose of which is the performance of research, development, or engineering by employees of the Federal Government." 15 USC § 3710a(e). The statute gives federal agencies broad discretion at deciding what qualifies as a laboratory. The Senate Report for this law explains that "[t]his is a broad definition which is intended to include the widest possible range of research institutions operated by the Federal Government." A federal court has concluded that national park units hosting significant scientific research activities (such as Yellowstone) satisfy this legal definition.