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What is Benefits Sharing?

Collected specimen. Photo by NPS.
Collected specimen, Yellowstone NP. Photo by NPS.

All studies conducted in parks provide the NPS with some type of benefit. Scientific studies support the NPS mission by providing the Service, the scientific community, and the public with an understanding of park resources, processes, and values. Benefits sharing occurs when NPS receives monetary or other benefits from a discovery or invention with a commercial application resulting from research originating under an NPS Scientific Research and Collecting Permit, or other permit or authorization. Benefits sharing may result in improved conservation of resources and enhances the public benefits arising from research that occurs in parks. The entity with a proposed commercial use enters into an agreement with NPS, prior to commercialization, wherein NPS accepts benefits or declines benefits.

The commercial use or sale of collected specimens themselves is prohibited by 36 CFR 2.1 and NPS Management Policies 2006 4.2.4.

The overall basis for NPS negotiating benefits sharing is the NPS role in preserving and providing access to the research site and the opportunity to collect, study and use the resources therein. This NPS contribution often represents decades of work. In some cases, NPS also makes available research data, conclusions, or other assistance that informs and supports the research permittee's, or other authorized researcher's, efforts.

Last Updated: January 03, 2017