Natural Science Collections Alliance

Our members are part of an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities.

NPS Says Scientists Must Share

The National Park Service (NPS) plans to require researchers using specimens collected from national parks to enter into a benefits-sharing agreement with NPS if their research produces discoveries or inventions with some valuable commercial application.  Discoveries would not be permitted to be used for commercial applications without the benefits-sharing agreement.  Under the new rules, researchers with commercially successful discoveries would provide monetary or non-monetary compensation to the NPS on an annual basis, subject to the terms of their benefit-sharing agreement.

The decision was issued in a final Environmental Impact Statement published in the Federal Register (  The decision is an outgrowth of several commercial applications of scientific discoveries made in national parks, the most notable being the invention of PCR from the study of a microorganism discovered in Yellowstone National Park.

The NPS will implement the requirement for a benefits-sharing agreement no sooner than 30 days from November 23, 2009.  This requirement will not affect current requirements or the application process for obtaining a permit to conduct research in a national park, as the benefits-sharing agreement would be initiated after permitted research was conducted.

More information is available at (select “Washington Office” from the park menu and then follow the link for benefits-sharing).

NPS Says Scientists Must Share
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