October 20, 2006
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The National Park Service (NPS) is making another move toward commercialization of the commons.
NPS recently released a long-awaited environmental impact statement that could clear the way for corporations to “bioprospect” the natural resources in our public lands. This sell-out scheme commercializes instead of conserves the best of our biological resources on public lands.
A comment period is now open, and this is the time for the public to have a say in what NPS does with public lands. Please send a letter in support of Alternative C, which only allows noncommercial or public interest research and development of nation park resources, and tell NPS “Don’t sell out our National Parks!”
PEER is part of a Parks Not for Sale coalition working to protect the natural heritage of our National Parks and halt plans to exploit these resources for profit. Visit the website for more information.
A little background history:
1997: Yellowstone National Park commemorated its 125th anniversary by announcing that it had made an agreement with Diversa Corporation to give them a non-exclusive right to "bioprospect" microorganisms in Yellowstone in exchange for a share in potential future earnings.
1998: PEER teamed up with the Edmonds Institute, the Alliance for Wild Rockies, and the International Center for Technology Assessment to file a lawsuit pointing out that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) required an environmental assessment.
1999: The District Court ruled in our favor and suspended the agreement between the National Park Service (NPS) and Diversa Corp.
Sept. 2006: NPS finally published the court-ordered Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and opened a less-than-90-day public comment period.
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