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Viagra Falls? National Parks Exec Wants To Sell Park Ad Space To Corporations (VIDEO)


The National Park systems are changing their rules on naming. The park system was founded over a century ago, and they have fought against corporate sponsorship for years.

Parks have relied on philanthropy for much of their funding, but they may be branching out soon. They are walking a fine line here in asking for corporate donations to the parks while trying not to appear as if they are selling public space to the highest bidder either.

Director Jonathan Jarvis would like to open up the 411 parks, monuments, and conservation areas in our country to corporate donations. Jarvis proposed these changes in a 33-page report in March that should take effect by the end of the year.

They will not put corporate slogans on monuments or landmarks, but the corporations would get their logo displayed prominently. Companies will be able to earmark gifts for recurring park expenses and not just one-time donations.

The new policy would give temporary naming rights to things like park buildings. They could also put their logos on temporary signage, printed materials, interpretative exhibits, and digital media. The park system is looking for tasteful ways to recognize donors.

Dan Puskar, the director of the Public Lands Alliance, says that this is a good thing. The change comes during their centennial year, and they are going on a $350 million fundraising campaign.

Jeff Ruch, executive director of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility had this to say about it:

“Large corporate donations exert a not-so-subtle gravitational pull on park managers increasingly dependent on these donors for their budgets. We are concerned that influence peddling will soon become a major recreational activity in our national parks.”

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Park Service spokesman, Jeffery G. Olsen, said this in an email:

“DO21, (Park Service shorthand for the order) is intended to empower NPS employees to take a more active role in the philanthropic process, but by no means requires it. The realities of NPS funding or lack thereof means that private dollars are going to be increasingly more important as we move forward and the expectations and responsibilities of the Park Service grow. DO21 simply recognizes this evolution.”

Could we see Yellowstone presented by Disney…or Viagra? Who knows! Hopefully, the Park Service will find a good way to give credit to donors without making the parks look bad.

Here is a PSA about the National Park Service:

Featured image via Getty/Robert Alexander

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Written by Natalie Dailey

Hi, I'm from Huntsville, AL. I'm a Liberal living in the Bible Belt, which can be quite challenging at times. I'm passionate about many issues including mental health, women's rights, gay rights, and many others. Check out my blog weneedtotalkaboutmentalhealth.com