A slippery slope toward privatizing our national parks

CREDO action
Tell the National Park Service: Keep corporate sponsorships out of our parks

Tell National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis:
"Cancel your plan to allow corporate sponsorships, logos, and branding in our national parks. Our national parks should be adequately funded by Congress, not dependent on corporate commercialization."

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Dear 5849376,

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of our national parks system, which one American historian called "the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst."

But because of chronic neglect and underfunding from Congress, the National Park Service (NPS) is set to adopt a very bad idea for our national parks: Corporate sponsorships that run the risk of plastering our most treasured sites of America's natural heritage with corporate branding and logos.

The new rules, inserted into an order by NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis that will take effect by the end of the year, would "swing open the gates of the 411 national parks, monuments and conservation areas to an unprecedented level of corporate donations."1 We need to flood Jarvis's office with opposition to this idea and let him know that this is the wrong way to address Congress' abysmal neglect of our parks.

Tell the National Park Service: No corporate sponsorships in our national parks. Click here to sign the petition.

It's not a secret that Washington has given short shrift to our national parks. For years NPS has faced a staggering backlog of maintenance and repair in our national parks. Due to Congress's neglect, the cost of that backlog has now grown to nearly $12 billion.2

But plastering our parks with corporate sponsorships isn't a solution to Washington's neglect of our national parks. It's capitulation.

The new order from NPS Director Jarvis would allow parks to start selling "naming rights," which would allow the highest corporate bidder to place their name or logo – like a Nike Swoosh or a Starbucks logo – directly on select spaces and areas of our national parks like park buildings, benches, auditoriums, and visitor centers.3

Our national parks should be a refuge from the rampant advertising and commercialization that surrounds us on a daily basis. They serve as a reminder of America's natural heritage and of the things money can't buy.

That's why we need to tell NPS right now that this is the wrong way to fix the problem Congress has created. The solution is to support our parks with the adequate funding it needs, not corporate sponsorships that will flood our precious public lands with obtrusive marketing and logos that undermine the very purpose of these parks.

Tell the National Park Service: No corporate sponsorships in our national parks. Click here to sign the petition.

Thank you for speaking out.

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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  1. Lisa Rein, "Yosemite, sponsored by Starbucks? National Parks to start selling some naming rights." The Washington Post, May 9, 2016.
  2. Jenna McLaughlin, "Parks and Wreck: The Feds Need $11.5 Billion to Fix Our Public Lands," The Mother Jones, March 25, 2015.
  3. "National Park Service Director's Order #21: Philanthropic Partnerships."

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