The Benefits to Parks

Parks may receive non-monetary and/or monetary benefits. Parks must use these benefits to enhance NPS resource conservation, although some of the benefits may also be used to offset administrative costs associated with the benefits-sharing program.

  • Example of a monetary benefit: A biopharmaceutical company working on developing a vaccine using an enzyme that originated with a specimen collected in a park agrees in a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to make specific payments at the conclusion of each development phase as described in a development plan.
  • Example of a non-monetary benefit: A company that made an invention based on study of toxins from ants collected in a park agrees to participate in the park's ongoing inventory of insects for six years.

Case Study

In 1999, as part of a benefits-sharing agreement, Diversa Corporation, a biotechnology company, used its expertise in DNA analysis to develop a pedigree for the endangered Yellowstone wolves at no charge to the Federal government. This pedigree was the first ever established for a wild wolf population.

The pedigree helps park managers better understand the dynamics of the wolf population. It allows biologists to accurately assess the genetic health of the park's wolf population and enables identification of any individual wolves that are illegally killed. In addition, the pedigree facilitates detection of wolves from other areas, such as Idaho or northwest Montana, when they immigrate to Greater Yellowstone.
A black wolf stands in the snow
Black wolf in Yellowstone National Park.

NPS Photo / Jacob W. Frank

Last updated: August 7, 2018