Don't Let Our National Parks Become Glorified Corporate Advertisements

We are very concerned by the news that the National Park Service is now able to sell naming rights to corporate sponsors. Parks are a rare sacred space in modern society that are free from corporate influence, and should stay that way. Rule changes that allow companies to display their names and logos prominently for a "donation" do nothing to enhance the natural experience, and open up our Parks to undue influence from corporations.

The Koch Brothers want to open up federal lands adjacent to the Grand Canyon National Park for uranium mining - should they be allowed to sponsor the Grand Canyon visitor shuttle? By doing so they would be able to send the message that they care passionately about the park, while also buying access and influence with respected leaders in the Grand Canyon ecosystem. This is a bad idea that the Park Service leadership must rethink and reject.

We understand that the National Park Service is in need of money and therefore in a difficult situation. Still, we beg the NPS to ignore Congress's offer to let the parks system raise that money by inviting corporate influence. It shouldn't take commercializing the parks to preserve them.

Please rethink and reject the plan to allow corporate sponsorships within our national park system. Wallace Stegner called the national parks "the best idea we ever had." And generations of Americans agree with him. As such, our parks deserve to stay clear of the slippery slope of undue corporate influence.
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