Petition: Keep ads out of national parks

Cox Media Group
George Colli

A petition carrying the signatures of more than 200,000 people opposed to loosening restrictions on corporate sponsorships at national parks was delivered to the National Park Service during a meeting on Friday.

“These are our public lands and the Congress, taxpayers should be funding the parks,” said Kristen Strader of the advocacy group Public Citizen. Strader was joined at the Park Service meeting by a representative from the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood.

The sponsorship policy would allow the cash-strapped National Park Service to actively seek donations from corporate vendors, loosen rules on donor recognition, drop the current policy that parks must be free of commercialism and lift various restrictions on naming rights in parks.

“You won’t have Yosemite sponsored by Walmart, but you will have plenty of advertising within the park,” Strader said. “You might have benches that have corporations on them in script, stones within the park that have corporate logos on them. The answer is not to give them up to corporations and let commercial interests come in.”

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