The National Park Service is considering allowing individual donors and corporations to place logos and signage within the parks’ boundaries.
Under the current proposal, visitors wouldn’t see billboards within the parks. There’s no indication of sponsorship either. For example, you’ll probably never visit the Budweiser Smoky Mountains or the Coca-Cola Cumberland Gap anytime soon.
The NPS is calling it a “donor recognition program,” and it would include signage and logos on benches, programs and the occasional NPS-owned vehicle. Despite the proposed parameters, critics believe it sets a bad precedent.
Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert program and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood are leading the charge against the NPS proposal.
The NPS hasn’t made things easy on itself. Per protocol, it held a public commenting period in May. Instead of offering some transparency, NPS kept those comments under wraps—and it’s clear why.