Should the National Parks allow corporations to put their name and logo on buildings and other features?



Nicolas Montana


Home Depot’s Yellowstone National Park. Merrill Lynch’s Yosemite National Park. Exxon Mobil’s Grand Canyon National Park. You’re probably scared of the thought of these national treasures being linked to corporate sponsors, but thanks to new federal rule changes, this possibility is closer than you think. Since it was established, the National Park Service has prevented attempts to commercialize these nature preserves. In the past, the parks have limited commemorations of large donations to modest, easy-to-overlook plaques. Now, during the park service’s centennial celebration, the organization is deciding to court corporate money by offering up a lot of opportunities for naming rights. The government is hoping to avoid going too far by maintaining a ban on out-and-out advertisements or naming park roads after companies. What is allowed, though, seems not much better. Company names and logos can be conspicuously attached to things such as buildings, benches, visitor guides, buses, etc.

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