In early April the National Park Service announced the Record of Decision on their proposed policy of research benefits sharing, or bioprospecting (H/T The New York Times). I wrote about this back in December when the environmental impact statement was released. As expected, Alternative B was selected, with the condition that any confidentiality laws would be complied with concerning royalty rate and related information. Benefits-sharing will be implemented on a case-by-case basis, with proceeds that the National Park Service receives used to support conservation efforts above and beyond park budget levels.
Of note is the summary of public comments. Apparently the National Park Service is wise to the bulk comment practices of advocacy groups:
“About 9,600 individuals and organizations responded during the DEIS [Draft Environmental Impact Statement] comment period, and all but 190 submitted form correspondences. As a result, most comments fell into two categories based on information from one of two advocacy group websites.”