Environmentalists are voicing concern about a soon-to-be-implemented National Park Service policy that would enable parks to share profits from research within their boundaries.
Groups including Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility say the plan would be impractical, unnecessarily costly and compromise resource protection and ethical principles.
At issue is bioprospecting, or searching for organisms with uses in chemistry and medicine. An example is the discovery of bacteria in Yellowstone National Park that made DNA testing more practical.
Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash says the plan would neither change how park research is conducted nor incur additional bureaucratic costs except when researchers might profit.