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169 U. Pa. L. Rev. 33 (2020-2021)
National Parks, Incorporated

handle is hein.journals/pnlr169 and id is 37 raw text is: ARTICLE
NATIONAL PARKS, INCORPORATED
SARAH E. LIGHTt
Public lands and private enterprise exist in an uncomfortable equilibrium. Since
their founding, the national parks have embraced some forms of private enterprise,
including privately-run accommodations, to bring members of the public to the parks
to enjoy and appreciate their beauty. Corporations have provided financial support to
the national parks through philanthropy. And private firms have benefitted from
marketing their associations with the parks. Marketing campaigns that call on the
feeling of being in the woods and philanthropy to the parks that may benefit
corporations by association do not deplete resources or ruin aesthetic experiences like
a strip mine would. Yet they nonetheless in some fashion dilute the essential publicness
of the national parks. In debates over the purpose of public lands and the proper role
of private enterprise within them, relationships between private firms and public
lands in which the firms neither extract commodities from the parks nor physically
harm them have not received sufficient attention. This Article makes three claims.
First, as a descriptive matter, it identifies a set of non-extractive relationships between
private firms and national parks as a distinct phenomenon. Second, as a normative
matter, the Article argues that these relationships deserve greater attention in both
policy and scholarship because they shed light on important questions about the
significance of the public in national parks. Finally, as a prescriptive matter, the
Article concludes that these non-extractive relationships between private firms and
t   2020 Sarah E. Light. Draft 2020-12-12 20:19. Associate Professor of Legal Studies and
Business Ethics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Thanks to Suneal Bedi, Eric Biber,
Vincent Buccola, Holly Doremus, Bruce Huber, Alexandra Klass, Mae McDonnell, J.B. Ruhl, Jim
Salzman, Sarah Schindler, Christopher Serkin, Deborah Small, Lior Strahilevitz, and David Zaring,
as well as participants in the Law and Public Affairs Program at Princeton University, the Faculty
Workshop at Vanderbilt Law School, and the Legal Studies and Business Ethics Workshop at the
Wharton School for helpful feedback on early stages of this project. Thanks to Shivani Chatterjee
and Yann Pfitzer for outstanding research assistance.

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