The National Park Service (NPS) policies allow filming and photography when it is consistent with the protection and public enjoyment of park resources, and when the activities assist in the NPS fulfilling its mission. Commercial filming and still photography activities may not harm natural, cultural, wilderness, or recreational resources and cannot conflict with the public's normal use and enjoyment of the park.
Who Needs a Permit?
How do I apply for a permit and when?
Please allow up to four weeks in advance of your activity for the application, review, and permit process. If you want to film in wilderness, six weeks of time may be necessary depending on the complexity and location of the activity.
What are other potential costs for the permit?
Filming activities authorized by permit may be supervised by an NPS employee to assure full compliance with all terms of the permit. In operations involving few people and minimal equipment or, taking place where there is little possibility of damage or violation of other permit requirements or, inconvenience to the visitor, filming activities will be spot monitored to assure compliance. The level and type of supervision will be based on the extent and complexity of filming activities. A minimum $150 fee is charged for this monitoring (one employee for up to three hours or less). The monitoring fee will not exceed $400 per day (a day consists of a maximum of eight hours). Daily use in excess of eight hours will be charged at $75 per each additional hour of use.
Effective May 15, 2006, the Department of the Interior requires the collection of location fees for all commercial filming and still photography permits. The location fee is in addition to cost recovery charges that are already being collected.
Motion Pictures/Video Location Fee Schedule
Still Photography location fee schedule
Certain activities may trigger the need for the permittee to post a refundable damage bond. The amount of the bond will be equivalent to the estimated cost to the NPS for cleanup, repair or rehabilitation of resources or facilities that could potentially be impacted by the permit activities. At the conclusion of the permit, the bond will be returned to the permittee after the costs of cleanup, repair, or rehabilitation are deducted.
What is the process after I submit my application?
Once you return the application for filming, your application will be reviewed initially, and a determination made whether to proceed or whether additional information is necessary. At that point, the coordinator will provide an application number to pay $200 application fee to proceed with the review and permitting process. The permitting process allows discussion of the proposed project, provides an opportunity to understand policies and presents avenues for discovery of possible alternatives. It also serves to establish an administrative record of filming activities.
Commercial film permits will typically be issued after a pre-permit conference briefing by the Film Permit Coordinator or her/his representative and in no case before the application and application fee have been properly submitted. All locations must be approved prior to filming and depending on the complexity of the proposed project; one or more on-site visits to proposed locations may be necessary. Smaller, less involved projects may allow a pre-permit conference via telephone.
Where can I obtain more information?
Email the Special Use Permit coordinator or contact the park at (907) 683-9532 and ask to speak with the coordinator.
Last updated: November 22, 2022