First State National Historical Park (NHP) is home to many beautiful rolling hills and winding creeks and rivers, which makes it a popular place for special uses in the park. First State NHP has the authority and responsibility to evaluate applicant requests and to permit, manage, and/or deny all special uses within the park. Therefore, before any permit will be granted, consideration will be given to potential park resource impacts, as well as impacts to visitor use, access to park sites, or park administration.
The National Park Service may permit a special park use if the proposed activity will not:
Further, the proposed activity must meet the following additional criteria to be considered for a permit:
Requests for special use permits for events should be made by submitting an application no more than six (6) months in advance and at least three (3) months prior to the date of the planned event. There is a $50.00 non-refundable fee for processing your application for a special use permit. Please return the application form to request a permit as soon as possible. All questions should be answered as accurately and completely as possible. This will assist the park in determining the appropriateness of the planned activities and help to estimate NPS costs that may be incurred in managing, facilitating, or supporting the use. Submission of the application form and fee payment does not imply permission for any special use or event.
First State NHP
The park's permit coordinator will reach out to the applicant once they have received and reviewed permit application. If the activities outlined in the application meet the criteria above, the application will move onto compliance. Every permit application goes through compliance to ensure that the park is reducing any impacts to the natural and cultural resources that may occur from the proposed activity. The permit coordinator may reach out to the applicant with additional questions at this point.
Permit ApplicationsDownloadable Application
There are cost recovery fees associated with the administration and management of special use permits for costs incurred by the park. It states in the special park use guidelines that “it is the policy of the NPS to charge permit fees for special uses. Permit fees should reflect the fair market value of a benefit provided the permittee. The fair market value of a special use is the value of the lands or facilities used and the NPS cost incurred in managing, facilitating, or supporting the use.” Fees charged for administering a permit may include the following:
Special events are activities, such as organizational special events, religious gatherings, ceremonies, large group activity camps or rendezvous, and encampments.
Regulations authorize the conducting of special events provided:
The NPS will not permit the public staging of special events that are conducted primarily for the material or financial benefit of the organizers or participants, or which involve commercialization of in-park advertising or publicity.
A special use permit often requires general commercial liability insurance. The insurance and the permittee indemnify the park from liability, injury, or damages resulting from the actions or inaction of the permittee. General liability insurance must be carried by the permittee showing the U. S. Government as additionally insured. Certificates of Insurance must show coverage on "occurrence" basis. If required by the park, the minimum amount of commercial liability insurance is $1,000,000 per occurrence, and $1,000,000 aggregate. Additional amounts may be required for high-risk activities and events. The park will often waive insurance for low-risk activities such as a commemorative ceremony. The United States of America, Department of Interior will be listed as "additional-insured" or "certi
First Amendment Activities
Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are rights protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulation. People may exercise these rights in national parks, but the National Park Service still retains its responsibility to protect park resources and prevent impacts to park visitors. A first amendment permit is not required for groups of 25 individuals, or less, conducting first amendment activities in the park’s designated first amendment area with the use of hand carried signs only.
Last updated: May 12, 2021