Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land
On January 22, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Price v. Barr determining the permit and fee requirements applying to commercial filming under 54 USC 100905, 43 CFR Part 5, and 36 CRF Part 5 are unconstitutional. The National Park Service is currently determining how this decision will be implemented.
Following the recent court decision, the National Park Service will not be implementing or enforcing the commercial filming portions of 43 CFR Part 5 until further notice, including accepting applications, issuing permits, enforcing the terms and conditions of permits, issuing citations related to permits, or collecting cost recovery and location fees for commercial filming activities.
As regulations regarding commercial filming permits are being reassessed, those interested in commercial filming activities on land managed by the National Park Service are encouraged to contact the park directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss how to minimize potential impacts to visitors and sensitive park resources.
Do I need a permit to film?
Currently, the National Park Service is not issuing commercial filming permits, but is in the process of evaluating how best to regulate filming activities that affect visitors and park resources. All applicable laws and regulations governing activities and public use in parks still apply, including park hours and areas open and closed to the public. Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, and other staff associated with commercial filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors still apply to filming activities even if no permit is needed for their activity. Check with the park staff for more information on closures, sensitive resources, and other safety tips.
Are filmers still required to pay fees to film in parks?
As of January 22, 2021, the National Park Service is no longer collecting application or location fees, or cost recovery for filming
Special Use Permits
If you wish to conduct a formal event on the battlefield you are required to apply for a Special Use Permit. Certain areas of the park may be used by organized groups upon prior arrangement and with the permission of the park superintendent. For formal events to be held on the park, there is a $100.00 fee per permit. Email Pam Neil for additional information.
Agricultural Use Permits
Agriculture Permits are given to area farmers to farm selected areas of the battlefield park. For information on agricultural use permits and activities in the park, contact the office of the Natural Resource Specialist at (717) 334-1124, extension 4483.
Commercial Use Authorization
Gettysburg National Military Park (GETT) and Eisenhower National Historic Site (EISE) are implementing changes to their Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) program. Effective immediately, all newly issued CUA permits at GETT and EISE will be valid for one year only. The park will no longer issue two year CUA permits. Fees will be increased for CUA permit applications and the park will be implementing a new market price fee based on revenues earned from in-park or park-based operations.
CUA permit holders are required to report revenue information to the park annually. Application fees paid by CUA holders are credited back to the permit holder when they pay the market price fee at the end of the operating season.
The park is providing advance notice to companies operating under an existing CUA and others who have an interest in applying for CUA permits. These fee changes only apply to new permits and renewals issued on or after October 1, 2019.
What is a CUA Permit? The National Park Service issues CUA permits to allow an individual, group, company or other for-profit entity to commercially operate within a park. Federal law mandates the National Park Service issue CUAs only for commercial activities and visitor services that:
Types of activities currently authorized under CUAs at GETT and EISE: bus tours with Licensed Battlefield Guides or taped narrations; leadership tours; escorted horseback riding; horse-drawn carriage rides; scooters and segway rentals; naturalist-led birding tours; plein-air drawing and painting classes.
Why make the changes? Public Law 105-391, Section 418, requires the National Park Service (NPS) to collect a reasonable fee for CUAs at an amount at least sufficient to recover the costs to the NPS in administering and managing CUAs. These CUA fee changes at GETT and EISE will create a more equitable fee structure based upon volume of commercial activity conducted in the park. More information is available here.
Fee increases: CUA permit application fees at GETT or EISE will increase from $200 to $300 beginning October 1, 2019. The CUA permit application fee is a nonrefundable fee. This is the first increase in CUA fees in the park in more than ten years.
In addition, beginning October 1, 2019, GETT and EISE will charge a market price in order to recover all costs associated with the administration and management of the CUA program. Fees for CUA permits or any renewals issued after October 1, 2019, will be based on a percentage of revenue earned from in-park or park-based operations. New market price fees will be based on the following:
Implementation: Completed applications must be submitted to the park one month prior to the permit expiration date in order to obtain a finalized CUA permit in a timely manner. Applicants making more than $100,000 from park-based operations should submit the application two months prior to the end of the current permit in order to provide time for adequate review by the park and the NPS Northeast Regional office. All applications will be reviewed in the order in which they were they were received.
For questions please contact the Gettysburg National Military Park Permit Coordinator at 717-334-0909.
Last updated: December 20, 2021