Commercial Filming & Still Photography
A special use permit is required for all commercial filming activities and certain still photography activities occurring within a unit of the National Park System. The regulations governing these activities are found federal statute (54 U.S.C. 100905) and Department and NPS regulations (43 CFR part 5 and 36 CFR 5.5); these regulations based on Public Law 106-206 apply to all land management agencies in the Department of the Interior.
All commercial filming activities taking place within a unit of the National Park System require a permit. "Commercial filming" means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Examples include, but are not limited to, feature film, videography, and documentaries. Commercial filming may include the advertisement of a product or service, or the use of actors, models, sets or props.
What fees will I have to pay?
Great Basin National Park will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for all filming permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the size and complexity of your permit. The application fee must be submitted with your application.
In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following fee schedule:
- 1 – 2 people, camera and tripod only, $0/day
- 3 - 10 people, $150/day
- 11 - 30 people, $250/day
- 31 - 49 people, $500/day
- Over 50 people, $750/day
When is a permit needed?
Still photographers require a permit only when:
- The activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
- The activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
- A park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.
A still photography permit is also required when:
- Product or service advertisement is involved
- Talent/models, props, crews or sets are involved
- The project has the potential to disrupt other park activities or visitors
- More than just hand carried equipment is utilized
- Project requires access to an area normally closed or restricted to general public use
- Access into an area outside of normal public use hours is required
- Project carries a potential risk to park resources
- Activity raises safety concerns that can be mitigated through issuance of permit with restrictions
Amateur and commercial photography in Lehman Caves requires a Special Use Permit and the arrangement of an After-Hours Cave Photography tour.
The National Park Service cannot accommodate a project if:
- Damage to natural, cultural, wilderness, or recreational resources is expected which cannot be mitigated
- Other activities are already planned or expected to occur at the same time and place, and filming or photography would be incompatible
- The activity involves access to areas normally closed for reasons of resource protection or safety
- The level of activity within the park is already so high that staff would be unavailable to work with film crew
- The project includes a portrayal of activities that are not permitted within a national park
- The production company is unwilling or unable to obtain necessary insurance
- The production company is unwilling or unable to reimburse the National Park Service for costs or comply with National Park Service bond requirements
Obtaining a Permit
Allow a minimum of 30 days for processing after the application is received. A $75 nonrefundable administrative fee must accompany all applications. Please make payment payable to the National Park Service. A Location Fee and additional fees to cover monitoring while on site will apply. Completed applications may be mailed, emailed, or faxed. For emailed or faxed applications, a credit card number is required for payment.
Email application to:
Mail applications to:
Special Uses Coordinator
Great Basin National Park
100 Great Basin National Park
Baker, NV 89311
For the current fee schedule, or for more information, contact the park's Special Uses Coordinator by email or by phone at (775) 234-7511.
Short Filming Permit Application
Long Filming Permit Application