Special Use Permits and Reservations

Fishing

Except as provided below, fishing shall be in accordance with the laws and regulations of the State of Kansas (36CFR2.3).

  • Kansas residents age 16 through 74 must possess a valid Kansas fishing license.
  • All non-residents 16 and older must possess a valid non-resident license at all times to fish in Kansas.
  • Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism provides a downloadable Fishing Regulations Summary.
  • Our Fishing page contains more information on locations, regulations, and restrictions within the preserve.

Research Permits

Reservations

  • No advance reservations are needed to visit the preserve.
  • Ranger-led Group and School Tours need scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
  • Bus tours are cancelled until further notice.

 
People eating dinner in the historic barn as a special event
People eating dinner in the historic barn for a special event.

NPS Photo

Special Use Permits

Due to COVID safety measures, we will not be issuing Special Use Permits for functions in the barn or schoolhouse for 2021. We apologize for this inconvenience. Visit www.chasecountychamber.org for a listing of other locations in the area may be able to provide similar settings for your function.

* Check Cashing Notice -please download this Word document (14KB)

Certain types of activities require a special use permit. These include many types of organized gatherings, distribution of printed material and other public expressions of opinion, and other activities that are controlled or prohibited. See the following definitions and examples to determine if your use might be included.

A special park use is defined as a short-term activity that takes place in a park area, and that:

  1. provides a benefit to an individual, group or organization rather than the public at large;
  2. requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the National Park Service (NPS) in order to protect park resources and the public interest;
  3. is not prohibited by law or regulation
  4. is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the NPS; and is not managed under a concession contract, a recreation activity for which the NPS charges a fee, or a lease.

Examples include: weddings, other ceremonies, or public assemblies, etc.

Examples of a First-Amendment Activity include: a church service or Freedom-of-Speech activity

Special Use Permits - Special uses require a permit. Primary consideration will be given to potential resource damage and to anticipated disruption of normal public use. Park staff will help ensure that your event runs smoothly and without interfering with park operations, resource protection, or the public's enjoyment of the park. For more information about special use permits, contact the Chief of Interpretation at (620) 273-6034. Permit applications, certificates of insurance, and correspondence may be faxed to (620) 273-8660. Please follow the link below to learn how to apply for a permit.

Special events, group gatherings, First Amendment activities, and weddings - Sporting events, festivals, concerts, weddings, cultural programs, First Amendment activities, and group gatherings for social and community events are examples of special uses that require permits. All weddings and ceremonies require permits, regardless of the group size. Weddings at the preserve are authorized only at the Lower Fox Creek Schoolhouse, as it was once a community building and a wedding could have conceivably been performed. To preserve the building, a set of rules (including maximum participants) has been established for resource protection.

 
Image showing area set aside for all First Amendment activities in the park.
The grassy area northeast of the visitor center is used for all First Amendment activities.

Courtesy of Google Maps

The image shows the grassy area northeast of the visitor center used for all First Amendment activities.
 
Bronze colored tallgrass prairie grasses in the fall with shadows coming across the hills.
Bronze colored tallgrass prairie grasses in the fall with shadows coming across the hills.

NPS Photo

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 CFR Part 5.5 are unconstitutional. In response to the decision, the National Park Service issued interim guidance on February 22, 2021, to manage filming activities. Under the interim guidance, filming activities may require a permit if they would impact park resources or the visitor experience. The National Park Service intends to update regulations addressing filming activities that are consistent with the outcome of Price v. Barr. Once effective, those regulations will replace and supersede the interim guidance.

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?

Under the interim guidance, the National Park Service is not distinguishing between types of filming, such as commercial, non-commercial, or news gathering. Low-impact filming activities will not require a special use permit, but non-low-impact filming activities may require a permit to address their potential impacts on park resources and visitor activities.

Low-Impact Filming

“Low-impact filming’ is defined as outdoor filming activities in areas open to the public, except areas managed as wilderness, involving five people or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras. Those participating in low-impact filming activities do not need a permit and are not required to contact the park in advance. If low-impact filmers have questions about areas where they want to film, they should contact the park directly.

Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, news and other staff associated with filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors, including park hours and closed areas, still apply to filming activities even if a permit is not required. Check with the park staff for more information on closures, sensitive resources, and other safety tips.

Non-Low-Impact Filming

Filming activities that do not meet the description of low-impact filming require at least ten days advance notice to the National Park Service by contacting the park directly in writing. The park’s superintendent will determine whether the filming activities will require a special use permit for filming. Based on the information provided, a permit may be required to:

  • maintain public health and safety;

  • protect environmental or scenic values;

  • protect natural or cultural resources;

  • allow for equitable allocation or use of facilities; or

  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

Examples of requests that may require a permit include, but are not limited to: entering a sensitive resource area, filming in areas that require tickets to enter, or filming in visitor centers, campgrounds, or other visitor areas. The decision to require a permit rests with the park superintendent based on potential impacts to park resources or the visitor experience.

Contact the park directly if unsure whether or not a filming activity is considered low-impact or may require a permit.

Filming in Wilderness Areas

The National Park Service manages and protects more than 67 million acres of park lands and waters as wilderness areas. These areas have additional laws and policies to preserve their wilderness character for future generations. Filming activities in wilderness areas must follow all applicable laws and regulations that govern wilderness areas in the park, including prohibitions on structures, installations, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, motorized equipment, motorboats, or landing of aircrafts.

Except for casual filming by visitors, special use permits for filming are required for all filming activities in wilderness areas, no matter the group size or equipment used.

Are filmers still required to pay fees to film in parks?

Under the interim guidance issued on January 22, 2021, the National Park Service is not collecting application or location fees, or cost recovery for filming activities.

Still Photography

When is a permit needed?

Price v. Barr had no impact on how the National Park Service regulates still photography, so there are no changes in how the National Park Service regulates that activity. Still photographers require a permit only when:

  1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  2. 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
  3. a park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.
Application for Still Photography - (Word Document, 835 KB) Download, print, complete and return to the address on the form if your activity meets any of the above criteria.

What fees will I have to pay?

The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography 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 still photography fee schedule:

  • 1–10 people - $50/day
  • 11–30 people - $150/day
  • Over 30 people - $250/day

Are there other permit requirements?

You may be required to obtain liability insurance naming the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve as additionally insured in an amount commensurate with the risk posed to park resources by your proposed activity. You may also be asked to post a bond to ensure the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.

What about photography workshops?

If you are planning a photography workshop, you may need a commercial use authorization. See the commercial use authorization page for more information.

Last updated: February 19, 2022

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Mailing Address:

2480B KS Hwy 177
Strong City , KS 66869

Phone:

620 273-8494 x270

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