Special Use Permits

Sunrise over white sand dunes.
The serenity of peacefulness of the dunefield invite contemplation.

Gatherings and commercial activities in national parks often require a special use permit. The purpose of these permits is to ensure the protection of the park's natural and cultural resources.

Examples of activities that may require a Special Use Permit:

  • Races, relays, walks
  • Any ground disturbing activities
  • Large events
  • Celebratory gatherings
  • Artistic displays (dancing, singing, playing instruments, painting, pottery)

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.

The decision to require a permit rests with the park superintendent based on potential impacts to park resources or the visitor experience.

How to Apply for a Special Use Permit

1. Complete and submit the Special Use Permit application. The application must be received by the park no less than 14 working days prior to the start of the event.

2. Read, sign, and return with application the General Permit Conditions.

3. Submit the completed special use permit application and general conditions by appointment or via mail.

If sending application via mail, send to:
Special Park Uses
White Sands National Park
PO Box 1086
Holloman AFB, NM 88330

To submit application via appointment contact at 575-479-6124 ext. 222 or whsa_film_photography@nps.gov.

4. Once received, most applications for permits requests will be processed within fourteen working days.

Requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics or coordination with other visitor activities will require a minimum of 30 working days to process. Projects that require environmental or cultural resource evaluation must be submitted no less than 90 days before the start of proposed activity(ies).

5. After favorable review of your application, your permit will be mailed to you or you may picked it up in person at the park by appointment with the Special Parks Uses Permit Coordinator. To make an appointment contact at 575-479-6124 ext. 222 or whsa_film_photography@nps.gov.

If You Have Additional Questions...

Please contact the Special Use Permit Coordinator.

Last updated: July 1, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1086
Holloman AFB, NM 88330


(575) 479-6124

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