First Amendment (FA)

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First Amendment Activities/Demonstrations in Yellowstone National Park (36 CFR § 2.51)

The term “demonstrations” includes demonstrations, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services, and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers.

Yellowstone National Park offers 12 designated locations where individuals or groups may exercise their First Amendment (FA) rights through demonstrations. Each FA location will only accommodate one group at a time. A non-fee permit is required for groups over 25 people, to reserve a FA location or if the National Park Service deems further management of the activity is necessary to protect park resources or visitors.

The sale or distribution of non-commercial printed matter, and the free distribution of other message-bearing items without asking for or demanding payment or donation, is allowed within park areas if it occurs in designated areas.

 

Who Needs a Permit?

Demonstrations involving 25 persons or fewer may be held without a permit within designated park areas, provided that:

  • The location can accommodate the group size (see maps and details below). If a different location is requested because of activity or group size, a permit is required;
  • The group is not an extension of another group already demonstrating in another area of the park;
  • They will not unreasonably interfere with other permitted demonstrations, special events, or park program activities; site use is granted on a first come-first serve basis with preference given to the permit holder;
  • Hand-carried signs may be used, but stages, platforms, or structures may not be used.

If you do not meet the criteria that would require a permit, you are welcome to demonstrate in a designated location. Visit the nearest Ranger Station or Visitor Center to obtain an informative First Amendment sandwich board. Contact the Special Park Use Permits Coordinator if you have questions.

 

Designated First Amendment Locations

The following locations are predetermined by the National park Service for First Amendment activities provided the location can accommodate the requested group size. FA participants may not obstruct traffic or approach visitors; all participant vehicles must be legally parked.

* - Maximum number of people allowed in designated location. Group size over 25 people will require a permit.

North District

Mammoth Hot Springs (30 people*)
Roosevelt Arch/North Entrance (15 people*)
Tower Junction (15 people*)
Tower Fall (25 people*)

Lake District

Canyon Village (20 people*)
Uncle Tom’s Point (20 people*)
Fishing Bridge Visitor Center (20 people*)
West Thumb Geyser Basin (20 people*)

West District

Old Faithful (10 people*)
Madison Junction (10 people*)
West Entrance (12 people*)

 
 

How to Apply

First Amendment Permits are free of charge and can be valid up to 7- 14 days at a time. The organizer is requested to provide reasonable notice (preferably 10 business days) of the proposed event to the Special Use Permit Office, including whether there is any reason to believe that there may be an attempt to disrupt, protest, or prevent the activity. Submit application to the Special Use Permits Office.

 

Contact Us

Open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (MT)
Closed federal holidays
(307) 344-2722

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A person unloading a canoe on the shore of Yellowstone Lake.

Permits & Reservations

Review what you need a permit for and avoid surprises.

Last updated: September 17, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

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