Special Park Uses

Badlands National Park's rugged beauty and spectacular scenery lead many to consider its use as a backdrop for filming, organized activities, or wedding ceremonies. A special park use is a short-term activity, like those mentioned, that occurs in a National Park Service area and:

  • Provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large
  • Requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest
  • Is not prohibited by law or regulation
  • Is neither initiated, sponsored, nor conducted by the National Park Service

Special park uses, if approved, require the issuance of Special Use Permits and payment of permit fees before the activity can be held in the park. Special Use Permits must be acquired for commercial and independent filming, weddings, and commercial photography.

Application for Special Use Permit (online form)
Application for Special Use Permit (pdf form to print & mail)

Commercial Use

  • The short form (pdf form to print and mail) is used for still photography and some smaller video/film projects. Payment can be made online at
  • The long form (pdf) is used for more complicated video/film projects where more information is required to evaluate the application.

The completed application must be submitted with $100.00. The $100.00 is a non-refundable application and administrative charge. This fee should be in the form of cash (though not by mail), certified check, or credit card information. Other administrative fees may also apply.

Commercial Filming/Videos

Still Photography

1 - 2 people (camera & tripod only)


1 - 10 people


1 - 10 people


11 - 30 people


11 - 30 people


Over 30 people


31 - 49 people


Over 50 people


To apply for a Special Use Permit, print and complete the appropriate form above, attach any required fees, and mail it to the address specified on the form. For further information about obtaining a Special Use Permit or determining if your activity needs a permit, please contact the Chief Ranger.

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