The National Park Service (NPS) requires permits for business activities in NPS areas to protect the park visitor, the business operator, the federal government from liability, and to ensure that commercial activities in the parks are appropriate. Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 5.3 prohibits business activity in NPS areas without a permit.
The NPS manages commercial activities within its units in order to protect the resources, prevent conflicts with visitors and to provide services and activities that enhance the park's mission. Organizations that charge trip participants a fee or compensate members or trip leaders in anyway are commercial groups. This applies to both non-profit and for-profit groups and organizations. Non-profit groups such as camps, schools, universities, etc... are required to obtain a Special Use Permit (SUP). The annual fee for an SUP is $50.
Commercial groups such as "for profit" camps, outfitters, tour groups and any operation providing goods, activities, or service to the general public within the park and which is undertaken for or results in compensation, monetary gain, benefit or profit to an individual, organization or corporation must obtain a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA). CUA's are issued only to those commercial activities that support or compliment the park's mission and goals. There is a $200 annual fee required for a CUA.
All commercial filming or still photography requires a permit. Commercial filming is defined as digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. It does not include news coverage or visitor use. For additional information or to apply for a permit for Commercial Filming and Still Photography, click here.