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Commercial Film Crews Required To Obtain Permits To Work In Yellowstone

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Date: January 8, 2010
Contact: Al Nash, (307) 344-2015

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
January 8, 2010             10-003
Al Nash (307) 344-2015


Commercial Film Crews Required To Obtain Permits To Work In Yellowstone

Businesses, organizations, institutions, and some individuals who desire to capture audio, video, or moving film images in Yellowstone National Park may be required by regulation to obtain a permit and pay certain fees prior to working in the park.

If an individual, business, organization, or institution, is paid, reimbursed, or provided any measure of financial or in-kind support for any costs associated with an audio, film, or video production, a permit is required prior to working in Yellowstone National Park. This applies not only to those shooting feature films, but those who capture audio or footage for documentaries, commercials, product demonstrations, web sites, or training films. 

Permits are not required for individuals taking personal vacation still images or videos, and are not usually required for those involved in news coverage of Yellowstone National Park.  

While amateur and professional still photographers taking landscape photos are not required to obtain a film permit, those using models, props, special lighting, or specialized equipment, must apply for and obtain a film permit prior to working in the park.

Generally speaking, still photographers and audio, video, and film recording crews working under a film permit are only allowed to work in areas open to the general public. In addition, they may be required to pay all costs associated with having one or more uniformed NPS employees on hand during some or all of their time actively working in the park, to mitigate impacts and ensure compliance with terms and conditions of their film permit.

Violation of any park regulation or terms of a permit may result in issuance of a violation notice and/or suspension of privileges granted by a permit.

Additional details, forms, and a fee schedule are available online at www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/filmpermit.htm, or by calling the park’s Visitor Services Office at 307-344-2107 during normal business hours. It takes at least ten business days to process a request for a film permit. Crews are strongly advised not to make any travel arrangements until a permit is approved.

Reporters may access all areas open to the general public. News media requests to enter areas closed to the public are handled on a case-by-case basis, and if granted may be subject to a variety of restrictions in order to address resource and personal safety concerns.

Due to their potential impacts on visitors and park resources, a free permit with some restrictions may be required of news organizations for use of satellite trucks, production vehicles, and some specialized equipment.  Park entrance fees are waived for working journalists who present appropriate identification at entrance stations when their purpose is gathering news inside the park.

Media representatives are encouraged to contact the park’s Public Affairs Office at 307-344-2015 during normal business hours prior to any visit to Yellowstone.  In the case of breaking news, a member of the Public Affairs Office staff may be available outside normal business hours by calling the general park number at 307-344-7381.

- www.nps.gov/yell -


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