Guidelines for Special Park Uses
Big Bend National Park's mission is that of the National Park Service (NPS) as written in the Organic Act of 1916, which states in part: “The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations.” In Big Bend, opportunities for special park uses exist for visitor and organizational uses including personal, family, educational and program cultural uses, as well as filming and photography projects with Big Bend as the location. There are many cultural, scientific, and educational institutions that conduct research and programs by special park use permit.
Big Bend receives requests from individuals and groups seeking to use the park for various private uses. It is the policy of the National Park Service (NPS) to allow special uses that are not in conflict with law or policy; will not result in derogation of the values and purposes for which the park was established; do not present a threat to public safety or property and do not unduly interfere with normal park operations, resource protection, or visitor use.
Big Bend has the authority and responsibility to evaluate applicant requests, permit, manage, and/or deny all special uses within the park. Therefore, before any permit will be granted, consideration will be given to potential park resource impacts, as well as impacts to visitor use, access to park sites, or park administration. There are cost recovery fees associated with the administration and management of special use permits for costs incurred by the park.
A special park use is defined as an activity that takes place in a park area and that:
Applying For a Special Use Permit
NOTE: Special Use Permits are issued on a case by case basis, and will comply with any park regulations in place at the time the permit is issued. As of August 1, 2021, the group limit is 12 people, until further notice.
Last updated: August 1, 2021