Research and Collection Permit


Scientific Research and Collection Permit Applications are submitted online through the Research Permit and Reporting System (RPRS). Bryce Canyon National Park has instituted minimum review times, based on the complexity of the planned research, to ensure enough time for the review and approval process. Researchers are requested to submit all paperwork as far in advance as possible to allow time for the review process. Researchers are to submit their application at least 60 days in advance. The exception is for applications that have minimal potential impacts. A research permit application for research that has minimal potential impacts must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the start date.


The application review process is designed to ensure that park resources, subsistence users and visitors are not unduly affected by the proposed research. An interdisciplinary team will evaluate applications to determine potential impacts in the following areas:

· Environmental resources (NEPA)

· Cultural resources (NHPA Section 106, ARPA, NAGPRA)

· Subsistence resources and/or activities (Section 810, ANILCA)

· Wilderness (Section 4(c) of the 1964 Wilderness Act, with Minimum Requirement/Minimum Tool

· Endangered Species Act ( Section 7)

Research Permit and Reporting System (RPRS).

To apply for a permit on the National Park Service's Research Permit and Reporting System web page, go to and submit the following:

· An application.

· A full research proposal (see the Guidelines for Study Proposals at the same web site).

Please be sure to review the National Park Service Conditions. Submit all paperwork as far in advance as possible to allow time for the review process It is best to remove unnecessarily large images and maps prior to upload, or break up the study plan into two or three smaller files. Researchers without access to the internet can contact the park research coordinator for an application form.

Submit all paperwork as far in advance as possible to allow time for the review process, which can take up to 60 days. Simple applications can often be approved within 30 days.

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria are among those used to evaluate research proposals:

Will the proposed activity result in degradation of the values and purposes of the park?

Could the proposed research be performed outside of the park?

Does the proposed research require collection of specimens or artifacts? What will be the disposition of any collected specimens?

Does the project involve digging or other ground disturbing activities?

Is the proposed project in a designated Wilderness area?

Does the application clearly describe mode(s) of transportation to be used within park boundaries (float plane, helicopter, etc.), camp and study site locations, use of motorized equipment (e.g., outboard motors), and a plan for human waste and burnable trash?

If fuel is to be stored onsite, are appropriate fuel handling, containment and disposal procedures in place?

Has the proposed research been peer-reviewed by recognized experts and recommended as scientifically valid?

Does the proposed research require additional state, federal, or local permits? Have those permits been obtained?

Personal safety and protection of park resources always take priority over research goals and objectives. All researchers are required to review and follow safety guidelines. Are safety procedures included in the application?

All specimens collected within the park are the property of the NPS. Regardless of where the collections are stored, they must be properly accessioned and cataloged into the NPS cataloging system. Collection of specimens not specifically authorized on the permit or for private purposes is not allowed. The collection of certain specimens may require additional federal or state permits. For example, to collect migratory birds, a Migratory Bird Permit must be obtained from the appropriate state natural resource agency or from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is the responsibility of the researcher to apply for and obtain all necessary non-NPS permits. Are specimen collection and other permit requirements included in the application?

Is an Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) Permit required? When a proposed project involves planned excavations for scientific data recovery, an ARPA Permit is also required. The NPS issues Scientific Research and Collections Permits (described above) to authorize cultural resources studies for research, for compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, for compliance with the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) and to authorize paleontological research. ARPA permits applications involve extensive community consultation and a 90 day review period is required. Contact a member of the cultural resources staff or the park research coordinator for application materials.

Will the research be conducted in a recommended wilderness area? Portions of Bryce Canyon National Park are recommended Wilderness. Management restrictions apply to these areas and affect approval of transportation methods, field work timing and frequency, group size and the use of mechanized or motorized tools. When planning for research in recommended wilderness, it is necessary that researchers limit their activities to the minimum necessary to meet the study objectives.

Research Responsibilities

Persons in charge of field activities shall complete a cultural resources orientation briefing prior to entering the field. Researchers are required to report all results of their investigations to the park annually. This is accomplished using the Investigators Annual Report (IAR) portion of the Scientific Research and Collection Permit website. Additionally, upon completion of a project, Western Arctic National Parklands requires copies of field notes, data, reports, publications and/or other materials resulting from studies conducted in NPS areas. All specimens collected under permit that are not destroyed in analysis require cataloging into the NPS Automated National Catalog Program. ARPA Permit holders have additional reporting requirements assigned directly in the permit.

GIS Compatibility

Researchers are requested to use ESRI ArcGIS compatible coordinates and shape files whenever possible when describing proposed field camps and collection locations. UTM 12 NAD 83 is recommended.

Last updated: July 7, 2015

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