Special Park Uses

The Special Use Permit (SUP) program authorizes activities that provide benefit to an individual, group or organization, rather than the public at large; and that require written authorization and some management control in order to protect park resources and the public interest. Examples include special events, commercial filming/still photography, weddings, scattering of ashes, First Amendment activities, commercial vehicle or watercraft use, agricultural permits and right-of-way (ROW) easements.

Special Use Permits are granted for specific periods of time and specific locations. Certain cost recovery, fees and insurance requirements may apply.

Permit Application Procedure
Requests for a permit application, park specific conditions, or additional information may be made in person at park headquarters, via telephone, email or letter. A completed application and the non-refundable application fee are required before an application can be processed. Park information is:

Commercial Services Office

Telephone: 870-365-2724

Buffalo National River

FAX: 870-365-2799

402 N. Walnut St., Suite 136

Website: www.nps.gov/buff

Harrison, AR 72601

e-mail us



If you are interested in holding your marriage ceremony at Buffalo National River, the following information will be helpful in making your plans. A Special Use Permit is required to hold a wedding within Buffalo National River. Until a Special Use Permit is approved and issued, the requested date and location cannot be guaranteed. Please submit your application at least 15 business days before the start of the proposed activity. Requests which involve multiple locations, complex logistics or coordination with other visitor activities will require a minimum of 25 working days to process. Projects which require environmental or cultural resource evaluation must be submitted not less than 45 days before the start of proposed activities. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received.

Please indicate the specific location on the application. The Special Use Permit does not allow your ceremony to restrict other park visitors from your chosen location nor does it guarantee you a specific site. If you desire a pavilion or group site you will need to make reservations at www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777. If you are interested in reserving facilities operated by our concessioner at Buffalo Point, please contact Buffalo Point Concessions at 870-449-6206. If you are interested in holding your wedding at the Tyler Bend or Buffalo Point Amphitheater, please contact the Commercial Services office at or 870-365-2724.

There are limits to group sizes depending on the location in which you choose. Many pavilions can accommodate up to 100 people. Other locations may only be able to accommodate up to 25 people. Please contact the Commercial Services Office to inquire about the specific location you are interested in. Please note that permits are not issued for groups larger than 125 people.

Terms & Conditions
To maintain park natural and cultural resources and quality visitor experiences the following conditions and requirements apply to Special Use Permits for weddings:

  1. The permittee and participants will not disturb, adversely effect, alter, damage or remove any natural/cultural resources, archeological or historic artifacts. Digging, scraping, chiseling or defacing natural features is prohibited.

  2. If flowers, an arch or walkway is to be used, they must be standalone and in no way to be attached or to impinge upon NPS facilities or structures. No digging is allowed.

  3. Erecting or posting of banners, signs, flyers, advertisements, or other similar materials is prohibited within park boundaries.

  4. Historical buildings or other structures may be used as backdrop only. Historical buildings cannot be used for attachments (such as banners or flowers).

  5. Attaching decorations to NPS structures using tape, nails, staples, push-pins and ticky-tack or a similar adhesive is prohibited.

  6. Access to the area must be kept open to the public and weddings cannot interfere with normal visitor activity in any manner. The park will not exclude nor allow permittee to exclude other park visitors from the site during the wedding ceremony.

  7. All vehicles (including motorcycles) for the wedding party must be parked in designated parking areas. Carpooling is recommended; parking may be limited in some areas. Handicapped parking restrictions will be enforced.

  8. The use of a portable, battery operated sound system is acceptable as long as they meet the standards listed in 36 CFR 2.12(a)(1) and do not interfere with the use of the area by other individuals.

  9. Throwing or scattering of rice, bird seed, flowers, confetti, streamers or other similar materials is prohibited. In addition, the release of balloons, animals including birds, butterflies or other living things is prohibited.

  10. Buffalo National River Park Rangers strictly enforce all laws relating to excessive drinking. Permittee and guests must comply with all applicable federal, state, county and Park Service regulations.

  11. Permittee will assume all responsibility for cleanup of the site after the ceremony. Please remove any chairs, discarded flowers, paper, trash or other items. The Bride/Groom vehicle may not be decorated with cans, paper, streamers or any other item that may be left behind in the park.

  12. Violation of the terms and conditions of the permit may result in the immediate revocation of the permit.

The following stipulations are applied to permits for events/weddings at Erbie Church:

  1. Electrical power will not be furnished nor will generators be allowed at the Erbie Church.

  2. Attaching any type of decorations to the structure is prohibited. This includes using tape, nails, push-pins, ticky-tack adhesives, etc.

  3. All live plants used for decorations must be in pots and placed on either free-standing plant stands or saucers so as to not allow water to pool on the structure floor, pews, etc.

  4. If an arch or walkway is to be used, it must be standalone and is in no way to be attached or to impinge upon NPS facilities.

  5. An open flame of any type is prohibited. This includes candles, oil lamps, etc. Battery operated flameless candles are acceptable.

  6. Erbie Trailhead sanitary facilities may be used.

  7. The seating capacity in the church is approximately 48. Group size is limited to a maximum of 50 people.

  8. Receptions with food and drink are prohibited inside Erbie Church.


Non-Profit Organizations
When engaging in activities on park area lands, a non-profit organization is required to obtain a Special Use Permit or other appropriate authorization as may otherwise be required by National Park Service policies and regulations. Certain cost recovery, fees and insurance requirements may apply.

A non-profit organization is an organization that has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be exempt from Federal income taxation as a nonprofit or not-for-profit organization under the terms of the Internal Revenue Code.


The Special Use Permit program provides for agricultural use and/or livestock grazing on certain parcels of land within Buffalo National River. Agriculture plays a very important role in managing the landscape of Buffalo National River. Without farming, the fields would quickly turn into forest. Farmed fields are part of the cultural landscape and provide a wide variety of habitat for a number of species.
Agricultural Special Use Permits within Buffalo National River are issued through a competitive selection process. A request for solicitation to bid on specific parcels will be announced via press releases and government websites. Call the Commercial Services office at 870-365-2724 to inquire about your activity. Additional park contact information can be found at the bottom of this webpage.


Scattering of Cremation Ashes
Please contact the Commercial Services Office to obtain a letter of authorization in order to scatter ashes from human cremains at Buffalo National River. There are specific rules and conditions outlined in the letter that are required of all ash scattering requests. There is no fee for the scattering of ashes. However, if your activity falls outside the guidelines listed in the letter, or you intend to hold a ceremony such as a color guard or memorial service, you must have a Special Use Permit in addition to the letter. Call the Commercial Services office at 870-365-2724 to inquire about your activity.


Special Park Use Cost Recovery and Fees
The authority for the National Park Service to recover and retain costs associated with managing special park uses is found at 16 U.S.C. 3a, 16 U.S.C. 460l-6d, and 31 U.S.C. 9701. Charges established for a Special Park Use under this authority are intended to recover costs associated with managing that activity and not to generate revenue beyond actual cost.

Special Use Permit for:

Application Fee

Administrative Fee


25 persons or less




26 persons or more




Commercial Film/Photography




First Amendment

No Fee

No Fee

No Fee

Right-of-Way (ROW)




Agricultural Use




Application Cost

Must be submitted at the time of the initial application. This is a non-refundable cost.

Administration Cost

Payable when the permit is approved and prior to beginning the event. This is a non-refundable cost.

Monitoring Cost

If the event requires NPS supervision for resource protection or the health or safety of visitors, the cost will be estimated and payable when the permit is approved and prior to beginning the event. The scope and complexity of the permit activity will determine the level and type of supervision. The cost includes employee travel time to and from the event location.


Commercial Film/Still Photography Location Fee: Required by Public Law 106-206 payable when the permit is approved and prior to beginning filming.

Commercial Filming/Videos Fees

Still Photography Fees

1 - 2 people

(camera & tripod only)


1 - 10 people


1 - 10 people


11 - 30 people


11 - 30 people


31 - 49 people


Over 30 people


Over 50 people


Federal procedures (31 USC 7701) requires your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number on the back of all checks or money orders accepted for deposit in the amount of $50.00 or more. You must supply your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number in order for your check to be accepted and your application to be processed.

Last updated: February 26, 2019

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Mailing Address:

402 N. Walnut Street
Suite 136

Harrison, AR 72601


(870) 439-2502

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