Superintendent's Directive N4: Administrative Access & Fee Waivers for Researchers

September 19, 1995

SUPERINTENDENT'S DIRECTIVE 1995 N-4

To: All Employees, Southeast Utah Group
From: Superintendent, Southeast Utah Group
Subject: Administrative Access and Fee Waivers for Researchers

It is the policy of the National Park Service (NPS) and the parks of the Southeast Utah Group (SEUG) to encourage and support research activities that address scientific questions relating to management of the parks. An important element of this encouragement and support consists of granting certain fee waivers and privileges of administrative access.

For purposes of this Directive, the term "administrative access" is defined as special access and considerations not normally extended to the general public. This may include use of administrative backcountry campsites, use of campsites beyond established capacity or time limits, assistance in obtaining campsite reservations, or other special considerations that may be essential for efficient accomplishment of research objectives. Fee waivers may include park entrance fees, campground fees, backcountry reservation fees, and river reservation fees.

If the research work requires overnight stays in the backcountry, a backcountry camping permit must be obtained from the district or park office where the activity is to occur. Even if special administrative access and/or fee waivers have been granted, issuance of a backcountry permit will enable field personnel to be aware of vehicles and individuals accessing the backcountry for research purposes.

The division of Resource Management will be responsible for coordinating the entire process including issuing the proper permit, coordinating any waivers for backcountry campsite or river reservations with the Reservation Office, and ensuring the field areas receive pre-notification of research activities including copies of approved permits. Fee waivers for research are intended to be handled separately from routine educational entrance/camping fee waiver requests. All individuals engaged in research activities within the boundaries of the SEUG parks should possess a Special Use Permit (form 10-114) and/or a Collecting Permit (either form 10-471 dated 3/57 or form SEUG-11 dated 1/93). An approved research permit, signed by the SEUG Superintendent, will state specifically what fee(s) is waived and will function as the official fee waiver.

Requests to conduct research activities generally fall within three categories. The following paragraphs describe those categories and the appropriate level of support consideration. The exact nature and extent of fee waivers and administrative access would be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the affected parks and districts, and noted in the type of research permit.

Category 1. Research proposed and/or funded by the NPS. This may involve personnel from the NPS, other state or federal agencies, universities, or private contractors. It is usually high priority research, and should be supported and facilitated through fee waivers and granting of appropriate administrative access.

Category 2. Research on projects of particular interest to SEUG, such as those addressing Resource Management Plan priorities or specific interpretive needs, but for which NPS funding is not presently available. Much of the scientific information provided to the parks is obtained through research in this category, funded by outside sources. Such "free" research is supported by NPS policy, and can be encouraged at the park level by the offer of logistic support, fee waivers and administrative access.

Category 3. Research on subjects not directly related to any identified NPS priority or need, and not funded by the NPS. This research may contribute to the body of scientific knowledge, and is generally permitted in parks, particularly if it does not require collecting or other disruptive activities. Fee waivers and administrative access privileges will normally not be extended in these cases.

Individuals contacted in the field who express interest in conducting research, or appear to be engaged in research activities without a permit, should be referred to the Resource Management Division at SEUG headquarters. Collecting without a permit is a violation of 36 CFR 2.5.

Questions concerning this directive may be directed to the Chief of Resource Management for the SEUG.


Walter D. Dabney

Last updated: December 1, 2017

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