“The service…shall promote and regulate the use of…national parks…[its] purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” (16 U.S.C. 1)
It is the policy of the National Park Service to allow filming and photography consistent with protection and public enjoyment of park resources. Therefore, the primary consideration in the evaluation of permit requests in the Southeast Utah Group is the potential for resource damage and the disruption of normal public use and values. Aesthetic values such as scenic vistas, natural quiet and dark night skies are resources that we and the public value.
The use of model aircraft (unmanned, under 55 lbs, flown for hobby or recreational purposes within the line of sight of the operator) is prohibited for the protection of the park's environmental and scenic values and for avoiding conflict among visitor use activities.
Commercial filming is defined as digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. Under P.L. 106-206 all commercial filming requires a permit and is subject to a location fee and cost recovery charges.
Permits are NOT generally required for:
A request for a permit may be denied if:
Non-commercial filming may require a permit if a permit is necessary to manage the activity to protect park resources and values while minimizing conflict between user groups or to ensure public safety. Examples of non-commercial filming include, but are not limited to, filming for tourism bureaus, convention and visitor bureaus, and student filming. In most cases, a permit is not necessary for visitors engaging in casual, non-commercial filming.
How to Apply
We handle all applications in the order we receive them. We need a minimum of 25 business days to process applications. Requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics, and coordination with other NPS divisions or visitor activities will likely require a minimum of two months to process, but may take longer depending on workload. We also require a minimum of three months to process permits for projects that need additional environmental compliance.
Permit Fees (pre-shoot)
Total cost for a permit is $280. Although a permit costs $280 in total, it is advised to pay only the $100 application fee when the application is initially submitted. See the Additional Costs section below to calculate post-shoot charges.
The National Park Service is required by law to recover all costs for special use permits. All costs incurred by the NPS in conjunction with the permitted filming activity will be reimbursed by the permittee. A cost estimate can be calculated and provided once the Filming Coordinator has received all applicable information.
Non-refundable Application Fee: $100
Administrative Fee: $80
Hourly Management Fee: $100
To make a payment through Pay.gov, follow these instructions:
Additional Costs (post-shoot)
1) Extended Administrative Time:
(a.) Compliance – Any requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics, coordination with other NPS divisions or additional environmental compliance, or any permit that requires additional staff time beyond the averages in the initial costs will be charged an additional $50 per hour per employee that is needed in order to complete the permit.
(c.) Interviews – All interviews of park personnel will be assessed at the hourly rate. This will not apply to pre-approved filming or photographing of NPS staff members performing their regularly scheduled work activities.
(d.) Scouting – If a permittee requests a scouting trip with or by the Filming Permits Coordinator; staff time will be assessed at a rate of $40 per hour if on regular duty time, $50 per hour if it’s overtime.
2) Location Fees
The location fee is in addition to cost recovery charges that are currently being collected.
The applicant or permittee is required to notify the NPS of any delays or schedule changes at least 36 hours in advance, or as agreed to by the superintendent or his/her representative. Should the applicant or permittee fail to provide such advance notification, the applicant or permittee is responsible for paying all costs incurred by the NPS any time during the application, permitting, or operational process, including those due to cancellation, moving or rescheduling of the project. Such payment will include but is not limited to a non-refundable charge for each staff person scheduled for the affected activity.
Such charge will, at a minimum, be the equivalent of two hours overtime for each employee assigned. These costs may be recovered through the posting of a bond at the time of application, or through a bill of collection presented at any point after initial contact.
Sharing the Park
Restrictions and Conditions
The permit will specify the number of people and the types of equipment allowed. The NPS monitor on duty will not allow activities not specified in the permit.
Please note that the permit does not include authority to film or photograph park visitors unless agreed to by the visitor and a signed written release is obtained by the permittee.
Termination of Permit
For questions or additional information, please contact the filming coordinator at (435) 719-2123 or email us.
Last updated: November 26, 2019