Special events are activities, such as sporting events, spectator attractions, entertainment, ceremonies, large group camps or rendezvous, which fall under the category of privileges. Special events differ from public assemblies and public meetings in that the latter activities are rights protected by the First Amendment.
The authority for the management of special events in a national park can be found in Title 16, U.S. Code and Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, 2.50.
National Park Service Management Policies 2006 and Director’s Order 53 Special Park Uses provide policy guidance for management of special event activities.
The following guidelines are established by the National Park Service Management Policies 2006 as they relate to special event activities within this unit of the National Park Service.
A special park use is a short term activity that takes place in a park area and that:
- Provides a benefit to an individual, group or organization rather than the public at large;
- Requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the NPS in order to protect park resources and the public interest;
- Is not prohibited by law or regulation;
- Is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the NPS;
- Is not managed under a concession contract.
Special use permits for special events will not be issued if, in the Superintendent’s opinion, the special event will:
- Cause injury or damage to park resources.
- Be contrary to the purposes for which the park was established, or unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in wilderness, natural or cultural locations within the park.
- Unreasonably interfere with the interpretive, visitor service, or other program activities, or with administrative activities.
- Substantially impair the operation of public facilities or services of NPS concessioner or contractors.
- Present a clear and present danger to public health and safety.
- Result in significant conflict with other existing uses.
Application fee is $280 for the permit. If monitoring is required then those costs will be billed after the event. Please pay via Pay.gov (instructions below).
Cost Recovery and Additional Fees
A rate of $50-per-hour/per employee is a good estimate for cost recovery fees under the following situations:
All activities authorized by permit—except for memorialization—require continuous, on-site supervision by the National Park Service to assure full compliance with all conditions of the permit. The scope and complexity of the activity will determine the level and type of supervision. Fees include travel time for employees involved between activity location(s) and employee duty station(s).
(2) Extended Administrative Time
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 rate of approximately $50 per hour per employee that is needed in order to complete the permit.
Applicants should submit payments via Pay.gov. To make a payment:
- Enter "CANY" in the Pay.gov search window.
- Payment will be made at: Canyonlands and Arches NP & Natural Bridges and Hovenweep NM Special Use Permit – click on “continue to the form."
- Check which park your Special Use Permit is for, under Permit Fee click on Permit and select which type of Special Use Permit you are requesting.
- Enter a total dollar amount for the type of Special Use Permit you are requesting.
- Follow the instructions and fill out the forms.
- Save your payment confirmation; you will submit this with your application.
How to Apply
Please complete Form 10-930s (826k Word document) and submit it along with your Pay.gov payment confirmation to the email address listed on the application.
We handle applications in the order they are received. We can process standard requests in 10 business days. We require a minimum of four weeks to process requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics, and coordination with other NPS divisions or visitor activities. Projects that need additional environmental compliance also require a minimum of four weeks to process.
The Chief Ranger's Office issues special event permits by authority of the park superintendent.