Permits & Reservations

Certain types of activities require a special use permit. These include many types of organized events, demonstrations and distribution of printed material, and other activities that have a potential to impact resources and visitors. See the following definitions and examples to determine if your activity might be included.

A special park use is defined as a short-term activity that takes place in a park area, and that:

  1. provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large;

  2. requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the National Park Service (NPS) in order to protect park resources and the public interest;

  3. is not prohibited by law or regulation;

  4. is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the NPS;

  5. and is not managed under a concession contract, a recreation activity for which the NPS charges a fee, or a lease,

Examples include weddings, other ceremonies or public assemblies, filming, photography and First Amendment activities.

Examples of First-Amendment Activities include: a religious service, political event, or demonstration.

The Superintendent’s Compendium provides a link to the certain federal regulations governing activities in national parks and identifies actions specific to Chamizal National Memorial. Knowing and following the regulations allows you to enjoy your visit and avoid the discomfort of a warning or citation from law enforcement rangers.


Special Event

Permits may be issued for special park uses in most outdoor spaces. Permits are not issued for any interior spaces.

First Amendment

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are constitutional rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. The park has designated areas that can be used by individuals and small groups or by permit. The NPS may regulate the time, place, and manner in which they are conducted.

Filming and Photography

Some filming and photography activities require a permit. Plan ahead for your photo shoot or film project.

Commercial Use Authorization

A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a business permit with the NPS. It authorizes you or your organization to conduct commercial activities and to provide specific visitor services within a national park.

Last updated: April 1, 2024

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