Certain types of activities require a special use permit. These include many types of organized gatherings, distribution of printed material and other public expressions of opinion, and other activities that are controlled or prohibited. See the following definitions and examples to determine if your use might be included.
It is the policy of the National Park Service (NPS) to allow special uses that are not in conflict with law or policy; will not result in derogation of the values and purposes for which the park was established; do not present a threat to public safety or property and do not unduly interfere with normal park operations, resource protection, or visitor use.
The park has the authority and responsibility to evaluate applicant requests, permit, manage, and/or deny all special uses within the park. Therefore, before any permit will be granted, consideration will be given to potential park resource impacts, as well as impacts to visitor use, access to park sites, or park administration. There are cost recovery fees associated with the administration and management of special use permits for costs incurred by the park. Special park use guidelines state that “it is the policy of the NPS to charge permit fees for special uses. Permit fees should reflect the fair market value of a benefit provided the permittee. The fair market value of a special use is the value of the lands or facilities used and the NPS cost incurred in managing, facilitating, or supporting the use.”
A special park use is defined as 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 National Park Service (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; and Is not managed under a concession contract, a recreation activity for which the NPS charges a fee, or a lease.