Superintendent's Compendium

Superintendent's Compendium of designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions imposed under discretionary authority

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Hovenweep National Monument. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Approved by: /s/ Patricia Trap, Superintendent, Southeast Utah Group, September 24, 2021


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(a)(1) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of the park, and the following closures are established for all or a portion of the park to all public use or to a certain use or activity:

Visiting Hours:

  • The visitor center is open year-round during the core hours of 9am – 5pm. The visitor center will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays from mid-October through mid-April. These hours may be reduced or extended depending on staffing levels. The visitor center is closed on the federal holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days.
  • Trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset. These times will be determined by the Skywatcher’s Almanac for Hovenweep National Monument, 37° 22’ North Latitude, 109° 7’ West Longitude, published annually by Astronomical Data Service, P.O. Box 26180, Colorado Springs, CO 80936.
  • The paved sidewalk leading from the visitor center to the overlook at Stronghold House is open 24 hours, 7 days/week. The Little Ruin Canyon / Square Tower trail, beginning at the overlook, is closed sunset to sunrise.
  • Overnight camping/parking is only allowed in the campground, which is open year-round.

This restriction has been implemented in order to protect park resources from unregulated overnight camping. Overnight parking with a vehicle is defined as camping which is accompanied by human waste, dark night sky, pets, and other potential impacts. In addition, there is no backcountry camping allowed in the monument hence no need for overnight parking.


  • Public use is restricted to established trails, roads and parking areas, the campground and visitor center. At the Square Tower Unit, public access below the rim is allowed only when accompanied by a park employee or by obtaining a Special Use Permit from the Superintendent.
  • The service access roads to the water tank, sewage lift station and Horseshoe/Hackberry Ruins are open to government vehicles and/or contractors for official business purposes only.

These restrictions serve to protect the Monument’s fragile archaeological resources and their surrounding natural features from damage due to concentrated use and to protect sensitive infrastructure.

All-Terrain Vehicles, Off Road Vehicles, Unmanned Aircraft, and Non-Powered Flight:

  • All vehicles operated within the boundaries of Hovenweep National Monument must have a valid state registration, display a valid state license plate(s), and meet any other requirements for motor vehicles operated on highways within the States of Utah and Colorado. 36 CFR 4.2.
  • Any off highway vehicle (OHV), all-terrain vehicle (ATV), or other motorized conveyance manufactured for recreational non-highway, off road, or all terrain travel (all-terrain type I or type II vehicles, as defined by Utah State Code Annotated 41-22-2) is prohibited. 36 CFR 1.5
  • No use of vehicles is allowed off designated roads. 36 CFR 4.10(a), (b).
  • Launching or landing an unmanned aircraft (drone) is prohibited within the boundaries of Hovenweep National Monument except as approved in writing by the superintendent. 36 CFR 1.5

These restrictions are intended to protect fragile archaeological sites, soil crusts, native vegetation and sensitive wildlife from disturbance; to preserve the natural soundscape from human-caused sounds; to allow visitors opportunities to experience quiet and solitude amid a natural setting; to preserve natural viewsheds and expansive vistas without human intrusion; and to maintain visitor safety.

  • Hovenweep National Monument is closed to the launching or landing of all forms of non-powered flight including hang gliders, paragliders, and parachutes.

This restriction is intended to protect visitors and natural/cultural resources from injury or damage due to the use of various forms of powerless flight.

Passenger Carrying Buses:

  • Operators of passenger-carrying buses are prohibited from idling their engines in parking lots and developed areas within the boundaries of Hovenweep National Monument.

This restriction serves to protect visitors from unnecessary noise and exhaust fumes while visiting the Monument.



(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is required:

  • §2.5(a) Specimen collection (The taking of plant, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals)

This restriction is intended to protect natural resources that should be available for the enjoyment of future generations.

  • §2.50(a) Conducting a special event, sports event, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events
  • §2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views

    NOTE: Gathering for the purpose of expressing views and making statements such as is protected under the First Amendment does not require a permit as long as the activity takes place in the designated “First Amendment” area indicated in this document and the involved group is less than 25 people. Groups larger than 25 people need a special use permit. Printed matter, used as part of a “First Amendment” activity may be allowed in the “First Amendment” area (See Appendix A) without a permit for groups less than 25 people.

    • The designated area for first amendment activities is located in the five parking spaces on the east side of the parking lot. See Appendix A.
  • §2.52(c) Sale or distribution of printed material that is not solely commercial advertising

These restrictions serve to maintain a natural, peaceful and enjoyable atmosphere for visitors.

  • §2.60(b) Livestock use.

This restriction is intended to protect the fragile soil crusts and vegetation found within the boundaries of the Monument.

  • §5.1 Advertisements (Display, posting or distribution.)
  • §5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business (Requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be pursuant to special regulations).
  • §5.5 Commercial Photography/Filming:
    (a) Commercial filming of motion pictures or television involving the use of professional casts, settings or crews, other than bona fide newsreel or news television

    (b) Still photography of vehicles, or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising.

These restrictions are intended to ensure a natural, tranquil and uninhibited experience for visitors to the Monument.

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(a)(4) It is unlawful to gather or cut firewood anywhere within the Monument

This restriction serves to protect the desert ecosystem within the Monument. Dead and downed wood is part of the natural and scenic landscape and an essential survival component for many species.

(a)(5 & 6) No archeological sites in Hovenweep National Monument may be entered, walked on or otherwise disturbed. Stepping over a chain, rope, or other barrier delineating a site is considered entering that site.

This restriction is intended to further protect the irreplaceable cultural resources within the Monument that were the basis for its original designation.

(c)(1), (c)(2) Reasonable small quantities of fruits, berries and nuts may be gathered for immediate personal consumption. The use of bush rakes or other harvesting devices is prohibited.

This restriction serves to protect natural ecological processes within the Monument as harvesting fruits, berries and nuts depletes food supplies for wildlife.

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(e) All lands within the boundary of the monument are closed to viewing wildlife with an artificial light.

This restriction serves to protect the natural and peaceful habitat of wildlife.

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(a) Camping in the Monument has the following restrictions:

  • Camping is only permitted in the designated campground.
  • The campground will be operated on a first-come, first-served basis. Campsites may not be held for parties arriving later.
  • Occupancy of each campsite is limited to 8 persons, 2 tents, and 2 vehicles (a trailer counts as one vehicle).
  • Campsites may not be left unattended for more than 24 hours.
  • All motor vehicles must be parked on designated vehicle pads and must not extend into the roadway. Vehicle barriers may not be moved to enlarge the available parking space and natural resources must not sustain damage from a parked vehicle.
  • Campground ‘Generator Hours’ are from 8am-10am and from 4pm-8pm.
  • Campground ‘Quiet Hours’ are from 10pm-8am. Noise levels are to remain at a conversational level. A camper’s voice should not be audible from a distance of 100 feet from the campsite.
  • Visitors are prohibited from soliciting other campers to share their campsites.
  • Checkout time is 10am daily. Persons still occupying sites, including vehicles and/or equipment, after checkout time, will be required to pay the campground fee for an additional day.
  • Camping fees are to be paid and deposited within thirty (30) minutes of occupying a campsite. Camping permit stubs must be displayed on the campsite marker immediately after payment is deposited. Sites not paid for within thirty minutes will be considered unoccupied and available for use.
  • It is prohibited to dispose of grey water on the ground. Grey water must be disposed of in toilets.

(b)(9) Length of stay is limited to seven (7) consecutive days from March through October, and fourteen (14) consecutive days the remainder of the year.

(b)(10) All food must be kept out of the reach of wildlife at all times. Food and other camping supplies must be kept in a vehicle or other hard-sided-latchable container when the campsite is not occupied.

These restrictions serve to protect natural resources in the Monument by limiting group size and prescribing a camping location. The restrictions also protect the recreational experience of all visitors by limiting the time and manner of use by any one group occupying a site. They also serve to ensure the proper disposal of human waste to protect water quality, natural habitat and visitor safety.

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(a)(1)(ii) Any noise level from a speaker, musical instrument, or noise maker which is more audible than conversational voice is prohibited.

This restriction is intended to ensure the natural and peaceful enjoyment of the Monument for its visitors.


36 CFR 2.13 – FIRES

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is permitted only under the following conditions:

  • Fires are restricted to the campground and only in metal fire grills provided.
  • Gathering wood and making ground fires are prohibited.
  • Burning trash or other waste is prohibited.
  • During periods of extreme fire danger, as established by fire weather data, all fires within the Monument will be prohibited with the exception of gas-burning stoves.

These requirements are intended to ensure that the visual and environmental impacts of campfires and cooking fires are limited in high use areas. Fire rings attract trash and food residue from campers attempting to burn trash before leaving an area. High temperatures from ground fires negatively impact soils and impair plant growth. These restrictions also serve to minimize the risks of wildland fires during extreme weather conditions.

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(2.14) In non-developed areas, toilet paper must be carried out. Burning or burying toilet paper is prohibited.

This restriction serves to protect public health, natural resources and water quality.

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36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a)(1) Dogs (except service dogs), cats and other pets are prohibited on any monument land, including buildings, except for those locations identified below:

  • Pets on a leash (max.6’) are allowed on/in all hiking trails, all monument roads open for public vehicular use, parking areas, picnic areas and the campground.

(a)(3) Pets may be left unattended if they are secured in a location where they will not become a nuisance, interfere with wildlife, impede normal travel by visitors or cause other resource damage. Pets may not be left unattended overnight, nor when weather or other conditions could endanger the pet’s health.

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be immediately collected by the pet handler and disposed of in the nearest trash receptacle. Bagged pet excrement may not be disposed of in pit toilets.

(e) Monument residents may keep pets in compliance with the pet policy current Hovenweep Housing Management Plan.

These restrictions serve to protect park natural/cultural resources, wildlife and visitors from the negative impacts of domestic animals.

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(a) Horses, mules, burros, llamas, and other animals used as pack stock are not permitted within the boundaries of Hovenweep National Monument with the following exceptions:

  • Removal of trespassing livestock
  • Search and rescue activities
  • Law enforcement incidents
  • Other emergency operations

These restrictions serve to protect biological soil crusts and other natural resources from excessive large animal impacts. Hiking trails and routes are not compatible with stock.



The use of roller skates, rollerblades, roller skis, skateboards, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are allowed on paved roads only. Use of these devices must comply with the same traffic regulations that apply to bicycles.

This restriction serves to provide for visitor safety and to protect biological soil crusts and other natural resources.

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36 CFR §2.21 – SMOKING

Smoking and the use of e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) are prohibited in all government buildings and around the fuel and flammable materials storage area.

Smoking and the use of e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) are not permitted in government vehicles.

During periods of extreme fire danger, as established by fire weather data, all smoking within the Monument will be prohibited.

These restrictions are intended to protect public/employee health and government property from the effects of smoking and minimize the risk of fire/explosions in fuel storage areas. They also serve to minimize the risks of wildland fires during extreme weather conditions.

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36 CFR §2.22 – PROPERTY

(a)(2) Geocaching is prohibited. Geocaching is defined as the placement of a concealed cache within the park boundaries and then disseminating the coordinates/location, or clues to the coordinates/location, for the purpose of enticing third parties to search for the cache at a later date.

This restriction serves to protect cultural resources and soil crust and other natural resources within the Monument.

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(a) Recreation fees, and/or permits, in accordance with 36 CFR Part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events, or specialized recreation uses:

Entrance Fee Area*:
Vehicle Pass - 7 days $ 15.00
Individual Pass ( Bicycle, Walking) - 7 days $ 7.00 / person
Motorcycle Pass - 7 days $ 10.00
National Parks Passport $ 80.00
SE Utah Group Pass $ 50.00
Senior Passport (Lifetime) $ 80.00
Senior Passport (Annual) $ 20.00
Access Passport Free

*Collection of Entrance Fees will be reinstated when personnel and intrastructure in place.

Campground Fee Area:
One Campsite (March 1 - October 31) $ 15.00 / Night
One Campsite w/Senior or Access Pass (March 1 - October 31) $ 7.00 / Night
One Campsite (November 1 - end of February) $ 10.00 / Night
One Campsite w/Senior or Access Pass (November 1 - end of February) $ 5.00 / Night

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(a)(3)(i) The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all public use buildings when the building is open to the general public with the exception of officially sanctioned activities.

This restriction serves to protect visitors in public use buildings from the effects of alcoholic beverage consumption.

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36 CFR §2.38 – FIREWORKS

(b) The possession or use of fireworks is not permitted in the Monument.

This restriction serves to eliminate unnecessary fire danger and ensure peaceful and safe enjoyment of the Monument for visitors.

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(a)(2)(i) The carrying and transport of firearms must comply with state law. Traps, nets, and weapons may be possessed within a temporary lodging or mechanical mode of conveyance when such implements are rendered temporarily inoperable or are packed, cased or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use.

Weapons are not allowed in government buildings.

This restriction serves to eliminate tools used in hunting practices from the Monument

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(a) A Special Use Permit is required for the erection of monuments (requires approval from Regional Director).

(b) A Special Use Permit is required for the scattering of ashes from cremated human remains in accordance with the following terms and conditions of the permit.

These restrictions are intended to protect cultural and natural resources as well as the visitor experience.

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(a)(1) All springs, seeps, and other natural water sources are closed to swimming, bathing, wading, or immersion of humans or domestic animals.

This restriction serves to protect the natural water quality within the Monument.

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36 CFR §4.30 – BICYCLES

(i)(1) Bicycles and electric bicycles are allowed on park roads and in parking areas that are open to motor vehicle use by the public.

This restriction is intended to protect fragile soil crust and other natural resources within the monument.

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Appendix A

Designated Area for First Amendment Activities

Hovenweep Visitor Center Parking Lot

A satellite view of a parking lot with a red outlined area and "First Amendment Area" in text





54 U.S.C. Section 10075 l(a) and Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations§ 1.5(a)(2) gives authority to Park Superintendents to impose restrictions on activities within park areas for the maintenance of public health and safety.


Regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, except when actively eating or drinking, in all common areas and shared workspaces in federally owned buildings administered by the National Park Service and in office space leased by the National Park Service.

'Federally owned buildings administered by the National Park Service' include, but are not limited to, visitor centers, administrative offices, maintenance facilities, and shared government quarters; buildings assigned to concessioners or other park partners; and buildings leased for commercial purposes to individuals or entities other than the National Park Service.

To exclude facilities where staff are actively engaged in physical training activities, such as control tactics, or other cardio intensive workouts where a mask could inhibit adequate respirations and lead to cardiac arrest. Gyms are limited to no more than four persons at a time, six feet physical distancing will be maintained, and gym equipment must be wiped down after each use.

All individuals over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, must wear masks in the following outdoor areas when others are present, except when actively eating or drinking, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:

  • Entrance Booths and self-pay stations
  • Commercial passenger vehicles, to include holders of Commercial Use Authorizations, as well as Contracted Concessioners and other partners that provide transportation services
  • Outdoor pavilions, Points of Interest, and other outdoor gathering areas
  • Visitor Center parking areas and complex, to include sidewalks, plazas, and all building entrances
  • Interpretive talks, tours, and demonstrations
  • Public restrooms and vault toilets
  • Amphitheaters
  • Campground common areas, including payment stations
  • Trails, Routes, Overlooks, and backcountry roads

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers on public transit, regardless of vaccination status. Masks remain required on all forms of public transit that operate within parks, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in transportation hubs.


The NPS issues this administrative order for the purposes of implementing mask-wearing requirements to maintain public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

This order is consistent with the following federal public health directives:

  • On January 20, 2021, the President signed Executive Order 13991, Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing. E.O. 13991 directs federal agencies to: …immediately take action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to require compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines with respect to wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and other public health measures by: on-duty or on-site Federal employees; on-site Federal contractors; and all persons in Federal buildings or on Federal lands.
  • On January 24, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget issued M-21-15, COVID-19 Safe Federal Workplace: Agency Model Safety Principles to provide guidance to federal agencies on implementing E.O. 13991. M-21-15 contains model safety principles that apply CDC guidelines related to mask-wearing and physical distancing to the federal workplace and are designed to be used by federal agencies as a starting point for updating their COVID-19 workplace safety plans.
  • On January 29, 2021, the Acting Secretary of the Interior issued a memorandum entitled Protecting Our Workforce by Requiring Mask-Wearing. This memorandum reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to an urgent, robust, and professional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Memorandum requires all onsite employees, contractors, and volunteers to wear a mask or face covering at all times while in Department.
  • UPDATE: On Friday, August 6, [2021,] the [DOI] Secretary implemented a policy stating, “In areas of substantial or high community transmission, all federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask inside of Federal buildings unless alone in their closed office space.” While this direction is based on community transmission levels, it does not take into account the reality that most visitors to NPS sites come from locations across the country, if not across the world. In addition, guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force notes that in determining a relevant area for purposes of masking requirements, agencies should consider, among other factors, transmission levels in areas from which visitors travel. Recognizing that the majority of the United States is currently in substantial or high transmission categories, we should consider that the majority of visitors have the potential to come from areas of substantial or high community transmission.

The National Park Service determines publication as rulemaking in the Federal Register is unwarranted under 36 CFR § 1.5, as the nature, magnitude, and duration of this temporary restriction will not:

  • Result in a significant alteration in the public use pattern of this area
  • Adversely affect the park's natural, aesthetic, scenic or cultural values
  • Require a long-term or significant modification in the resource management objectives
  • Furthermore, this closure is not of a highly controversial nature

Public Notice Strategy

Pursuant to 36 CFR § 1.7 notice of this temporary and partial closure and public use limitation will be made through the following means:

  • Signs posted at conspicuous locations along the affected trails.

  • Publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected area.

  • Electronic media.

This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until rescinded or replaced by a more current Mask Mandate Update. The effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis and will be modified or rescinded when conditions warrant.

Approved: /s/ Patricia S. Trap, Superintendent
August 25, 2021

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54 U.S.C. Section 10075 l(a) and Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations§ 1.5 (a)(2) authorizes the Park Superintendent to impose restrictions on activities within park areas.


Commercial Filming

The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:

  • Outdoor filming activities outside of areas managed as wilderness involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.

The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:

  • Maintain public health and safety;
  • Protect environmental or scenic values;
  • Protect natural or cultural resources;
  • Allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or
  • Avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.

The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10 day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.

The following are prohibited:

  • Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.
  • Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if the activity takes place in areas managed as wilderness or if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.
  • Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action.

Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent. The Superintendent may suspend services or remove disorderly persons or groups or permit violators from the park area.


In recent years, the NPS has seen an increase in low impact filming activities within park areas. These activities involve minimal equipment and crews, such as individuals or small groups that film using smartphones or other handheld devices, in many cases with nothing more than a tripod for equipment. These types of productions are highly unlikely to need a permit because the potential for impacts to resources and the visitor experience is no greater than the potential for impacts from visitors engaged in casual filming. This is true whether or not the footage is used for commercial purposes, such as by posting footage online for profit.

The restrictions identified provide objective criteria that will allow these small-scale productions to proceed in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS.

Other filming activities must be proposed to the NPS in advance so that the superintendent can determine whether or not a permit is required.

Applicability of Other Laws and Regulations

All activities in park areas – including filming even if a permit is not required – must comply with all visitor use regulations in 36 C.F.R., including but not limited to those prohibiting resource damage (36 C.F.R. § 2.1), protecting wildlife (36 C.F.R. § 2.2) or mitigating audio disturbances (36 C.F.R. § 2.12), and any restrictions on visitor use in the park’s compendium, such as restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (i.e., drones). Filming of any kind may not occur in closed areas without written authorization. Filming activities may not violate applicable laws, such as the Endangered Species Act, the Archeological Resources Protection Act, or the Wilderness Act. All filming must comply with laws protecting the NPS’s intellectual property, such as laws and regulations governing the use of the NPS Arrowhead and images of NPS employees.

Public Notice Strategy

Pursuant to 36 CFR § 1.7 notice of this temporary and partial closure and public use limitation will be made through the following means:

  • Electronic media.

Approved: /s/ Patricia S. Trap, Superintendent
April 22, 2021

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Last updated: October 14, 2021

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