Special events are activities, such as sporting events, weddings, pageants, 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.
Special Use / Event Permits
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.
Costs and Fees
Mininum cost is $280 for the permit. If extra monitoring is needed then those cost will be billed after the event. Pay via Pay.gov (instructions below).
Application Fee $100
An application fee is required for special park uses.
Administrative Fees $180
Additional administrative and minimum monitoring fees are due upon the issuance of the permit.
Each contains a minimum 2-hour monitoring charge. If additional monitoring is required, a charge of $50.00 per hour/per employee will be assessed.
Applicants should submit payments via Pay.gov. To make a payment:
- Enter "SEUG" 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
For special events, complete Form 10-930 (826k Word document) and submit it along with Pay.gov payment confirmation to the email address listed on the application form.
All applications will be handled in the order they are received. Standard requests can be processed in 10 business days. Requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics, and coordination with other NPS divisions or visitor activities may require a minimum of four weeks to process. A minimum of four weeks is also required to process permits for projects that need additional environmental compliance.
Special event permits are issued by authority of the Superintendent through the Chief Ranger’s Office.