Do I Need A Permit?
Student film projects in the parks require a special use permit if they involve:
- Still photography using models or props, equipment that is not common to typical visitors (reflectors, lights, large format or unusual format cameras, dollies, audio equipment, etc), or access to areas the public is not usually permitted, or
- Any activity which may require management or mitigation to protect resources or other visitors.
What Areas Are Covered By This Permit?
The four parks included in the partnership that permits are issued through this office are Redwood National Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
How To Apply For A Permit?
The special use commercial film permit application and addendum are below. Be sure to complete and sign both forms.
1) Fillable Special Use Permit Application (word document).
2) A threatened and endangered species addendum (PDF document).
Be sure to read through the Common Conditions for Commercial Filming before submitting the application.
When completing the forms, if a question does not apply to your project, please indicate "none," "does not apply," or something similar, rather than leave a blank. All park regulations apply, unless a specific written exception is included in the permit.
No one has ever provided "too much" information. Please provide as much detail as possible; storyboards, summaries or outlines.
Samples of similar projects, a resume for the director, a copy of the actual assignment, etc.... Also a list of the equipment you plan to use, and the number of crew and vehicles you plan to bring. A breakdown of the crew is helpful, such as the number of camera operators, lighting, cast, assistants, etc. We also need something confirming that this is an assignment from your instructor, such as a letter or a copy of the assignment parameters.
You will need to indicate specific locations you wish to shoot, a GPS location, a map indicating the location, the name of a trail, etc.
What Locations Can I Film/Shoot At?
You will need to indicate specific locations you wish to shoot, a GPS location, a map indicating the location, the name of a trail, etc. Each request is reviewed based on the activity, location, time of year and day. So, while a permit may be approved for a certain activity at one location, it might not be suitable at another, based on natural or cultural resource impact; the same is true regarding the time of year or day, and visitation levels for that location. A permit is not usually required to send someone to scout locations that are open to the public.
We regret that at this time we are not issuing special use permit for the following locations: Fern Canyon, Stout Grove, LBJ Grove and James Irvine Trail. Filming activities are also restricted before, during and after holidays.
What If I Want A Different Location?
At this time we do not issues special use permits for LBJ Grove, Stout Grove, Fern Canyon, or the James Irvine Trail. We also do not normally issue permits during holiday time frames, the days before, during and following a public holiday.
How Much Is The Application Fee and When Do I Pay?
The amount of the fee is based on the size of your project. Most student projects will fall under the small category and the application fee is $200; application fees may range up to $400 for very large or complicated projects. Contact us to discuss the details.
The application fee must accompany your application. Please make the check or money order payable to the National Park Service; at this time we are unable to accept credit cards. The application fee is non-refundable once we accept your application.
Do I Need Insurance?
Yes. In addition to the application, please submit a copy of your Certificate of Insurance showing a minimum $1 million liability, with a $3 million aggregate. Prior to issuing your permit, we will require a COI showing the State of California and the United States as additional insureds. Insurance must be through a US based A- (or better) rated company. Additional insurance may be required for large or complex projects.
Are There Other Costs Associated With My Project?
Additional fees may be project dependent, but generally fall in the category of "cost recovery." If your project incurs a cost for the park, we will collect it from the permittee. Monitoring for instance, is $80/hour/ranger (there is a 4-hour minimum/ranger). A deposit may be requested based on estimated monitoring time. Other costs could involve rehabilitation or repairs in the event resources are negatively impacted by your project. For example: if excessive trash is left behind, ground or vegetation disturbance, damage to man-made structures, etc. These will be billed to you at the conclusion of your project, and are due within 30 days of billing.
Can I Close The Area For Privacy While Shooting?
All permits are issued on a non-exclusive basis; other visitors to the park may not be excluded from the area of your event.
How Long Does It Take To Process A Request?
Processing of a request takes no less than 30 days; complex or large projects may take longer.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
We reserve the right to disapprove of any filming activities which may have adverse impact on park resources. Permittee agrees not to depict activities or situations that are not permitted within Redwood National and State Parks or conflict with the park's preservation, protection and public use regulations.
- Depiction of tree climbing activities and/or equipment, actual or implied, is not permitted.
- The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) is not allowed.
- The issuance of a filming permit is not, and does not imply, an endorsement of any product or service.
- Commercial filming or photography of staff or volunteers requires prior approval.
Please keep in mind that our permits are issued on a non-exclusive basis, meaning that you may not exclude other visitors from the area during your project.
A list of common permit conditions is also attached, but these may vary by project; be sure to read this before submitting your application.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call, or e-mail.
Redwood National and State Parks