Special Park Use Permits

What types of activities require a special park use permit?

Special Events: A special use permit is required of activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group or organization, rather than the public at large, and that require some degree of management from the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest. Some examples of special events that require permits are:

  • Concerts
  • Festivals
  • Public spectator attractions
  • Sporting events
  • Ceremonies: weddings, baptisms, memorial services, etc.
  • Private gatherings, involving 25 or more people, such as company picnics, etc.
  • Cultural programs

Who do I contact about a Special Park Use Permit?

We recommend that you communicate with the Special Park Uses Coordinator before filling out an application, to ascertain whether or not you will need a special use permit for your activity. Phone: (530)242-3412 or email: WHIS_permits@nps.gov.

How do I apply for a Special Park Use Permit?

Fill out an application. Applications must be submitted a minimum of 4 weeks in advance of an event to allow time for processing. A non-refundable processing fee of $150.00 is required with each application.

Where can I get an application?

Both the visitor center and the administration office at park headquarters keep paper copies of the application form.

The application is available for download here:
Special Use Permit Application.

What conditions will I need to meet?

Each special use permit issued is based upon general conditions that protect visitor access, safety, and park values and resources. Other permit conditions may be imposed depending upon the proposed activity and the park site on which it is held. Most events will require a certificate of insurance to ensure liability coverage for operations, personal injury, property damage and loss, and other necessary categories. For events with potential participant impact, permittees must post a performance bond. The bond is refundable unless the deposit must be used, in whole or in part, for site cleanup, trash removal, property damage or because the permittee fails to comply with permit conditions. A tax ID or Social Security number is required from each person or organization doing business with the federal government.

How are special events scheduled?

An annual calendar is maintained of all special events held in the park. Requests for event dates are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis up to one year in advance. To avoid potential conflicts with the general public, most events of significant size should be scheduled outside our busy visitor season, Memorial Day through Labor Day. We will not issue additional permits for park sites that are already affected by a scheduled event. An event is not placed on our calendar until a completed application form, accompanied by the $150 application fee, is received and reviewed at the park.

What will my permit eventually cost?

The National Park Service is required to recover all costs involved in allowing special park uses. Speak with the Special Park Uses Coordinator for an estimate of the cost of the permit.

How long will it take for my permit to be approved or denied?

The average permit takes about four weeks to process. Permits for large, high-impact events may take more time to evaluate.


Special Park Uses Coordinator

Last updated: April 27, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 188
Whiskeytown , CA 96095


530 242-3400

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