Special Use Permits

Sunrise over white sand dunes.
The serenity of peacefulness of the dunefield invite contemplation.

Gatherings and commercial activities in national parks often require a special use permit. The purpose of these permits is to ensure the protection of the park's natural and cultural resources.

Examples of activities that may require a Special Use Permit:

  • Races, relays, walks
  • Any ground disturbing activities
  • Large events
  • Celebratory gatherings
  • Artistic displays (dancing, singing, playing instruments, painting, pottery)
  • Activities that extend beyond normal operating hours

Based on the information provided, a permit may be required to:

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

The decision to require a permit rests with the park superintendent based on potential impacts to park resources or the visitor experience.

How to Apply for a Special Use Permit

  • Download and complete the special use permit application.
  • Download and read the White Sands Special Park Uses FYI document.
  • Submit the completed special use permit application to whsa_permits@nps.gov. The application must be received by the park no less than 21 days prior to the start of the event.
  • Place a secure credit card payment for the $100.00 application fee over the phone at 575-479-6124 ext. 206. Processing the permit cannot begin until payment has been received.
  • Once payment is received, most applications for permits requests will be processed within 21 working days. Requests that involve multiple locations, complex logistics or coordination with other visitor activities will require a minimum of 30 working days to process. Projects that require environmental or cultural resource evaluation must be submitted no less than 90 days before the start of proposed activity(ies).
  • After favorable review of your application, your permit will be emailed to you or you may pick it up in person at the park.

If You Have Additional Questions...

Please email whsa_permits@nps.gov.

Last updated: May 13, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1086
Holloman AFB, NM 88330


575 479-6124

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