The Act of May 26,2000 (Public Law 103-206), authorizes the Forest Service to establish a fee system for commercial filming activities based on the number of days, the size of the film crew and the type of equipment used. This law allows for the retention of fees, with the expectation permit applicants are responded to in a timely manner.
The Forest Service requires a special use permit when the commercial filming or still photography activity occurs on or impacts National Forest System land, roads, resources or Forest Service facilities.
A permit is required for commercial filming and sound recording on the National Forest System Lands which involves:
A permit is required for still photography on National Forest System Lands if:
Contact the Forest Service Ranger District office responsible for managing the area as soon as possible. The proponent will need to give details of the proposed commercial filming or still photography project, desired location, and the activities or special effects planned.
Insurance and performance bonds are sometimes necessary to protect the public interest. Exact needs can’t be determined until a proposal is submitted, but commercial insurance, a bond or both may be required.
Fees: Land use fees and additional administrative fees may apply for all commercial filming activities. The land use fee is based on the number of days of filming, activities, the size of the film crew, and the amount of equipment. Additional administrative costs may apply to cover processing an application and monitoring a permitted use..
This is a brief introduction to filming. Please contact your local Forest Service office to start the process. Locations and phone numbers can be found at:
and Interactive Visitor’s Map: https://www.fs.fed.us/ivm/.
Featured image provided by Mike Blakeman, Rio Grande National Forest Public Affairs Officer