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Commercial Filming & Photography Permits

What is commercial filming?

Use of motion picture, videotaping, sound-recording, or any other type of moving image or audio recording equipment on National Forest System (NFS) lands that involves the advertisement of a product or service, the creation of a product for sale, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props. This does not include broadcasting breaking news.

What is still photography?

The use of photographic equipment to capture still images on film, digital format, and other similar technologies on NFS lands that:

  • Takes place at a location where members of the public are generally not allowed or where additional administrative costs are likely, or
  • Uses models, sets, or props that are not a part of the site's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities.

Is a permit required?

  • A permit is not required for still photography or commercial filming involving breaking news.
  • A permit is required for all commercial filming activities on National Forest System lands.
  • A permit is required for all still photography activities on National Forest System lands that involve the use of models, sets, or props that are not a part of the natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities of the site where the activity is occurring.
  • A permit may be required for still photography activities not involving models, sets, or props when the Forest Service incurs additional administrative costs as a direct result of the activity or when the activity takes place at a location where members of the public are generally not allowed.

How do I apply?

 
Checklist for Filming Request Form
  1. Submit a completed film request application to the District you would like the activity to occur.
  2. Contact the Forest Service office in the area where you wish to have your activity. This contact will determine whether your activity meets the following pre-application screening requirements applicable to all special uses:
  3. The proposed use is consistent with federal, state, and local laws, regulations, orders, and policies that apply to national forests and grasslands;
  4. The proposed use is consistent or can be made consistent with the Forest Plan that established standards and guidelines for management of the land where the activity will take place;
  5. The proposed use will not create a serious and substantial risk to public health or safety;
  6. The proposed use will not create an exclusive or perpetual right of use or occupancy;
  7. The proposed use will not unreasonably conflict or interfere with administrative use by the Forest Service, other authorized existing uses, or uses of adjacent non-NFS lands;
  8. The proponent must not owe any fees to the Forest Service from a prior or existing special-use authorization;
  9. The proposed use does not involve gambling or providing of sexually-oriented commercial services, even if permitted under state law;
  10. The proposed use does not involve military or paramilitary training or exercises, unless such training is federally funded;
  11. The proposed use does not involve disposal of solid waste or disposal of radioactive or other hazardous substances.

If you meet the initial screening requirements, the Forest Service administrator will provide guidance on what information will be required to complete your proposal.

If your proposed event does not meet the screening requirements you will be notified that the proposal, as submitted, is denied.

 

A proposal that passes the initial screening proceeds to second level screening. Your proposal will be accepted as an application if it meets all of the following:

  1. The proposed use would be consistent or compatible with the purposes for which the lands are managed; and
  2. The proposed use would be in the public interest; and
  3. The proponent is qualified; and
  4. The proponent can demonstrate technical or financial capability to undertake the use and fully comply with the terms and conditions of the permit; and
  5. There is someone authorized by the proponent to sign a permit or there is someone willing to accept the responsibility of the terms and conditions of the permit. Upon satisfactory passing of this screen the Forest Service will process your request.
  6. The proposed activity must not cause unacceptable resource damage.
  7. The proposed activity must not unreasonable disrupt the public's use and enjoyment of the site where the activity would occur.

Is there a fee?

Yes. The land use rent is based upon the following criteria:

The number of days the filming/photography activity or similar project takes place on National Forest System lands.

The size of the film crew present on Federal land

The Forest Service shall also collect any costs incurred as a result of the filming/photography activities, including but not limited to administrative and personnel costs. These costs are in addition to the land use rent noted below.

The minimum rental fees for the Chugach National Forest are as follows:

Commercial Still Photography: 

Persons on Site

2016 Minimum Fee/Day

2017 Minimum Fee/Day

1 - 10

$143.99

$145.72

11-30

$210.43

$212.96

>30

$343.34

$347.46

 Motion Picture & TV Location: 

Persons on Site

2016 Minimum Fee/Day

2017 Minimum Fee/Day

1 - 10

$210.43

$212.96

11 - 30

$276.89

$280.21

31 - 60

$697.76

$706.13

>60

$764.23

$773.40

What is Public Law 106-206?

On May 26th, 2000 the President signed into law a bill concerning commercial filming.  This legislation states:  "An Act:  To allow the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a fee system for commercial filming activities on Federal land, and for other purposes."  Public Law 106-206, is currently being implemented on the Chugach National Forest.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/chugach/passes-permits/event-commercial/?cid=STELPRDB5199833