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Special Use Permits and Passes

National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act 512 x 219

A permit for special authorization from the refuge manager required for any refuge service, facility, privilege, or product of the soil provided at refuge expense and not usually available to the general public through authorizations in Title 50 CFR or other public regulations (Refuge Manual 5 RM 17.6).

  • Special Use Permits

    The Service has developed three different Special Use Permit (SUP) forms which may enable the public to engage in activities considered a) commercial b) research and c) other general uses.


    The electronic OMB pdf forms are both the application and the permit. These new forms are available to the public online in a fillable format. It is now possible for prospective permittees to fill out the first pages of the form, print it, sign it, and return it to the refuge for processing. The permit is not valid until approved and signed by a refuge official.


    1. National Wildlife Refuge System Commercial Activities Special Use Application and Permit (FWS Form 3-1383-C) (link to pdf form) for:

    Commercial activities such as guiding hunters, anglers or other outdoor users; 
    Commercial filming (audio, video, and photographic products of a monetary value); 
    Agriculture (haying, grazing, crop planting, logging, beekeeping, and other agricultural products); 
    Cabins (see also the General Special Use Application and Permit described below); 


    2. National Wildlife Refuge System Research and Monitoring Special Use Application and Permit (FWS Form 3-1383-R) (link to form here) for:


    Research and monitoring activities by students, universities, or other non-FWS organizations.


    3. National Wildlife Refuge System General Special Use Application and Permit (FWS Form 3-1383-G) (link to form here) for:

    Miscellaneous events (fishing tournaments, one-time events, other special events); 
    Cabins/subsistence cabins (depending on the information use requirement, you may need the commercial form); 
    Education activity; 
    Other (any activity not mentioned above). 

    The above-referenced activities are not necessarily conducted on every refuge. Contact the Refuge manager to inquire whether we consider the proposed use appropriate or compatible on Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge.


  • Passes

    Lee Metcalf NWR does not require a pass of any kind to enter or use the Refuge. However, other Refuges may. A series of passes covers the entrance and standard amenity fees charged for using federal recreational lands – including national wildlife refuges:

    Existing Golden Eagle Passports and National Parks Passes with an expiration date will be honored until they expire. Paper versions of the Golden Age or Golden Access Passports should be exchanged for the new Senior or Access passes. However, plastic Golden Age or Access passes are valid for the pass holder's lifetime and do not need to be exchanged. 

    The Senior and Access passes are good for the lifetime of the holder and make available (to the pass holder only) 50 percent discounts on some expanded amenity fees. 

    For the first time, decals and hangtags are available: decals for those who park open-topped vehicles (like Jeeps) or motorcycles at unstaffed federal recreation sites, and hangtags for those who anticipate parking closed vehicles at unmanned facilities. 


    Please visit the National Wildlife Refuge System Web site for more information about passes.

Last Updated: Feb 13, 2014
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