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Permits

Media Photographers with past Manager Dave Wiseman.  Photo by Pat Jamieson, USFWS

 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife law and treaties at a number of offices throughout the country. Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law. Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife. Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activates to go forward. 

Please allow Refuge staff at least two weeks to receive and process Special Use Permit, particularly if the permittee is asking to conduct activities on a weekend or Federal holiday when authorized staff may not be present to issue a permit. Permit applications may be submitted by mail, fax, or email. 

  • Research Project Permits

    Researchers with tranquilized pronghorn antelope.  Photo by NBR/USFWS

    The National Bison Range promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activities to occur on Refuge lands. Some of these are done under the auspices of University programs or non-governmental conservation groups (NGOs). Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife. Details of current and past research projects can be found under the Science section of this website.

    For those interested, please send research proposal and special use permit form 3-1383-R to:

    Bob Rebarchik, Deputy Project Leader
    c/o National Bison Range
    58355 Bison Range Road
    Moiese, MT 59824
    Email: bob_rebarchik@fws.gov
    406/644-2211 extension 203 

  • Natural History Filming

    Jack Hanna on film shoot at Bison Range.  Photo by Pat Jamieson, USFWS

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes the crucial link between public awareness and effective management of the National Wildlife Refuge System. We can use natural history films as an opportunity to educate and inform public about the National Wildlife Refuge System and raise the visibility of, and thus the support for, the Refuge System. The National Bison Range conducted a compatibility review and decided to allow producers of natural history films to obtain footage on the Bison Range complex of wildlife in their native habitat as well as scenic footage on refuge lands. To receive a permit, subjects and themes must support and enhance the mission of the US Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats.

    Interested parties need to apply for and receive a special use permit for each project. Information needed to process the permit will include: description of project objectives and themes, intended audience, types of equipment to be used, estimated amount of time to spend in the field, and bonding information. Please completely fill out and submit special use permit form 3-1383-C. Feel free to attach additional informational, such as promotional brochures, to help clarify your project. Applicants must allow at least two weeks for the Project Leader to process the permit and determine appropriateness of project. Photographing, videoing or filming of wildlife will be permitted only when such wildlife will not be molested, harmed, or disturbed.

    Send permit 3-1383-C to:
    Natural History Film Request
    c/o National Bison Range
    58355 Bison Range Road
    Moiese, MT 59824
    Email: bisonrange@fws.gov 

  • Passes

    US Fee area logo, Yellow triangle with white circle inside

    A series of passes covers the entrance and standard amenity fees charged for using federal recreational lands – including national wildlife refuges. Fees are charged at the Bison Range during the summer season, unless drives close due to weather or road conditions.

    Funds received from passes are used at the Bison Range complex to enhance wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities. This includes free map and brochure publication, interpretive displays and materials, and student and teacher environmental education programs and workshops. We also use funds to apply dust control to the gravel scenic drives, which provide for a higher quality visitor experience.

    Passes are purchased at the Visitor Center. Follow the link for details on types of passes and costs.

    Learn More
  • Sage Collection for Cultural Use

    Silver (white) sage plants (Artemisia ludoviciana) - silver leaves, small flowers.  Photo by Mel Harte, Bugwood.org

    Tribal members may apply for a permit to collect silver (white) sagebrush (Artemisia ludoviciana) at the National Bison Range. Silver sagebrush is a perennial plant that dies back each year, unlike the more familiar and woody big basin sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata). This plant is used in a variety of tribal ceremonies and is frequently used in smudging, where the sage, sometimes mixed with other ceremonial plants, is burned and the smoke is used to cleanse the user and/or the area. Permits allow Native Americans to continue their historic collection. Plants must be for non-commercial personal or community use.


    Please allow Refuge staff at least one week to receive and process the permit, particularly if the permittee is asking to collect on a weekend or Federal holiday when authorized staff may not be present to issue a permit. The Range uses permits to track and document use as well as insuring collection is spread over the landscape to protect future populations. 

Page Photo CreditsArtemisia ludoviciana. ©Mel Harte/Bugwood.org
Last Updated: Mar 21, 2013
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