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The National Wildlife Refuge System has four different Special Use Permit (SUP) Application forms to enable the public to engage in activities on a national wildlife refuge.
These forms are available here in a fillable format. You can also obtain these forms and more detailed instructions from the refuge’s administrative office where the activity would take place or on the refuge’s website. To find a refuge website or contact information go here
It is possible for prospective permit holders to fill out the pertinent application, 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 (FWS Form 3-1383-C) 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, and other agricultural products)
  • Cabins (see also the General Special Use Application and Permit described below)
  • Trapping

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

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

3. National Wildlife Refuge System General Activity Special Use Application (FWS Form 3-1383-G) for:

  • Woodcutting
  • 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 at the individual refuge.

4. National Wildlife Refuge System Oil and Gas Operations Permit Special Use Application (FWS Form 3-2469) for operations associated with non-Federal oil and gas rights and may only be conducted by operators who have demonstrated a bona fide property right to conduct the following types of activities:

  • Temporary activities such as reconnaissance surveys
  • Geophysical Exploration
  • Drilling (e.g., accessing site, mobilizing equipment, building roads or grading wellpad)
  • Production (e.g., operation of oil and gas well or compressor station, transportation of product off refuge)
  • Plugging and abandoning well and site reclamation

For more information on oil and gas exploration and development visit our Oil and Gas webpage.


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