To comply with the January 2021 Price v. Barr decision of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, which determined that the permit and fee requirements for commercial filming are unconstitutional, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has changed its permitting requirements. This change means that the Fish and Wildlife Service will not collect application, cost recovery or location fees for filming activities, regardless of whether the use is for commercial purposes. See Filming Activities in the National Wildlife Refuge System for details.
Still photography does not require a permit unless it uses a model, set or prop, or the Fish and Wildlife Service determines a permit is necessary for logistical or cost reasons outlined in 43 CFR 5.2. Visitors do not require a permit for filming or still photography activities unless the filming is commercial filming as defined in 43 CFR 5.12 or the still photography activity involves one of the criteria listed in 43 CFR 5.2.