Commercial Videography and Photography Permits in Arctic Refuge

Attention Drone Users: The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drones) on Arctic Refuge is prohibited unless authorized in advance through a special use permit or letter of authorization.

Permits may be required for commercial videography, including filming of documentaries, travelogues, feature stories, and advertising. News gathering organizations are exempt from fee, insurance, and bonding requirements, but may require a Special Use Permit to ensure compatibility with Refuge purposes, public use, ongoing research, or to protect Refuge resources. Because of this, an early teleconference or a meeting between Refuge staff and the project leader is recommended. A $100 fee may be required.

Arctic Refuge processes permit applications during either of two permit application periods in each calendar year:

  • January 1 to March 15 (generally for activities beginning after May)
  • October 1 to November 30 (generally for activities beginning after January of the following year)

Complete applications received during these dates will be processed within 45 days of receipt. Incomplete applications will be returned to you after the application period closing date. Applications received outside these dates will be processed within the next permit application period.

In addition to your permit application, you will also need to submit a State of Alaska business license and a narrative letter addressed to the Refuge Manager. (Guidance for film narrative letter.)

Please contact us at (907)888-5704 about any filming projects you may be interested in pursuing on the Refuge.

Additional permits may be required if photographing/filming polar bears or other marine mammals for commercial or educational purposes. Information about this process is available at Guidelines for Commercial or Educational Photography and Filming of Polar Bears.