Special Use Permit Guidelines


The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge has established the following regulations to safeguard wildlife and support wildlife dependent activities that further the refuge’s wildlife conservation efforts.


  • Permittees are asked to allow a minimum of two weeks after submittal of a SUP (Special Use Permit) application for processing and approval.
  • Permittees are required to check in by phone prior to beginning their project to provide timelines, vehicle descriptions, and license plate numbers to refuge management.
  • All stipulations outlined in applicable compatibility determinations must be followed. 
  • Any vehicle damage or tow needs will be the responsibility of the permittee. 
  • Permittees must take every precaution to prevent the spread of bufflegrass onto the refuge by washing vehicles prior to entry. To date, the refuge has been able to control bufflegrass populations.
  • Permittees must not enter closed areas. 
  • Carry a copy of your SUP at all times. Visitation by other individuals not on the SUP is prohibited without permission from the refuge manager. The permittee is responsible for ensuring that all persons working on the project adhere to the permit conditions and study proposal. All field assistants are to be coordinated by the permittee and should carry a copy of the permit while they are working on the refuge
  • All field researchers must have appropriate State and Federal permits and authorizations for the proposed work. 
  • Once the proposed project is complete, a final report must be submitted. A copy of the master’s thesis or similar document may suffice for the final report. Copies of any other publications based on data from this project shall be submitted to the refuge Manager when available. All littler cleanup permit holders are required to record their results at www.azbordertrash.com.
  • The permittee and persons working on the project agree to keep the specific location of sensitive refuge resources confidential. Sensitive resources include threatened and endangered species, rare species and cultural resources.
  • No chemicals are to be used within the refuge. Unless specifically authorized.
  • As a general rule, permits will expire at end of the calendar year following the date of issuance. The expiration date will depend on the length of the project, date of submittal, and review by Refuge staff. Renewal will be contingent upon satisfactory completion of project deliverables. Nothing in the SUP shall be construed as granting any exclusive research privileges or automatic right to continue, extend, or renew the current or any other line of research under new permit(s).
  • We are located on the International border of Mexico. Border activity has decreased significantly in the last eight years but Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge tracks all border related activity. Should you encounter significant border activity (abandoned vehicles, drugs, gun fire, large trash sites etc.) please contact our Law Enforcement department at 520-823-4251 Ext. 115.
  • Failure to abide by the regulations set in this permit will be cause for this permit to be revoked and for the denial of future requests.
  • Special Use Permits do not excuse the permittee(s) from adhering to USFWS 50 CFRs and Administration Act. Criminal charges can be filed for violations. See the Rules and Regulations page for additional information.

If you would like to apply for a Special Use Permit, please fill out the attached application that applies to your proposed project, sign the bottom and return it to Stan_Culling@fws.gov or mail to:

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
Attn: Stan Culling
P.O. Box 109
Sasabe, AZ 85633


General Use Application

Research Use Application

Commercial Application