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.
Special use permits are required for, but not limited to, the following types of activities:
- Guiding and outfitting (hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, river trips, etc.)
- Big game transporting
- Air and water taxi
- Sand and gravel removal
- Commercial filming and videographers
Scientific Research and Monitoring:
- Biological research
- Archeological research
- Geological research
- Research and Monitoring Installations* (i.e., weather, climate, seismic, etc.)
Use and Occupancy of Refuge Lands*:
- Commercial guide cabins
- Subsistence cabins
- Trapping cabins
- Tent platforms and long term tent camps
- Commercial fishing cabins and other support facilities
* Transportation and utility systems, and other long-term installations, require a right-of-way permit from the regional Division of Realty.
Permits issued for commercial uses are subject to a $100 administrative fee which must accompany the application. Please review the notice (pdf) regarding our Paper Check Conversion Program. The administrative fee is in addition to any applicable reserved site use (rental) or client use day fees.
Special use permits are obtained by submitting a permit application to the appropriate refuge. Please contact the appropriate refuge office before completing the permit application.