2012 Duck Stamp

Are you taking refuge pictures for your vacation album, or for financial gain? Photos taken on the refuge that you hope to sell require a Special Use Permit.


Permits are not required to do most public activities on the refuge, such as hiking and wildlife watching. Commercial ventures—such as filmmaking and photography; certain educational outings; research; and collection of anything (plants, rocks, soil, or insects to name a few)—require Special Use Permits issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Please contact the main office at for details.

The U.S. Fish & 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. FWS 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.

Permit Resources

Permits are handled by permitting programs in International Affairs (Management Authority), Endangered Species, Law Enforcement, and Migratory Birds.

Visit the National Wildlife Refuge System web site for Special Use Permits.

For more detailed information, go to How to Obtain a Permit, FAQs/Facts, or Application Forms.