The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife laws and treaties at a number of offices throughout the country.

USFWS Permits

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 and public safety. Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activates to go forward.

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

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

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Specific Permits

A special use permit is required for all commercial visitor services and most other special events or group activities on Refuge lands. A permit is not required to engage in individual/family wildlife-dependent recreational activities such as wildlife watching, fishing, photography, environmental education, interpretation, and hiking. Individual/family activities that require permits include hunting and camping. Visitors must comply with all pertinent refuge regulations, and State and Federal laws.

Special use permits are required for, but not limited to, the following types of activities:

Commercial Operations (Contact and Application Form)

  • Commercial Photography (photographic products having a monetary value) 
  • Commercial Filming/Video (audio, video, and photographic products having a monetary value) 
  • Commercial Fishing Tournaments 
  • Commercial Rock Sports (rock climbing) 
  • Commercial Scuba Instruction 
  • Commercial Tours or Activities  

Scientific Research and Monitoring (Contact and Application Form)

  • Activities may include scientific expeditions by students, universities, private institutions, or other non-Refuge System organizations.  
  • Biological research 
  • Geological research 
  • Natural Resource Collection 

Use and Occupancy of Refuge Lands  (

Contact and Application Form


  • Operation of Amateur Radio  
  • Running Events 
  • Bicycling Events 
  • Use of Refuge Facilities for Events 
  • Other events where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not an active participant in the activity. 
  • Please see specific webpages for information about hunting and camping at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. 

Permits for other Activities (Contact and Application Form)

Permit requests for activities that do not fit under any of the above categories may be allowed on the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge if they are compatible with the purposes of the Refuge and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System. A fee may be required.

If you are interested in conducting one of the above named activities on the refuge, we encourage you to contact refuge management at least three month in advance of your work to begin the SUP process. If you are found conducting an activity that requires a SUP without the appropriate permission you could be subject to legal action.