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Information iconCommercial filming at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. (Photo: Diego Contreras/InventTV)

Some commercial, recreational and research activities are allowed on national wildlife refuges only with a special use permit issued by the local office, and are subject to specific conditions and fees. This permit requirement is meant to ensure that all activities at the federal site are compatible with the refuge’s Congressionally mandated wildlife conservation goals.

Special use permits may limit the scope, timing and location of the activity, as determined by the refuge where the activity would take place.

Activities Subject to Special Use Permits  

Apply for a Special Use Permit


The National Wildlife Refuge System has four Special Use Permit (SUP) Applications to enable the public to engage in permitted activities on a national wildlife refuge.
These forms are available here in a fillable format. You can also obtain these forms and more detailed instructions from the national wildlife refuge office where the activity would take place or on the refuge’s website. To find a refuge website or contact information go here

Prospective permit holders may fill out the corresponding application, print it, sign it, and return it to the refuge for processing. The permit is not valid until approved and signed by a refuge official.

 Commercial Activities Special Use Permit Application
 (FWS Form 3-1383-C) for:

 Research and Monitoring Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-1383-R) for:

General Activity Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-1383-G) for:

The activities listed here are not necessarily conducted on every refuge. Contact the refuge manager to ask if a proposed use is appropriate or compatible at a particular refuge.

 Oil and Gas Operations Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-2469) for operations associated with non-federal oil and gas rights and may only be conducted by operators who have demonstrated a bona fide property right to conduct the following types of activities:

More information on oil and gas exploration and development.
For information about other USFWS wildlife-related permit visit our ePermit site.  

Information iconCommercial filming at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. (Photo: Diego Contreras/InventTV)