National Park Service Announces Implementation of Location Fees for Commercial Filming and Still Photography

WASHINGTON, D.C. National Park Service (NPS) Director Fran Mainella announced today the NPS is implementing, at the direction of Congress, a Public Law that will allow collection of location fees for commercial filming and still photography starting on May 15, 2006.

Public lands were set aside in order to conserve and protect areas of untold beauty and grandeur, historical significance and uniqueness for future generations, said Mainella. Often, it's the magnificence of these same lands that attracts filmmakers. This revised regulation will allow the Park Service to collect reasonable fees for use of federal lands as a result of both commercial filming and certain still photography activities. It's a positive step forward and a good balance to help ensure these national treasures are enjoyed and cared for in the proper manner.

A recent General Accounting Office (GAO) report recommended the NPS expedite the implementation of the revised regulation and the collection of location fees. The final rule removes the portion of the existing regulation that prohibits the NPS from collecting fees for filming. The revised regulation will give the NPS the authority to establish a fee system earning the government a fair return on the use of the land for commercial filming and certain still photography activities on federal lands. The law still directs the NPS to recover costs associated with this service and continues to require filming permittees to conduct their activities in ways that minimize or eliminate disruptions to visitors. For the present time, the NPS will utilize a current Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fee Schedule. A memo will be sent to the field issuing guidance on proper procedures for collecting location fees for commercial filming and still photography, cost recovery and the disposition of money collected.