Permits and Assistance

Filming in the Pacific Northwest

This region offers a diversity of scenery that is unsurpassed. But before you begin to scout locations, please take the time to read the following information. A little preplanning will help avoid time-consuming problems.

Choosing a Location

* Filming in the National Park
* Filming in Forest Service Land
* Filming in Clallam & Jefferson Counties

Filming in Clallam and Jefferson Counties

This office can put you in touch with the appropriate government or private entities who, in turn, can help you with the permit process and in choosing a location that meets your needs.

Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau
P.O. Box 670
Port Angeles, WA 98362
Phone (360) 452-8552
Fax (360) 452-7383

Forest Service Lands

The National Forests are managed by the Forest Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Each National Forest is administered by a Forest Supervisor and is divided into Ranger Districts (3 to 6 per National Forest) with a District Ranger in charge of each District.

You will need a "Special Use" permit before you begin any work. The permit may contain clauses relating to; preventing damage to the site and restoring it after the filming, nondiscrimination, fire prevention requirements, restricted use of vehicles in areas with erodible soil, that they are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. bonds and fees, the screen credits and so on. For a short project, it may be a simple document.

1. Contact National Media Office or one of the Regional Offices and discuss your project as early as possible. The more lead-time, the less chance for a delay in the start of your filming.
2. File an application for a Special Use Permit with the District Ranger you will be working with. Applications (form FS27003) are available at any Forest Service office.
3. If a written description of your film project accompanies the application, it will help us speed up the processing of the permit. Information that should be in this description:
1. The actual location where you plan to film (if known) or a description of the kinds of areas you need for filming.
2. The dates you will be on location in the National Forest.
3. How many people, cast and crew, will be on location.
4. Special needs, such as the use of explosives; construction of buildings, bridges or other structures; destruction of vehicles or structures.
4. If you plan to portray any Forest Service people, vehicles or buildings, you must clear the script and get a cooperative agreement from the Forest Service National Media Office in Pasadena, California. This can be done in 23 days.
5. The district ranger makes an analysis, based on your permit application and project description, to determine the effects (if any) of your project on the soils, vegetation, wildlife, public use of the Forest and so on. After your application, project description and the analysis are reviewed, a permit is issued. A permit be denied for a certain area if a conflict cannot be resolved, but other locations are usually available.
6. The permit is sent to you. An authorized official of the film company signs the permit and returns a copy to the issuing office, with the fees and bond, if necessary.

How Long?

Permits can usually be issued within 2 to 3 weeks after the application is received. Large projects may require more time.
Fees and Bonds

The U.S. Government is required by law to receive a fair return for use of the National Forests. Relating the fees to the number of people involved in your production provides a reasonable relationship between the scope of the project and the impacts to the National Forest.

The current charge is on a per-day basis:
1 to 10 people $150
11 to 30 people $200
31 to 60 people $500
over 60 people $600

(fees subject to change)

A cleanup or restoration bond may be required at a cost of $500 - $2500.

Contact the Forest Service Office in Portland, Oregon. The address and phone number are:

Michael Heilman-Special Uses in Recreational Land Division
Pacific Northwest Region
USDA - Forest Service Information Office
333 SW 1st Avenue
Portland, OR 97204-3440
Phone (503) 808-2442

National Forest or National Park?

The above information is about filming in National Forests only; they are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The information below is about commercial filming and photography in Olympic National Park, a unit of the National Park Service under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Olympic National Park encompasses 922,651 acres including coastline, temperate rain forest, rivers, lakes, meadows, glaciers, sub-alpine terrain, and more. The park website,, contains links to extensive information about park resources and facilities.

General Information on Commercial Filming and Photography in Olympic National Park

Commercial filming or photography, including video recording, requires a permit when it:

* involves models, sets or props;
* may interfere with the visitor experience;
* takes place in closed areas;
* creates the potential for damage to the resource.†


The permit application fee is $100. Also, there is generally a monitoring/administration fee of $300 per day, due before filming begins. For complex filming, the daily fee may be higher to reflect actual expected expenses. For a very simple activity, (1-3 people, one location), please contact the Park Film Coordinator to discuss possible reduction of fees.

An insurance certificate from a U.S. provider for $1,000,000 general liability naming the U.S. Government as Additional Insured is required.

How to Apply

Use the link below to access the permit application, NPS Form 10-932, or contact the Park Filming Coordinator to receive an application by mail, fax, or email. Complete the form with as much detail as possible, including number of people, specific location(s), projected dates, equipment, props, etc. Contact the Park Filming Coordinator prior to mailing application if you would like a review of your tentative plans.
How Long?

Generally, an application should be submitted along with the application fee at least two weeks in advance, particularly if plans include use of Designated Wilderness areas, off-road sub-alpine areas, generators, special effects, or closed areas. Complex productions will require more lead time.
The Permit

The permit, Form NPS 10-114, will be sent to the applicant for review and signature after the application is approved. A person who will be on-site and who has legal responsibility for meeting permit conditions must sign the permit (location scouts do not sign the permit, although they may submit the application and pay fees). Permittee returns the permit form, which is then signed by the Park Filming Coordinator, as designated by the Park Superintendent. Permits will be subject to eight standard conditions, as listed below, as well as other conditions such as adhering to the scope described in the permit application.

1. The permittee shall exercise this privilege subject to the supervision of the Superintendent, and shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the area.
2. Damages - The permittee shall pay the United States for any damage resulting from this use which would not reasonably be inherent in the use which the permittee is authorized to make of the land described in this permit.
3. Benefit - No Member of Congress shall be admitted to any share or part of this permit or to any benefit that may arise there from: but this provision shall not be construed to extend to this grant if made with a corporation for its general benefit.
4. Assignment - This permit may not be transferred or assigned without the consent of the Superintendent, in writing.
5. Revocation - This permit may be terminated upon breach of any of the conditions herein or at the discretion of the Superintendent.
6. The permittee is prohibited from giving false information; to do so will be considered a breach of conditions and grounds for revocation [Re: 36 CFR 2.32(a)(4)].
7. Permittee will comply with the applicable public health and sanitation standards and codes.
8. Permittee will coordinate and comply with the directions of the assigned NPS monitor, who will be present at all times during permittee activity including prep, shoot, and strike.

Contact for Olympic National Park:

Loretta Commet - Park Filming Coordinator
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362
Phone (360) 565-3090
Fax (360) 565-3093

Olympic National Park Application for Photography/Filming
(Please contact Olympic National Park before submitting application)
NPS Form 10-932, expires 12/31/06