May 1, 2006
Source: National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
Written By William Campbell
LIVINGSTON, MT (April 20, 2006) – The National Park Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior, has published new rules authorizing the NPS to begin collecting location fees for video, film, and commercial still photography projects. The new regulations appeared in the Federal Register (Vol. 71, Number 71) published April 13, 2006, and will take effect on May 15, 2006.
The news came in the form of a press release issued Friday by the NPS Office of Public Affairs saying that they will now implement “location fees for commercial filming and still photography.” Currently film and video permits are required in National Parks but there have not been location fees until now. Administration charges to issue the free permits have ranged from no cost at all up to $200 per project.
“This is a first step in a process of departmental regulations that will apply to the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” Lee Dickinson, special use coordinator for the National Park Service, told News Photographer magazine today.
The new location fees start at $150 per day and – with monitors and other charges – could exceed $500 per day.
The new rules are modeled after the existing film permit regulations and fee structures that are used by the Bureau of Land Management and now will be applied to all federally operated National Parks.
Text of the notice shown below:
[Federal Register: April 13, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 71)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Office of the Secretary
43 CFR Part 5
Making Pictures, Television Productions, or Sound Tracks on
Certain Areas Under the Jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior
AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Interior.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The Office of the Secretary is revising regulations found at
43 CFR 5.1 to allow implementation of legislation that directs the
establishment of a reasonable fee for commercial filming activities or
similar projects and still photography where a permit is required.
DATES: Effective Date: April 13, 2006.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lee Dickinson, Special Park Uses
Program Manager, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, NW., ORG CODE
2460, Washington, DC 20240, telephone: 202-513-7092, or e-mail:
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Law 106-206 (codified at 16 U.S.C.
460l-6d) directs the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to
establish a reasonable fee system (referred to as a location fee in
this publication) for commercial filming and still photography
activities on lands under the Secretaries’ jurisdiction.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) regulations at 43 CFR part 5
prohibit the National Park Service (NPS) from collecting fees “for the
making of motion pictures, television productions or sound tracks * * *
”. The Office of the Secretary is revising the current regulation by
removing the prohibition.
Lands of the United States were set aside by Congress or the
Executive Branch to conserve and protect areas of untold beauty and
grandeur, historical importance, and uniqueness for future generations.
Often it is the uniqueness of the land that attracts filmmakers. This
tradition started with explorers who traveled with paint and canvas or
primitive photo apparatus before the areas were designated as a
national park, wildlife refuge, or forest. Generally, land management
agencies allow commercial filming and still photography when it is
consistent with their mission and will not harm the resource or
interfere with the visitor experience.
While many commercial filming and still photography permits issued
by the land management agencies are for small productions involving
educational material or commercial advertising, a significant number of
commercial filming permits have been issued to makers of major motion
Public Law 106-206 specifically requires permits, reasonable fees
for use of federal lands and reimbursement of costs incurred by the
government as a result of both commercial filming and certain still
photography activities. Congress recognized in this law that when
commercial filming and certain
still photography activities are allowed on Federal lands, it is
necessary to manage the activity through a permitting process to
minimize the possibility of damage to the cultural or natural resources
or interference with other visitors to the area and the agencies will
incur costs in providing this management.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) regulations at 43 CFR part 5
which prohibit the NPS from collecting fees for commercial film
productions are in conflict with the Pub. L. 106-206. Therefore, to
implement the fee requirement of the law the Office of the Secretary is
revising the current regulation by removing the prohibition.
In June 2004, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at the
request of some members of Congress began a review of NPS policy and
guidance related to issuing special use permits for special events and
for commercial filming and still photography. In a report issued May 6,
2005, the GAO concluded that the NPS could have collected and retained
at least $1.6 million in location fees for commercial filming and still
photography activities permitted on park lands if Pub. L. 106-206 had
been implemented. One recommendation of the report was that the NPS
“Expedite the implementation of the law that requires the Park Service
to collect location fees and costs for commercial filming and still
photography, when appropriate.”
In order to expedite the implementation of Pub. L. 106-206, the
Office of the Secretary will implement this final rule which will
remove from current regulations found in 43 CFR 5.1(b)(1) the statement
that prohibits the National Park Service from charging a fee “for the
making of motion pictures, television productions or sound tracks. * *
*” This rule will allow the NPS to charge fees during an interim
period while a Department-wide rule, which includes the Bureau of Land
Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is promulgated. The
Department-wide rule will establish a fee schedule specific to this
Compliance With Other Laws
Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order 12866)
This document is a significant rule and has been reviewed by the
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.
(1) This rule will not have an effect of $100 million or more on
the economy. It will not adversely affect in a material way the
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or
(2) This rule will not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise
interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency.
(3) This rule does not alter the budgetary effects of entitlements,
grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights or obligations of
(4) While this rule follows the direction of Congress by
implementing the provisions of Public Law 106-206, OMB has determined
that the rule raises novel legal or policy issues.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The Department of the Interior certifies that this rulemaking will
not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small
entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)
This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
a. Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or
b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government
agencies, or geographic regions.
c. Does not have significant adverse effects on competition,
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per
year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State,
local, or tribal governments or the private sector.
Takings (Executive Order 12630)
In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the rule does not have
significant takings implications.
Federalism (Executive Order 13132)
In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have
sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a
Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)
In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the
Solicitor has determined that this rule does not unduly burden the
judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2)
of the order.
Paperwork Reduction Act
This proposed regulation requires individuals and companies wishing
to do commercial filming and still photography park lands to obtain a
permit from the superintendent managing the park land. The permit
holder is also responsible for reimbursing the agency for costs
incurred and to pay a land use fee. The mechanics of applying for the
permit and the forms involved are not addressed in this proposed
regulation, but are addressed in existing NPS regulations and internal
guidance. The NPS uses application forms NPS 10-931 (Film–Short Form)
and NPS 10-932 (Film–Long Form). Both forms are assigned OMB Control
Number 1024-0026 and expire December 31, 2006. Therefore, these
regulations do not contain information collection requirements that the
OMB must approve under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C.
3501 et seq.
National Environmental Policy Act
This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly
affecting the quality of the human environment, health, and safety
because it is not expected to:
(a) Increase public use to the extent of compromising the nature
and character of the area or causing physical damage to it;
(b) Introduce noncompatible uses that might compromise the nature
and characteristics of the area, or cause physical damage to it;
(c) Conflict with adjacent ownerships or land uses; or
(d) Cause a nuisance to adjacent owners or occupants.
Based on this determination, the regulation is categorically
excluded from the procedural requirements of the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) by Departmental guidelines in 516 DM 6, (49 FR
21438). Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an
environmental impact statement has been prepared.
The location fee authorized by Public Law 106-206 and governed by
this proposed regulation is a fee collected when a permit is issued by
the NPS for a commercial filming or still photography activity. Any
analysis required by the NEPA, as well as the National Historic
Preservation Act, would be conducted in conjunction with the permitting
process and would
evaluate the impact of the requested activity on the resource.
Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes
In accordance with Executive Order 13175 “Consultation and
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249), the
President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994, “Government-to-Government
Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” (59 FR 22961), and
512 DM 2, we have evaluated potential effects on federally recognized
Indian tribes and have determined that there are no potential effects.
Clarity of This Regulation
Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write regulations
that are easy to understand. We invite your comments on how to make
this rule easier to understand, including answers to questions such as
the following: (1) Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated? (2)
Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that interferes with
its clarity? (3) Does the format of the rule (grouping and order of
sections, use of headings, paragraphing, etc.) aid or reduce its
clarity? (4) Would the rule be easier to understand if it were divided
into more (but shorter) sections? (A “section” appears in bold type
and is preceded by the symbol “Sec. ” and a numbered heading; for
example Sec. 14.10 Purpose). (5) Is the description of the rule in the
“Supplementary Information” section of the preamble helpful in
understanding the proposed rule? What else could we do to make the rule
easier to understand?
Send a copy of any comments that concern how we could make this
rule easier to understand to: Office of Regulatory Affairs, DOI, Room
7229, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240. You may also e-mail the
comments to this address: Exsec@ios.doi.gov
Administrative Procedure Act
In this rulemaking, we are revising existing regulations in order
to implement Public Law 106-206, a law to allow the Secretary of the
Interior to establish a fee system for commercial filming and certain
still photography activities on Federal land. The existing regulations
at 43 CFR 5.1 prohibit charging fees for these activities and the new
law, Public Law 106-206, (codified at 16 U.S.C. 4601-6d), requires the
Secretary to charge fees for these same activities. This rulemaking
will delete the prohibition in the existing regulation. Therefore, we
are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this
as a nondiscretionary revision that is required by law. We find good
cause, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and 553(d), that notice and public
procedure are unnecessary and this rule will take effect upon
publication. However later this year we will publish in the Federal
Register and request comments on a proposed rule on commercial filming
and still photography activities for Department of the Interior
agencies, including the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife
Service, and Bureau of Land Management.
List of Subjects in 43 CFR Part 5
Motion pictures, Recordings, Television.
For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of the
Interior amends 43 CFR part 5 as follows:
PART 5–MAKING PICTURES, TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS OR SOUND TRACKS ON
CERTAIN AREAS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE
1. The authority for part 5 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1, 3, 9a, 460(q), 462(k); Sec. 7.96 also
issued under DC Code 8-137 (1981) and DC Code 40-721 (1981).
Sec. 5.1 [Amended]
2. Revise Sec. 5.1(b)(1) to read as follows:
* * * * *
(b) * * *
(1) No fees will be charged for the making of motion pictures,
television productions or sound tracks on areas administered by the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The regular general admission and other
fees currently in effect in any area under the jurisdiction of the
National Park Service are not affected by this paragraph.
* * * * *
Dated: April 6, 2006.
P. Lynn Scarlett,
Deputy Secretary of the Interior.
[FR Doc. 06-3529 Filed 4-12-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-52-P