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Commercial Filming and Photography Permits


The application process applies to commercial filming and photography at all facilities and adjacent lands administered by the Upper Colorado Region. The Administrative Fee Schedule below applies only to commercial filming and photography at any/all Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) facilities and adjacent lands administered by the Upper Colorado Region Power Office. CRSP facilities include dams, powerplants, and appurtenant facilities at Glen Canyon, Flaming Gorge, Blue Mesa, Morrow Point, Crystal, and Fontenelle.


Commercial filming and photography are permitted on Reclamation land pursuant Section 10 of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 (43 USC 387) and Public Law 106-206 (16 USC 460 l-6d).


A permit is required for commercial filming and photography on Bureau of Reclamation-managed land or facilities. Commercial filming/photography includes, but is not limited to: motion picture filming, video taping, sound recording, or still photography. A permit is required if such activity is requested to take place at locations where members of the public are generally not allowed; involves product or service advertisement; involves the use of models, sets, or props; when the use requires action to prevent impairment or degradation to land resources; or a significant disruption of normal visitor or agency use occurs.

1. Getting Started

Application Form and Fee
Download and complete the Bureau of Reclamation Right-of-Use Application (Form 7-2540) form which must be submitted with an application fee check for $100.00 (payable to Bureau of Reclamation) to:

Upper Colorado Region, Bureau of Reclamation, Attention: Regional Public Affairs Office, 125 South State Street, Room 8100, Salt Lake City, UT, 84138-1147. PLEASE include: "Commercial film/photography application fee" on the check.

It is recommended that the application and fee check be remitted via FedEx or overnight mail to ensure prompt delivery and the ability to track the package. No further action on the request will occur until the application and fee have been received.

A draft product concept design, script, storyboard, or messaging outline, is required for evaluation by the Regional Public Affairs Office (RPAO). It is recommended that you send this information via e-mail, fax, or FedEx (see Contact Information below) at the same time the Right-of-Use Application and fee are submitted. The RPAO will review the product concept design, script, storyboard, or messaging outline in consultation with the facility/area office manager and Regional Security Officer to determine if the request is compatible with Reclamation project purposes and that the message is appropriate.

If the commercial filming/photography request is unacceptable due to inappropriate messaging, or incompatibility with the safety, security, and integrity of the Reclamation project, the RPAO will notify you that a permit cannot be granted. The initial $100.00 application fee will NOT be refunded.

Script Content/Product Concept
As indicated above, Reclamation will thoroughly review and evaluate the draft product concept design, script, storyboard, or messaging outline to determine if the request will be accommodated. Reclamation will not permit film, video, sound, or still photography requests that misrepresent Reclamation facilities, employees, programs, or property; contain or imply inappropriate messaging; suggest or promote illegal or destructive actions; depict facilities in a distorted manner; or call into question the safety, security, or structural integrity of Reclamation facilities. Requests that involve any of these areas of concern will be denied.

Advance Location Scouting Advance on-site location scouting may need to be scheduled with the facility/area office manager to:

  • determine if the site location is feasible, particularly if multiple sites are being considered
  • identify on-site locations where access for filming/photography will be granted
The outcome of advance location scouting will often determine if the permit process will be initiated.

2.  Permit

Once the completed Right-of-Use Application form and non-refundable $100.00 application fee have been received and the product concept design, script, storyboard, or messaging outline approved, Reclamation will prepare the permit to authorize the on-site film/video/photography. This permit will identify the specific agreed upon date(s) and location(s) for the shoot, administrative and commercial filming/photography fees, insurance/bonding requirements, security and safety regulation requirements, etc. All administrative fees (CRSP facilities/lands only), commercial filming/photography fees, and proof of insurance/bonding (when required) must be provided by the permittee before on-site commercial filming/photography can occur (See fee schedule below).

3. Fees

In compliance with federal requirements, a permit issued for commercial filming/photography will require the permittee to remit the Commercial Filming/Photography Fee (see fee schedule below). If the commercial filming/photography will take place at a Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) facility (see Applicability above) and/or on adjacent lands, the permittee will also be required to remit the Administrative Fee (see administrative fee schedule below).

Commercial Filming/Photography Fee Schedule

Filming and Videography
1 - 10 people $150 / day
11 - 30 people $250 / day
31 - 49 people $500 / day
Over 50 people $750 / day
Still Photography
1 - 10 people $50 / day
11 - 30 people $150 / day
Over 30 people $250 / day

Commercial Filming/Photography fees may be adjusted in the future. The Commercial Filming/Photography fee will be defined in the permit, must be paid prior to the on-site commercial filming/photography event, and will not be refunded to the permittee.

Administrative Fees CRSP Facilities & Lands ONLY
For commercial filming/photography on Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) land or at CRSP facilities, Reclamation will estimate administrative costs associated with the filming/photography event. Administrative costs include: reviews, coordination, site access, security, etc., as well as the number of locations involved, including parking and staging areas to accommodate vehicles and other equipment. Administrative fees will be estimated in advance based on the schedule below.

On-site Administrative Fees
1 - 10 people $75 / hr
11 - 30 people $150 / hr
31 - 49 people $225 / hr
31 - 49 people $300 / hr minimum

As required under the permit for commercial filming/photography at CRSP facilities/lands, the permittee must remit both the commercial filming/photography fee and the estimated administrative fees (including the on-site administrative fee) to Reclamation prior to the on-site filming/ photography event. Upon completion of the filming/photography event, a subsequent bill may be issued by Reclamation to cover additional administrative costs incurred OR a refund may be issued by Reclamation to the permittee if incurred administrative costs were less than estimated/paid.

4. Contact Information

We know that each commercial filming/photography project is unique. If you have questions or need more information, please contact the Regional Public Affairs Office staff listed below.

Rick Clayton 801.524.3710 e-mail: rclayton@usbr.gov

Upper Colorado Region Public Affairs Office
Bureau of Reclamation
125 South State Street, room 8100
Salt Lake City, UTah 84137-1147
FAX: 801-524-3856


Last updated: April 10, 2015