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.


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); 43 CFR 429.


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.

How to Apply

Step 1: Fill out the Right-of-Use Application.

Step 2: Send it, along with the $100 application fee, to:

Regional Public Affairs Officer
Bureau of Reclamation
125 South State Street, Room 8100
Salt Lake City, Utah 84138

Step 3: You may be asked for more information specific to your request. This will allow the public affairs office consider your request and the waiver of fees in 43 CFR 429. To ensure script content does not misrepresent Reclamation or show federal employees inappropriately, the script (or script concept) must be reviewed and approved by the regional public affairs officer.

Step 4: Reclamation staff will prepare a Special Use Permit, which you will be required to sign.

Step 5: Pay the fees.

Application Form and Fee

Bureau of Reclamation Right-of-Use Application (Form 7-2540) | PDF

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

Regional Public Affairs Officer
Bureau of Reclamation
125 South State Street, Room 8100
Salt Lake City, Utah 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. It is recommended that you send this information via e-mail, fax, or FedEx (see Contact Information tab) at the same time the Right-of-Use Application and fee are submitted. Public affairs staff 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, a public affairs representative 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:

  1. determine if the site location is feasible, particularly if multiple sites are being considered
  2. 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.

Commercial Filming 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 is 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.


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

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 Fee Schedule

The Administrative Fee Schedule below applies only to commercial filming and photography at any/all Colorado River Storage Project 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.

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.

Contact Information

We know that each commercial filming/photography project is unique. If you have questions or need more information, please contact our regional public affairs office.

Public Affairs Officer ☏ (801) 524-3774
Upper Colorado Region Office
125 South State Street, room 8100
Salt Lake City, Utah 84137-1147
FAX: 801-524-3856
Last Updated: 11/1/18