Park Use Permits and Ecological Reserve Permits

By legislation, a permit is required for many types of commercial use, land use/land occupancy, and research activities (see specific activities below) that take place in parks and protected areas designated under the Park Act, the Environment and Land Use Act or the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act.

A permit is required for ecological scientific research and/or educational purposes in ecological reserves established under the Ecological Reserve Act or the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act.

What Activities require a Park Use Permit?

A permit is not required for front-country camping, hiking, moorage, etc. in most parks. Campsite reservations are accepted at many front-country parks.

Uses and activities that will require a permit on lands classified as park or protected area are:
  1. Provision of commercial recreation services, which may include summer or winter activities (ie.hiking, cross-country skiing, scuba diving instruction, kayak/canoe touring, big game guiding, angling guiding; Film production; Land use/occupancy for commercial, non-commercial, industrial and/or existing residential purposes.
  2. Research activities in parks and protected areas, including: collection; monitoring; survey and inventory; and, other research.
Uses and activities that will require a permit on lands classified as Ecological Reserves:
  1. Ecological scientific research; and,
  2. Educational purposes.

How do I apply for a Permit?

For information about permit applications or the permitting process, visit the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations website.

If you are uncertain as to whether you require a Park Use Permit for an activity, or for general inquiries about Park Use Permits, please contact FrontCounter BC.

Permit Processing

Adjudication of a Park Use Permit application or Ecological Reserve permit application may take up to 140 days.

A permit authorizes an individual, group, or organization to carry out a specific activity and outlines the specific conditions under which the proposed activity may occur.

Permit applications are subject to review under the BC Parks Impact Assessment Process.

The permitted authorization process helps ensure the preservation and maintenance of B.C's protected areas and the recreational and other opportunities they provide.

Permit Policies

Permits for Commercial Filming [PDF 616KB] Permit Expiration [PDF 471KB]
Permit Insurance Requirements [PDF 567KB] Permit Fees [PDF 599KB]
Permit Application [PDF 508KB] Permit Term Length [PDF 510KB]
Permit Cancellation [PDF 500KB] Research Permits [PDF 474KB]
Ecological Reserve Permits [PDF 607KB]  

Park Use Permittee Self-Assessment Report

There are a number of park use permits throughout British Columbia’s protected areas system allowing for commercial activities within parks, many of which are granted to operators who provide guided adventure tourism services. These operators may provide, at their option, a Self-Assessment Report evaluating their contributions to stewardship within parks.  The intent of the Self-Assessment Report is to allow operators an opportunity to describe in writing how they have demonstrated leadership and commitment to maintaining the conservation and recreation values and objectives of the park(s) or protected area(s) in which they operate.

Such reports will be made available for public comment for 30 days from the time of posting. Results of the reports and any public comments received will be used when adjudicating the permit held by the operator. For more detailed information on Self-Assessment Reports and the submission process, please review the template and instructions. [PDF 57KB]

Reports Currently Open for Public Comment

There are no reports open for public comment at this time.