Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Park Use Permits

Steps to Obtaining a Park Use Permit

What Application Should I Use

A park use permit is issued to:

  • authorize the provision of commercial services in a park or conservancy;
  • authorize the use, disturbance or removal of a natural resource in a park or conservancy;
  • authorize the use and occupancy of land in a park or conservancy; and
  • authorize scientific research in a park or conservancy.

Four general types of park use permits exist:

Commercial Recreation: This permit covers all commercial recreation activities involving guided adventure tourism opportunities in parks and conservancies including, but not limited to, hiking, kayaking, boat tours, river rafting, caving, and heli-skiing.

The Commercial Recreation permit is also used to authorize commercial recreation services in parks and conservancies that may involve land use and occupancy such as guide outfitting, angle guiding, lodges, ski facilities, equipment rentals and food services. Angle guides and guide outfitters will also need authorizations under the Wildlife Act.

The Commercial Recreation permit is also used to authorize the provision of access services to a park or conservancy by a commercial operator (e.g. floatplane, helicopter, boat or bus).

Film Production: This permit covers all commercial filming undertaken within parks and conservancies including still or motion photography on film or videotape regardless of the amount of time spent in the park (can be anywhere from less than an hour to multiple days). 

Land Use/Occupancy:  This permit covers all use and occupancy of land, other than commercial recreation activities, that take place within a park or conservancy, including but not limited to: structures and improvements, access roads or trails, utility rights-of-way, communication sites, aquaculture, water storage, trapping, diversions, dams and other miscellaneous land use.

Research: This permit covers research activity undertaken in a park or conservancy such as specimen collections, surveys, inventories and monitoring plots.

Resource Use Permits

Resource use permits are the same as park use permits but are issued to authorize activities and uses in a recreation area.

Ecological Reserve Permits

Ecological reserve permits may only be issued to authorize the use and occupation of an ecological reserve for ecological scientific research or education purposes.

Insurance Requirements

Insurance may be required as a condition for issuing a park use permit. All permits will be assessed based on risk to determine if insurance is required. Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance is always required as a minimum for all commercial operators in parks, protected areas, conservancies and recreation areas. Applications will be assessed to determine whether additional types of insurance, such as aviation liability or marine liability, will also be required.

The following requirements apply to all insurance policies:

  1. Insurers must be licensed to do business in British Columbia or Canada.
  2. The Province, its officers and servants must be added as additional insured under the policy with respect to the permittee's operations as authorized by the permit and the policy must also contain a cross-liability clause.
  3. Only the Province of BC Certificate of Insurance form can be accepted, and it must be completed and signed by your insurance broker.
  4. Policies must be endorsed to provide the Province with 30 days advance written notice of cancellation or material change.
  5. Insurance coverage is “per occurrence” as identified in the Park Use Permit.

***Please note, amounts required may change based on risk of the activity, and the regional office will determine the final insurance requirements during adjudication of the permit application.

Standard Insurance Requirement Amount:
Insurance Type Requirement Minimum Coverage
(per occurrence)
Additional Fee Calculation Total
Commercial General Liability For all commercial operators $2,000,000 n/a $2,000,000
Watercraft Liability Permittee’s own operations and float homes $2,000,000 n/a $2,000,000
Floating lodges and any towing operation $5,000,000 n/a $5,000,000
Aviation Required where use of aircraft (of any kind) is necessary to carry out operations under permit, amount varies based on size of planes $3,000,000 For planes with five passenger seats or less n/a $3,000,000
$3,000,000 For planes with more than five passenger seats but less than eleven passenger seats $1,000,000/passenger seat (excluding the first five passenger seats) $4,000,000 – $8,000,000
$10,000,000 For planes with eleven or more passenger seats n/a $10,000,000

Address/Contact Information

Completed applications, accompanied by fees and supporting documents can be submitted to FrontCounter BC via mail, courier, fax, Government Agent Office or Frontcounter BC.

General Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do you apply for a permit?
    • Step 1: Speak to the Area Supervisor for the specific park(s) you are interested in to confirm that your intended activity is allowed within the park. The Area Supervisors' contact information can be obtained from our Victoria office at 1-866-433-7272 ext. 3 or 250-387-2928 ext. 3 (outside BC).
    • Step 2: Obtain an copy of the application from our website under "Application Forms" or by clicking on the Park Use Permits (blue) button and then clicking on “Park Use Permits Applications”.
    • Step 3: Complete the application form including ALL contact information AND answer ALL questions on the application form. A detailed description (proposal) must be answered in these questions.

      Also – a detailed map MUST be included in the application package.

    • Step 4: Please follow the submission instructions on the FrontCounter BC website. Please ensure that you submit:
      • The complete application form including answers to ALL of the questions on the application form as well as any extra material or maps that are necessary for the Regional Office to review your proposal.
      • The application fee. To determine the application fee please refer to our Fee Schedule – Schedule K, of the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation. If you do not know which application fee applies to your application please contact FrontCounter BC. We will not process applications until we receive a complete application form, detailed proposal, map and appropriate application fee (plus applicable taxes).
      • Application fees are non-refundable.
      • Applicable taxes must be added to ALL fees.
  2. What are acceptable forms of payment?

    You can pay using any of the following methods: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Cheque or Cash.

  3. Who do I make cheques payable to?
    Cheques need to be made payable to the Minister of Finance, and must be drawn on Canadian funds only.
  4. Where can I get a complete list of BC Provincial Parks?
    You can go to the BC Parks web site at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/ and click on "Find a Park" on the left side of the web page. The list of provincial parks includes information specific to each park, such as types of recreational activities allowed within each specific park.
  5. Where can I get a BC Parks Vehicle Parking Pass?
    Effective September 1, 2010, parking fees in ALL BC Parks have been eliminated, parking passes are no longer required.
  6. How do I make a reservation in a campground?
    Campsite reservations are handled by Discover Camping. You can make campsite reservations and find contact information for Discover Camping on their web site at http://www.discovercamping.ca/ or call 1-800-689-9025 (604-689-9025 in Greater Vancouver).
  7. Do I need a Park Use Permit for private camping or a private hike within a Provincial Park?
    As long as you are not a company or group organizing camping or hiking within a park and are not charging others to participate in this activity, you do not require a Park Use Permit. You can find out more information regarding activities allowed in Provincial Parks (such as hiking, back country hiking, or camping) on BC Parks web site at http://www.bcparks.ca/. Follow this link and choose a specific park under "Find a Park".
  8. Do I need a Park Use Permit to hold a group picnic within a Provincial Park for a school, company or other organization?
    You do not need to apply for or obtain a Park Use Permit to hold a group picnic within a park as long as you are not charging people to participate in this event. HOWEVER please contact our office at 1-866-433-7272 ext. 3 or 250-387-2928 ext. 3 (outside BC) if you plan to hold a group picnic within a Provincial Park, we can direct you to the area supervisor responsible for that specific park. The Area Supervisor should be aware of any large groups within the parks and can give you information about park conditions, closures etc.
  9. Do I need a permit to hold a wedding ceremony within a Provincial Park?
    You do not require a Park Use Permit to hold a wedding ceremony within a provincial park HOWEVER you do need permission from our Regional Office. Please contact our Victoria office at 1-866-433-7272 ext. 3 or 250-387-2928 ext. 3 (outside BC) so that we can direct you to the appropriate Regional Office for the specific park you are interested in.
  10. Do I need to supply proof of insurance with my application?
    We do not require proof of valid insurance until your permit has been processed and we have sent it to you for signature. PLEASE NOTE – we will not validate any permit that requires insurance until we receive proof of valid insurance on the Province of BC Certificate of Insurance form which can be found on our website at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/pasb/applications/ under "Credit Cards and Insurance Forms".
  11. What do I need to submit with my application?
    In order for our Victoria office to process your application we must receive both a complete application form (including a proposal that addresses ALL questions outlined on the application form and a detailed map) AND the correct application fee (plus applicable taxes).
  12. What are client day fees?

    A "client day" means each client who the permitted operator commercially guides or takes into the park within any calendar day or portion thereof.

    • For example, 4 individuals going on a 2 hour guided hike equals 4 client days; 2 persons going on a guided hike with an overnight camping stay that begins at noon on one day and ends at noon the next day equals 4 client days; and one operator who manages 3 groups of 6 clients on 5-hour trail rides equals 18 client days.

    Permit fees that include "client day fees" require the permittee to pay EITHER the minimum annual permit fee OR $1.00 (or $4.00) per client day, whichever is greater. Minimum annual permit fees are either included in your permit document or were included in a letter sent to you with your first invoice after new permit fees came into effect in October 2004. If the number of client days you record on your report exceeds the minimum fee you paid for that year, you must pay the difference in order to reconcile that year’s annual fee.

    • For example, if your annual permit fee is $250.00 per year or $1.00 per client day, and you recorded 47 clients on your annual report, you will pay $250.00 + (plus applicable taxes). If your annual permit fee is $250.00 or $1.00 per client day, whichever is greater and you recorded 357 clients on your annual report, you will pay $357.00 + (plus applicable taxes).
    • In the last example wherein the client days recorded were 357, you will have already paid the minimum fee of $250.00 (plus applicable taxes) therefore you are then required to reconcile that year’s annual fee by paying the difference between the number of client days recorded and the minimum permit fee previously paid (357 – $250.00) = $107.00 (plus applicable taxes). This remaining amount may be added onto your next year’s annual fee OR you may be invoiced separately. It is important to know that adding this amount onto the next year’s fee means that you are reconciling the annual permit fee for the previous year plus paying the minimum permit fee for the current year.
  13. Can a permit be issued on a rush basis?
    All of our permit applications indicate the maximum time allowed to evaluate a proposal and produce a permit document upon submission of a complete application. A complete application includes an application with ALL requested information filled in, a proposal of your activities if required AND the proper application fee if required. Please see the application applicable to your activity.
  14. Are permit fees, reports and insurance due on an annual basis if I hold a multi-year Park Use Permit?
    Your permit document will outline all terms and conditions of your permit including when/if reports, insurance or permit fees are due. Please refer to your permit document for specific requirements.
  15. What do I do if I want to change my permit, transfer my permit, renew my permit or cancel my permit?
    • Changes to Permit
      If you wish to make any changes to your permit you must send our Victoria office a written request to do so either by mail, courier or fax (information provided below), this includes but is not limited to changes to your address, contact name, permit area etc. All requested changes go to our Regional Offices for review and approval. Most changes to a permit require a permit modification fee of $100.00 (plus applicable taxes) for a minor change and $500.00 (plus applicable taxes) for a major change. The Regional Office determines whether your requested change is minor or major.
    • Transfer of Permit

      If you wish to transfer your permit from one person/company to another, you must submit a written request to do so to our office by mail, courier or fax (information provided below) indicating you would like to relinquish your rights terms and conditions of the permit document. As well, a written request to assume the rights, terms and conditions of the permit must be sent into our Victoria office from the person/company wishing to take over the permit.

      • The permit that is being transferred must be in good standing before we will initiate the transfer. The Regional Office has to review and approve all transfers and there is a required transfer fee of $250.00 (plus applicable taxes) to be submitted with the request to transfer your permit.
      • If you are transferring a Park Use Permit for the purpose of Big Game Guiding, Angle Guiding, Trapping or Transporting, you permit must be in good standing and the new permittee must hold a valid guide licence, angle guiding licence, trapping licence or transporter licence respectively. If you have questions about the above mentioned licences please contact FrontCounter BC.
    • Renewal of Permit

      If you wish to renew your permit please submit a written request to our Victoria office (contact information below). Please specify the term you wish to renew your permit for AND submit the permit renewal fee (50% of the application fee as set out in the Fee Schedule – Schedule K, of the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation.

      If you do not know which renewal fee applies to your activity please contact FrontCounter BC. Your permit must be in good standing before it can be renewed. All renewal requests are sent to our Regional Office who makes the final decision about renewing your permit, the Regional Office may request that you submit further information regarding your activity.

      • If you have not received a renewal letter from our Victoria office before your permit expires, please ensure that you submit a written request to renew your permit before the expiry date. Please note that we do not send renewal letters out for research permits or for permits with less than a one year term.
    • Cancelling Permit
      If you wish to cancel your Park Use Permit you must submit a written request to do so to our Victoria office (information provided below). Please ensure that you specifically state that you would like your permit cancelled, the effective date of the cancellation and include the last date/season/year that you used the park. If we do not receive a request for your permit to be cancelled, you will be required to pay your annual permit fees regardless of whether or not you used the park. If you choose to cancel your Park Use Permit, and you wish to continue your activity within the park in the future, you must first pay all outstanding fees (if applicable) and apply for and obtain a new Park Use Permit.
  16. Where can I submit my fees, reports and/or insurance form(s)?

Park Use Permits – Policies

Please review the BC Parks’ website for policies regarding Park Use Permits. Approved policies provide information on permit management, review and administration.

New Application Restrictions

Film Application:

MacMillan Park

Due to concerns about public safety associated with very high levels of use in the park and along the adjacent highway, BC Parks does not allow commercial filming within MacMillan Park from May 15 through September 15.

Commercial Recreation Application:

Foch-Gilttoyees Park

New Park Use Permit (PUP) applications for Angling Guiding in Foch-Gilttoyees Park will not be accepted at this time as BC Parks requires management direction related to park visitor experience and potential visitor crowding and conflict in the Gilttoyees/Peechugh Creek area. To do this, BC Parks will hold a workshop in Fall 2013 that would engage existing operators, members of the recreating public and other interested commercial stakeholders. The intent would be to find ways to operate cooperatively and determine if additional use is made of this area of the park what type of procedures or guidelines could be followed to ensure an angling opportunity exists for all visitors (recreation or commercial) to the area. Should it be determined that increased use beyond the current levels is not achievable within guidelines or other recommendations, then BC Parks would seek to provide permits using a Request for Proposal process once the current permit terms expire. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss permitting issues in Foch-Gilttoyees Park, then please contact Ben Sabal, Lakelse-Douglas Channel Area Supervisor at (250) 798-2277 or via email at Ben.Sabal@gov.bc.ca. If you would like to provide comment or be involved in the upcoming Fall 2013 workshop, please contact David Brown, Senior Park Planner at (250) 798-2277 or via email at David.R.Brown@gov.bc.ca.

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Commercial Recreation Application

Please note, new information regarding the following items has been added to the Commercial Recreation Application form:

  • Requirements when applying for a Park Use Permit for more than one park
  • First Nations Consultation
Specific Protected Area Notifications
Foch-Gilttoyees Park

New Park Use Permit (PUP) applications for Angling Guiding in Foch-Gilttoyees Park will not be accepted at this time as BC Parks requires management direction related to park visitor experience and potential visitor crowding and conflict in the Gilttoyees/Peechugh Creek area. To do this, BC Parks will hold a workshop in Fall 2013 that would engage existing operators, members of the recreating public and other interested commercial stakeholders. The intent would be to find ways to operate cooperatively and determine if additional use is made of this area of the park what type of procedures or guidelines could be followed to ensure an angling opportunity exists for all visitors (recreation or commercial) to the area. Should it be determined that increased use beyond the current levels is not achievable within guidelines or other recommendations, then BC Parks would seek to provide permits using a Request for Proposal process once the current permit terms expire. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss permitting issues in Foch-Gilttoyees Park, then please contact Ben Sabal, Lakelse-Douglas Channel Area Supervisor at (250) 798-2277 or via email at Ben.Sabal@gov.bc.ca. If you would like to provide comment or be involved in the upcoming Fall 2013 workshop, please contact David Brown, Senior Park Planner at (250) 798-2277 or via email at David.R.Brown@gov.bc.ca.

Film Production Park Use Permit Application

Please note, new information regarding First Nations Consultation has been added to the application form.

Specific Protected Area Notifications
MacMillan Park

Due to concerns about public safety associated with very high levels of use in the park and along the adjacent highway, BC Parks does not allow commercial filming within MacMillan Park from May 15 through September 15.

Land Use/Occupancy Park Use Permit Application

Please note, new information regarding First Nations Consultation has been added to the application form.

Ecological Reserve – Research & Education Park Use Permit Application

Please note, new information regarding First Nations Consultation has been added to the application form.

Research & Education Park Use Permit Application

Please note, new information regarding First Nations Consultation has been added to the application form.

Fees for Park Use Permits and Resource Use Permits:
Requirements when applying for a Park Use Permit for more than one park

BC Parks requests that you only apply for those parks that you believe are necessary for the successful operation of your business. This will assist BC Parks in processing your Park Use Permit application and reduce the potential for delays that can occur when multiple parks are listed in the Park Use Permit application.

If you are applying for a Park Use Permit with more than one park, please provide the following information for each individual park:

  • describe why access to each park is important to your business
  • describe the anticipated frequency of your activity in each park on an annual basis
  • identify the expected number of client days in each park on an annual basis

NOTE: If this information is already included in the Proposal (Management Plan) you will be attaching to the application, you are not required to provide it again.

Credit Card Authorization Form: Park Use Permits

DO NOT send the Credit Card Payment Authorization Form or credit card details by email. You can either fax the form to our office or contact our office and provide the required information.

Our contact numbers are:

Office #: 250-387-2928 (ext 3)
866-433-7272 (ext 3)
Fax #: 250-387-1695

Credit Card Authorization Form: Fish and Wildlife

DO NOT send the Credit Card Payment Authorization Form or credit card details by email. You can either fax the form to our office or contact our office and provide the required information.

Our contact numbers are:

Office #: 250-387-2928
866-433-7272
Fax #: 250-387-1814