Montana Film Office

Montana Film Office • 301 South Park Ave Helena, MT 59620 • tel: 800.553.4563 • 406.841.2876 • fax: 406.841.2877 • montanafilm@mt.gov AFCI Member

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Permits

Many of Montana’s most iconic locations are on public land. To learn more about permitting and contacts, choose your target location by public agency below and select the lands and/or parks you’d like to access. If you’d like us to act as a liaison with government agencies, simply call us at 800-553-4563.

  • National Parks, Monuments & Battlefields
    1. Glacier National Park
    2. Yellowstone National Park
    3. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
    4. Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
    5. Big Hole National Battlefield
    6. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
    7. Nez Perce National Historic Park & Bear Paw Battlefield
  • National Forests
    1. Northern Region Headquarters
    2. Custer Gallatin National Forest
    3. Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest
    4. Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
    5. Lolo National Forest
    6. Bitterroot National Forest
    7. Flathead National Forest
    8. Kootenai National Forest
  • BLM Lands
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
    1. Region 1 - Kalispell
    2. Region 2 - Missoula
    3. Region 3 - Bozeman
    4. Region 4 - Great Falls
    5. Region 5 - Billings
    6. Region 6 - Glasgow
    7. Region 7 - Miles City
  • DNRC State Lands
    1. Department of Natural Resources & Conservation
    2. Northeast Land Office
    3. Southwest Land Office
    4. Central Land Office
    5. Northwest Land Office
    6. Eastern Land Office
    7. Southern Land Office
  • Roadways & Vehicles
    1. Montana Department of Transportation
    2. District 1 - Missoula
    3. District 2 - Butte
    4. District 3 - Great Falls
    5. District 4 - Glendive
    6. District 5 - Billings
  • Tribal Lands
    1. Blackfeet Reservation
    2. Crow Reservation
    3. Flathead Reservation
    4. Fort Belknap Reservation
    5. Fort Peck Reservation
    6. Northern Cheyenne Reservation
    7. Rocky Boy's Reservation
  • Cities
    1. Bozeman
    2. Livingston
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Glacier National Park

Permits are generally issued for photography, filming, and associated sound recordings to ensure protection of resources, to prevent significant disruption of normal visitor uses, or when they involve props, models, professional crews and casts, or set dressings. Permits are required for access to areas normally closed to the visiting public, or either before or after normal visitation hours.

Information for Commercial Filming and Still Photography (pdf)

Application for Commercial Filming and Still Photography Permit (pdf)

Glacier National Park Service
Special Use Permits
PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936
406-888-7825
Fax: 406-888-7946

Superintendent’s Office
406-888-7800
glac_park_info@nps.gov

Yellowstone National Park

A commercial film permit is required for any individual, business, or organization (including nonprofit groups and educational institutions) filming for a market audience or receiving compensation associated with footage or recordings made in the park. The following lists outline specific situations that require permits:

Filming:

  • Commercial advertisements, feature films, entertainment broadcasts, documentaries, promotional or educational films (including non-profit and student projects)
  • Filming for stock footage (regardless of equipment)
  • Time-lapse photography if the final sequence will be used in a motion picture format for commercial purposes
  • Sound recording projects that use more than handheld equipment or require oversight by park staff
  • Use of large or unusual equipment, even for non-commercial purposes if activities warrant oversight by park staff

Still Photography:

  • Commercial still photography using models, props, sets, lighting, or other specialized equipment
  • Use of large or unusual equipment, even for non-commercial purposes if activities warrant oversight by park staff
  • Some wedding portrait photography (all other portrait photography requires a Commercial Use Authorization

Restrictions:

  • Drone use is prohibited.
  • From June 1 to September 15, filming is prohibited in thermal areas between the hours of 9:00 am and 7:00 pm in an effort to reduce congestion.
  • Filming is prohibited at the Boiling River and from the social trails above Grand Prismatic Spring.

Filming, photography, and sound recording permits are considered in the order they are received. All applications must be completed in detail and returned with the permit application and non-refundable application fee. A minimum of 2 to 4 weeks (depending on project type and volume of requests) is required to process an application and issue a permit.

Application Fees: The application fee includes three hours of administrative time; including phone calls, correspondence, application review, and project consultation, scheduling park staff, permit issuance, follow-up and billing. Additional administrative time will be billed at a rate of $65/hour.

Production film/still photography: $300
Projects with greater oversight and coordination (more complexity; often called a production permit). Commercial videographers, photographers, or cinematographers with crews of three or more, involving one or more of the following: crew larger than 2 people, interviews, NPS staff research or monitoring requests, compliance, sensitive locations, thermal area filming, commercial vehicles, props and additional equipment (i.e. monitors, lights, etc). May be valid for the duration of the project not to exceed 1 year.

Stock film footage: $250
Projects with minimal oversight and coordination (annual/ b-roll permit). Commercial videographers, photographers, or cinematographers with crews of up to two people, with no talent and minimal equipment,(i.e. camera and tripod), working in non-thermal, non-wilderness areas, that are open to the public.

Student film/still photography: $200
Valid for a single production or annual stock permit for students with proof of current enrollment in an accredited school.

Sound Recording: $250

An addendum may be issued for the following types of filming: underwater, thermal area filming without monitor, overnight, inside buildings, interviewing staff or increase in crew size. Please contact the Film Permit Office about these types of filming, or any other special activities or requests that are not listed here.

Yellowstone National Park staff will be required to monitor certain filming, photography, and sound recording activities. Crews are responsible for paying daily location fees and for monitors as well as any staff costs associated with the project (at $65/hour). This fee must be paid before the permit is issued.

Activities that require a monitor include (but are not limited to): filming or photography in thermal areas, and filming “talent” along roadways or in developed areas. Monitors are also required for large crews, projects with extensive equipment, and when there is potential for resource damage or impacts to visitor use.

Application for Commercial Filming and Still Photography Permit (pdf)

Yellowstone National Park Film
PO Box 168
c/o Film Permit Office
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
307-344-7381

Rachel Cudmore
Commercial Film Permits Coordinator
307-344-2722
rachel_cudmore@nps.gov

Tammy Wert
Fee & Film Program Manager
307-344-2115
tammy_wert@nps.gov

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Commercial Filming and Photography permits are required for those activities that generate film, photography, or video production for television, motion picture industry, public, or private interest. Filming or photography that requires a production crew, vehicles, broadcast equipment, props, talent/actors, construction, trailers, housing, animals, or aircraft will need a permit. Other activities requiring a filming permit are those that involve feature films, documentaries, shopping networks, religious telecasts, commercials, infomercials, public television presentation, produce DVD’s CD’s, CD-Roms, training videos, sales, education, promotions, or entertainment.

Commercial still photography or projects that take place in locations where other members of the public are generally not allowed use a model, set or prop do require a permit.

Application for Commercial Filming and Still Photography Permit (pdf)

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
PO Box 7458
Fort Smith, MT 59035
406-666-3304
406-666-2412
Fax: 406-666-2415

 

Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site

Fort Union Trading Post
15550 Hwy 1804
Williston, ND 58801
Headquarters: 701-572-9083

https://www.nps.gov/fous/index.htm

Please contact the headquarters office to discuss your film idea and obtain a permit.

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site

A special-use permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large, and that require some degree of management from the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest. Special-use permits are required for events such as: weddings, ceremonies, First Amendment activities, festivals, concerts, cultural programs, sporting events, and public spectator attractions.

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Special Permit Application (pdf)

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
266 Warren Lane
Deer Lodge, MT 59722
406-846-2070, ext. 226
Fax: 406-846-3962

Pompeys Pillar National Monument

Pompeys Pillar National Monument
3039 US Highway 312
Pompeys Pillar, MT 59064
406-875-2400

John Reffit
Monument Manager
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101
406-896-5013

Pompeys Pillar is managed by the BLM. If intending to film, please contact John Reffit, Monument Manager.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument
920 Northeast Main
Lewistown, MT 59457

Josh Chase
Monument Manager, Acting
406-538-1900

Upper Missouri River Breaks is managed by BLM. If intending to film, please contact Josh Chase, Monument Manager.

Big Hole National Battlefield

Permits are required for commercial operations wishing to film within the boundaries of Big Hole Battlefield. Please contact the park superintendent to discuss your film idea and obtain a permit.

Big Hole National Battlefield
PO Box 237
Wisdom, MT 59761
406-689-3155, ext. 1024
Fax: 406-689-3151

 

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

A special-use permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large, and that require some degree of management from the National Park Service in order to protect park resources, culture and the public interest. Certain events and filming will require a film permit.

Application Requirements & Filming Procedures (pdf)

Application for Commercial Filming and Still Photography Permit (pdf)

Application for Special Use Permit (pdf)

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
PO Box 39
Crow Agency, MT 59022
406-638-2621
Fax: 406-638-2623

 

Nez Perce National Historic Park/Bear Paw Battlefield

Nez Perce National Historic Park
39063 US Hwy 95 
Lapwai, ID 83540-9715
208-843-7009

Bear Paw Battlefield
Battlefield Latitude/Longitude:
48°22’40.35″N 109°12’48.07″W

Physical address for staff offices in Chinook, MT:
301 Ohio Street
Chinook, MT 59523

Permits are required for commercial operations wishing to film within the boundaries of Bear Paw Battlefield. Please contact the park superintendent to discuss your film idea and obtain a permit, 406-689-3155, ext. 1024

Rosebud Battlefield State Park

Rosebud Battlefield State Park
HC 42, Box 642
Busby, MT 59016
406-757-2298

Rosebud Battlefield is managed by Montana State Parks, see contact info below.

Montana State Parks Headquarters
StateParks.mt.gov
1420 E Sixth Avenue
PO Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620
406-444-3750
Fax: 406-444-4952
fwpprk@mt.gov

Permitting: National Parks, Monuments & Battlefields

The National Park Service permits and encourages commercial filming to the fullest extent possible consistent with the protection of resources and the enjoyment of the visitors. All commercial filming activities taking place within a unit of the National Park system require a permit. Commercial filming means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Filming activities must be conducted in strict compliance with applicable regulations and conditions.

Permit applications and contact information for Parks are available through each park’s administrative office or website. You should submit a completed application along with the application fee to the park where you want to film or photograph as far in advance of your planned date at possible. In addition, you should request a meeting with park staff if your proposed activity is unusual or complex. Early consultation with park staff will help them process the application in a timely manner once it is submitted.

A minimum of ten working days is normally required to process and review a proposed filming activity. Yellowstone National Park requires a minimum of two weeks to process requests; longer for large productions. Initial contact should provide as much specific information as possible about the nature of the project, dates, times, crew size, vehicle requirements, and special effects. Permit language and potential impacts vary from park to park.

The National Park Service is authorized to collect two fees: cost recovery and a location fee. Cost recovery includes an application fee (which must be submitted with your application) as well as a charge to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the size and complexity of your permit.

In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands.

Filming Fees:
1 to 2 crew members, camera and tripod only: *$0
1 to 10 crew members: $150/day
11 to 30 crew members: $250/day
31 to 49 crew members: $500/day
Over 50 crew members: $750/day

Still Photography Fees:
1 to 10 crew members: $50/day
11 to 30 crew members: $150/day
Over 30 crew members: $250/day

*Commercial videographers, cinematographers, or sound recording crews of up to two people with only minimal equipment working in areas open to the public are required to obtain a commercial filming permit and are subject to appropriate permit terms and conditions and cost recovery charges, but are not subject to location fees.

National Monuments and National Recreation Areas fees may differ. Each should be contacted individually to obtain guidelines.

Northern Region Headquarters

The State of Montana falls under Region 1, The Northern Region of the USDA Forest Service. The Northern Region’s public lands offer hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, skiing, kayaking, and countless other adventures.

Northern Region Headquarters
26 Fort Missoula Road
Missoula, MT 59804
406-329-3511
Fax: 406-329-3347

Custer Gallatin National Forest

Encompassing more than 3 million acres and stretching across seven ranger districts, this forest is known as one of the most ecologically diverse landscapes in the region. It serves as a gateway to Yellowstone National Park, the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, and the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. It features rugged mountains (including the tallest peak in Montana) and the remote buttes and bluffs of southeastern Montana.

Mountain Ranges Within Forest:
Absaroka Range
Beartooth Mountains
Bridger Mountains
Crazy Mountains (Crazies)
Gallatin Range
Madison Range

Custer Gallatin National Forest
PO Box 130
10 E Babcock Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59771
406-587-6701
Fax: 406-587-6758

Billings Office
5001 Southgate Drive, Suite 2
Billings, MT 59101
406-255-1400
Fax: 406-255-1499

Ashland Ranger District
PO Box 168
2378 Hwy 212
Ashland, MT 59003
406-784-2344
Fax: 406-784-2596

Beartooth Ranger District
6811 Hwy 212
Red Lodge, MT 59068
406-446-2103
Fax: 406-446-3918

Bozeman Ranger District
3710 Fallon Street, Suite C
Bozeman, MT 59718
406-522-2520
Fax: 406-522-2528

Gardiner Ranger District
PO Box 5
805 Scott Street
Gardiner, MT 59030
406-848-7375
Fax:  406-848-7485

Hebgen Lake Ranger District
PO Box 520
330 Gallatin Road
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
406-823-6961
Fax: 406-823-6990

Sioux Ranger District
PO Box 37
101 SE First Street
Camp Crook, SD 57724
605-797-4432
Fax: 605-797-4404

Yellowstone Ranger District
5242 Highway 89 S
Livingston, MT 59047
406-222-1892
Fax: 406-222-2546

Custer Gallatin National Forest – Delete

Bozeman Office:

Federal Building,10 E. Babcock
P.O. Box 130
Bozeman, MT 59771

Special Uses Permit Administrator
406.522.2520

http://www.fs.usda.gov/gallatin/

Billings Office:

1310 Main Street
Billings, MT 59105

Special Uses Permit Administrator
406.254.7342

http://www.fs.usda.gov/custer

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

This forest includes approximately 2,846,606 acres of public land within the upper Missouri River system. It spans across 17 counties and 8 ranger districts, and straddles the Continental Divide. The Forest’s namesakes, Lewis and Clark, led their expedition through these lands and waterways. The Forest’s elevation ranges from 4,500 to 9,362 feet. Landscapes range from broad prairies to rugged ridges and mountain peaks. Beautiful grassy parks and mountain meadows are surrounded by forests of douglas fir and lodgepole pine.The Forest includes the Bob Marshall-Great Bear-Scapegoat Wilderness Complex.

Mountain Ranges Within Forest:
Big Belt Mountains
Castle Mountains
Crazy Mountains (Crazies)
Divide Landscape
Elkhorn Mountains
Highwood Mountains
Little Belt Mountains
Rocky Mountain Range
Snowy Mountains
Upper Blackfoot Landscape

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest
Helena Supervisor’s Office
2880 Skyway Drive
Helena, MT 59601
406-449-5201

Great Falls Supervisor’s Office
1220 38th Street N
Great Falls, MT 59405
406-791-7700

Augusta Information Station
405 Manix Street
Augusta, MT 59410
406-562-3247

Belt Creek Ranger District
4234 US Highway 89 N
Neihart, MT 59465
406-236-5100

Judith Ranger District
109 Central Avenue
Stanford, MT 59479
406-566-2292

Lincoln Ranger District
1569 Highway 200
Lincoln, MT 59639
406-362-7000

Musselshell Ranger District
809 2nd Street NW
Harlowton, MT 59036
406-632-4391

Rocky Mountain Ranger District
1102 Main Avenue NW
Choteau, MT 59422
406-466-5341

Townsend Ranger District
415 S Front
Townsend, MT 59644
406-266-3425

White Sulphur Springs Ranger District
204 W Folsom
White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645
406-547-3361

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

The largest of the national forests in Montana, it covers 3.35 million acres and lies in eight Southwest Montana counties. The forest offers breath-taking scenery and includes the Anaconda-Pintler and Lee Metcalf wilderness areas and scenic drives like the Gravelly Range Road or Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway.

Mountain Ranges Within Forest:
Anaconda Range
Beaverhead Mountains
Boulder Mountains
Elkhorn Mountains
Flint Creek Range
Gravelly Range
Highland Mountains
Madison Range
Pioneer Mountains
Sapphire Mountains
Snowcrest Range
Tendoy Mountains
Tobacco Root Mountains

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
420 Barrett Street
Dillon, MT 59725
406-683-3900
406-683-3913 (24 hour recorded information line)

Wise River Ranger District
PO Box 100
Wise River, MT 59762
Phone: 406-832-3178

Wisdom Ranger District
PO Box 238
Wisdom, MT 59761
Phone: 406-689-3243

Butte Ranger District
1820 Meadowlark
Butte, MT 59701
406-494-2147

Pintler Ranger District
88 Business Loop
Philipsburg, MT 59858
Phone: 406-859-3211

Madison Ranger Station
5 Forest Service Road
Ennis, MT 59729
406-682-4253

Madison Ranger District
402 S Main Street
Sheridan, MT 59749
406-842-5432

Lolo National Forest

The Lolo National Forest is located in west central Montana geographically surrounding the the city of Missoula and bounded by other national forests and the Flathead Indian Reservation. It encompasses two million acres and is influenced by both continental and maritime climates. Elevation ranges from 2,400 feet on the Clark Fork River below Thompson Falls to many peaks higher than 7,000 feet and topping out at over 9,000 feet at Lolo Peak. The highest point is Scapegoat Mountain within the Scapegoat Wilderness.

Mountain Ranges Within Forest:
Bitterroot Range
Coeur d’ Alene Range
Grave Creek Range
John Long Mountains
Ninemile Divide
Reservation Divide
Sapphire Range
Swan Range

Lolo National Forest
Supervisor’s Office
24 Fort Missoula Road
Missoula, MT 59804
406-329-3750

Missoula Ranger District
24 Fort Missoula Road
Missoula, MT 59804
406-329-3814

Ninemile Ranger District
20325 Remount Road
Huson, MT 59846
406-626-5201

Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District
PO Box 429
408 Clayton
Plains, MT 59859
406-826-3821

Seeley Lake Ranger District
3583 Highway 83
Seeley Lake, MT 59868
406-677-2233

Superior Ranger District
PO Box 460
209 West Riverside
Superior, MT 59872
406-822-4233

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest – Delete

Helena Office:

2880 Skyway Drive
Helena, MT 59601

Special Uses Permit Administrator
406.449.5201

http://www.fs.usda.gov/helena/

Great Falls Office:

1101 15th Street North
P.O. Box 869
Great Falls, MT 59403

Special Uses Permit Administrator
406.791.7701

http://www.fs.usda.gov/lcnf/

Bitterroot National Forest

This spectacular 1.6 million acre forest in southwest Montana is a priceless national heritage. Half of the forest is dedicated to the largest expanse of continuous pristine wilderness in the lower 48 states: the Selway Bitterroot, Frank Church River of No Return, and the Anaconda Pintler. Much of its beauty can be attributed to the heavily glaciated, rugged peaks of the Bitterroot Range. Drainages carved by glaciers form steep canyons that open into the valley floor.

Mountain Ranges Within Forest:
Anaconda Range
Bitterroot Mountains
Sapphire Mountains

Bitterroot National Forest
Supervisor’s Office
1801 N 1st
Hamilton, MT  59840
406-363-7100

Stevensville Ranger District
88 Main Street
Stevensville, MT 59870
406-777-5461

Darby Ranger District
PO Box 388
Darby, MT 59829
406-821-3913

Sula Ranger District
7338 Hwy 93 S
Sula, MT 59871
406-821-3913

West Fork Ranger District
6735 West Fork Road
Darby, MT 59829
406-821-3269

Flathead National Forest

2.4 million acres home to lynx, grizzly bear, and bull trout and numerous lakes, streams, and rivers. A rare glimpse at undeveloped areas with outstanding opportunities for solitude. The landscape is built from block fault mountain ranges sculpted by glaciers and covered with a rich thick forest. Most of the areas are clustered together in one enormous complex that includes the Bob Marshall, Great Bear, and Mission Mountains and comprises approximately 46 percent of the Forest’s land base. Roads, timber harvest, and motorized travel are not permitted in these areas.

Mountain Ranges Within Forest:
Flathead Range
Mission Mountains
Salish Range
Swan Range

Sadie Wehunt, Film Permit Officer
406-758-5364
sadieawehunt@fs.fed.us

Flathead National Forest
650 Wolfpack Way
Kalispell, MT 59901
406-758-5208
Fax: 406-758-5379

Tally Lake Ranger District
650 Wolfpack Way
Kalispell, MT 59901
406-758-5204
Fax: 406-758-3537

Glacier View Ranger District
Hungry Horse Ranger District
Spotted Bear Ranger District (winter)
10 Hungry Horse Drive
Hungry Horse, MT 59919
406-387-3800
Fax: 406-387-3889

Spotted Bear Ranger District (Summer)
Spotted Bear, MT
406-387-3800 (winter)
406-758-5376 (summer)
Fax: 406-758-5390

Swan Lake Ranger District
200 Ranger Station Road
Bigfork, MT 59911
406-837-7500
Fax: 406-837-7503

Kootenai National Forest

Encompassing 2.2 million acres of high craggy peaks and rugged terrain radiating from the river valleys. In the north central part of the Forest, the land is more open with gently rolling timbered hills. The landscape of Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway corridor is dominated by the Kootenai River and Lake Koocanusa. The lake cuts a narrow fjord-like gorge between the Purcell Mountains and the Salish Mountains.

Mountain Ranges Within Forest:
Bitterroot Range
Cabinet Mountains
Purcell Mountains
Salish Mountains
Whitefish Range

Kootenai National Forest
31374 US Highway 2 W
Libby, MT 59923
406-293-6211

Rexford Ranger District / Eureka Ranger Station
Fortine Ranger District / 
Murphy Lake Ranger Station
949 US Hwy 93 N
Eureka, MT 59917
406-296-2536
Fax: 406-296-7188

Three Rivers Ranger District / Troy Ranger Station
12858 US Highway 2
Troy, MT 59935
406-295-4693
Fax: 406-295-7410

Libby Ranger District / Canoe Gulch Ranger Station
12557 MT Highway 37
Libby, MT 59923
406-293-7773
Fax: 406-283-7531

Cabinet Ranger District / Trout Creek Ranger Station
2693 MT Highway 200
Trout Creek, MT 59874
406-827-3533
Fax: 406-827-0718

 

Permitting: National Forests

National Forests and Grasslands around the country can provide an excellent backdrop for a filmmaker seeking a natural setting for their film or television production. The Northern Region of the Forest Service asks that anyone interested in producing a film for anything other than personal use to first contact the Forest Service at least two weeks in advance of the anticipated filming. Large-scale projects may require substantially more time for evaluation. Like other commercial uses of public lands, commercial filming requires a Special Use Permit (found below), which is issued by the District Ranger for the area the filming is planned to occur. You’ll find Montana’s Districts listed to the left. Your National Forests and Grasslands have been featured in everything from full feature motion pictures like A River Runs Through It to documentaries, commercials, and hunting shows.

Steps to take:

  1. Contact a Forest Service office and request an application.
  2. Prior to submitting the proposal, you are required to arrange a pre-application meeting at the local Forest Service office where the use is being requested. A staff member will discuss your proposal, potential land use conflicts, application procedures and qualifications, probable time frames, fees, bonding requirements, additional coordination with other agencies, environmental reports, and field reviews.
  3. Most commercial uses require additional information with the application. You may need business plans, operating plans, liability insurance, licenses/registrations, or other documents. A commercial use is when an applicant intends to make use of National Forest Service lands for business or financial gain.
  4. Complete and submit the application form, including supporting documents, to the local Forest Service office. An incomplete proposal could delay the processing.

Contact: Molly Puchlerz
406-329-3601
mpuchlerz@fs.fed.us

Information for Commercial Filming and Still Photography (pdf)

Application for Special Use Permit (pdf)

Filming Fees:
1 to 10 crew members: $150/day
11 to 30 crew members: $200/day
31 to 60 crew members: $500/day
Over 60 crew member:s $600/day

Still Photography Fees:
1 to 10 crew members: $50/day
11 to 30 crew members: $150/day
Over 30 crew members: $250/day

A performance bond may be required, and the Forest Service may require an agency representative be on-site monitoring for permit compliance during productions or operations. A film or photography permit holder may be required to pay for administrative costs to process a special use application through a program called cost recovery.

Permitting: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Desert landscapes, dry lake beds, mountain terrain, and the open range of the American West provide some incredible scenery for national and international film production companies; many major movies, television shows, and commercials have been filmed on BLM managed lands.

Commercial filming or still photography will NOT be permitted if it is determined that:

  • There is likelihood of resource damage that cannot be mitigated;
  • There would be an unreasonable disruption of the public’s use and enjoyment of the site (beyond short-term interruption); or
  • The activity poses health or safety risks to the public that cannot be mitigated.

Each office authorizes filming on public lands within its jurisdiction, and each location is unique and subject to different conditions.

The permitting process and items needed vary depending on the proposed location and type of filming. Contact the local BLM field office before applying: Montana District Offices & Contacts. They may have you fill out the forms below.

  1. Land Use Application Form 2920. Complete only the application section of the form. The BLM will complete the permit portion.
  2. Detailed Description of Filming Activity. Submit with application.
  3. Provide a map showing the specific location(s) requested (consult BLM contact for map of area if needed).
  4. Cost Recovery and Rental Fees. Pay the appropriate amount as discussed with the local BLM film permit coordinator (see district contacts in left drop-down).
  5. Certificate of Insurance naming the Department of the Interior, BLM as co-insured. Contact the appropriate BLM office for specific dollar amount.

Depending on location, time of production, and type of production, the BLM may impose additional requirements such as bonding, reimbursement for overtime costs, etc.

Note that large productions and requests to film outside popular locations usually require an onsite pre-application conference with BLM personnel. Although it may vary, the time to process is usually at least 30 – 60 days. Montana Contact Directory for BLM.

Permitting: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana State Parks allow and encourage commercial filming when and where possible. However, it also requires that primary consideration be given to potential resource damage and to anticipated disruption of normal public use.

A permit is ONLY required when productions are made up of two or more individual photographers, videographers, models, crew members, or client representatives for any filming or photography intended for public viewing or commercial advertising (includes motion picture, video and still). If a photographer or videographer operates their own equipment without the use of models, props, crew members, or client representatives then NO permit is need.

A minimum of ten working days advance notice is required to process requests and to determine feasibility. Depending on the location, an environmental assessment may also be necessary. Permits are granted on a case-by-case basis. Initial contact should include: the nature of the project, shooting dates and times, the type of equipment, and the number of vehicles. For best results notify the appropriate regional parks manager or the Montana Film Office as soon as you think you may want to shoot in the area even if you do not have complete information.

A fee, performance bond and liability insurance may be required. The amounts for each will be set by the department on a case-by-case basis. Download the Permit Application.

Download the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Park’s (FWP) Reference Guide for Still Photography and Filming here.

To learn more about commercial use on FWP land click here.

Filming & Still Photography Fees:
1 person crew: $25/day or $50/year
2 to 5 person crew: $50/day
6 to 20 person crew: $100/day
21 to 35 person crew: $200/day
36 to 50 person crew: $300/day
51 or more person crew: $400/day

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Headquarters
FWP.mt.gov
1420 E Sixth Avenue
PO Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620
406-444-2535
Fax: 406-444-4952
fwpgen@mt.gov

Montana State Parks Headquarters
StateParks.mt.gov
1420 E Sixth Avenue
PO Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620
406-444-3750
Fax: 406-444-4952
fwpprk@mt.gov

State Parks Media Contact
Patrick Doyle
pdoyle@mt.gov
Marketing and Communications Manager
Montana State Parks
1420 E Sixth Avenue
PO Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620
Office: 406-444-3818
Cell: 406-422-9809

Region 1: Kalispell

490 N Meridian Road
Kalispell, MT 59901
406-752-5501
406-752-5501
fwprg12@mt.gov
Fax: 406-257-0349

Region 1 Website
Region 1 Staff Directory

David Landstrom
Regional Park Manager, Region 1
dlandstrom@mt.gov
406-751-4574

 

Region 2: Missoula

3201 Spurgin Road
Missoula, MT 59804
406-542-5500
Fax: 406-542-5529
fwprg22@mt.gov

Region 2 Website
Region 2 Staff Directory

Chet Crowser
Regional Park Manager, Region 2
ccrowser@mt.gov
406-542-5517

Region 3: Bozeman

Headquarters
1400 S 19th
Bozeman, MT 59718
406-994-4042
406-994-4043
Fax: 406-994-4090
fwprg3@mt.gov

Helena Area Resource Office
930 Custer Avenue W
Helena, MT 59620
406-495-3260
Fax: 406-495-3273

Butte Area Resource Office
1820 Meadowlark Lane
Butte, MT 59701
406-494-1953

Region 3 Website
Region 3 Staff Directory

Matt Marcinek
Regional Park Manager, Region 3
mmarcinek@mt.gov
406-994-3552

Region 4: Great Falls

4600 Giant Springs Road
Great Falls, MT 59405
406-454-5840
Fax: 406-761-8477

Lewistown Area Resource Office
215 W Aztec Drive
PO Box 938
Lewistown, MT 59457
406-538-4658
Fax: 406-538-3249

Region 4 Website
Region 4 Staff Directory

John Taillie
Regional Park Manager, Region 4
jtaillie@mt.gov
406-454-5859

Region 5: Billings

2300 Lake Elmo Drive
Billings, MT 59105
406-247-2940
Fax: 406-248-5026

Region 5 Website
Region 5 Staff Directory

Doug Habermann
Regional Park Manager, Region 5
dhabermann@mt.gov
406-247-2954

 

Region 6: Glasgow

Headquarters
1 Airport Road
Glasgow, MT 59230
406-228-3700
Fax: 406-228-8161
fwprg62@mt.gov

Havre Area Resource Office
2165 Highway 2 E
Havre, MT 59501
406-265-6177
Fax: 406-265-6123
fwphao2@mt.gov

Region 6 Website
Region 6 Staff Directory

Region 7: Miles City

352 I-94 Business Loop
Miles City, MT 59301
406-234-0900
Fax: 406-234-4368
fwprg72@mt.gov

Region 7 Website
Region 7 Staff Directory

 

 

Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC)

Trust Land Management Division
PO Box 201601
1625 11th Avenue
Helena, MT 59620-1601
http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/trust
406-444-2074
Fax: 406-444-2684

Northeast Land Office

Northeast Land Office
Clive Rooney, Area Manager
613 NE Main Street
PO Box 1021
Lewistown, MT 59457
406-538-7789

Glasgow Unit Office
Matt Poole, Unit Manager
PO Box 1007
224 Sixth Street S
Glasgow, MT 59230
406-228-2430

Havre Field Office
Monte McNally, Field Office Manager
PO Box 868
210 Sixth Avenue
Havre, MT 59501
406-265-5236

Lewistown Unit Office
Barny Smith, Unit Manager
613 NE Main Street
Lewistown, MT 59457
406-538-7789

Southwest Land Office

Southwest Land Office
Mike O’Herron, Area Manager
1401 27th Avenue
Missoula, MT 59804
406-542-4200

Hamilton Unit Office
Thayer Jacques, Forester
1801 N First Street
PO Box 713
Hamilton, MT 59840
406-363-1585

Anaconda Unit Office
Brian Robbins, Unit Manager
1300 Maguire Road
Anaconda, MT 59711
406-563-6078

Missoula Unit Office
Jonathan Hansen, Unit Manager
3206 Maverick Lane
Missoula, MT 59804
406-542-4201

Clearwater Unit Office
Kristen Baker, Unit Manager
48455 Sperry Grade Road
Greenough, MT 59823
406-244-5857

Central Land Office

Central Land Office
Hoyt Richards, Area Manager
8001 N Montana Avenue
Helena, MT 59602
406-458-3500

Bozeman Unit Office
Craig Campbell, Unit Manager
2273 Boot Hill Court, Suite 110
Bozeman, MT 59715
406-586-5243

Conrad Unit Office
Erik Eneboe, Unit Manager
PO Box 961
602 N Main
Conrad, MT 59425
406-278-7869

Dillon Unit Office
Tim Egan, Unit Manager
840 N Montana
Dillon, MT 59725
406-683-6305

Helena Unit Office
Andy Burgoyne, Unit Manager
8001 N Montana
Helena, MT 59602
406-458-3500

Northwest Land Office

Northwest Land Office
Greg Poncin, Area Manager
655 Timberwolf Parkway, Suite 1
Kalispell, MT 59901
406-751-2240

Polson Field Office
Les Thomas, Forester
410 First Street E, Suite 11
Polson, MT 59860
406-883-3960

Kalispell Unit Office
Dave Poukish, Unit Manager
655 Timberwolf Parkway, Suite 2
Kalispell, MT 59901
406-751-2241

Stillwater Unit Office
Dave Ring, Unit Manager
PO Box 164
Olney, MT 59927
406-881-2371

Libby Unit Office
Doug Turman, Unit Manager
177 State Lands Office Road
Libby, MT 59923
406-293-2711

Swan Unit Office
Nick Aschenwald, Unit Manager
34925 MT Highway 83
Swan Lake, MT 59911
406-754-2301

Plains Unit Office
Dale Olsen, Unit Manager
14 Airport Road
PO Box 219
Plains, MT 59859
406-826-3851

Eastern Land Office

Eastern Land Office
Chris Pileski, Area Manager
321 Main Street
PO Box 1794
Miles City, MT 59301
406-232-2034

Southern Land Office

Southern Land Office
Matt Wolcott, Area Manager
Airport Industrial Park
1371 Rimtop Drive
Billings, MT 59105
406-247-4400

Permitting: DNRC State Lands

The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), Trust Land Management Division is responsible for more than 5 million Montana State Lands. The Department is also responsible for seven state forests, as well as various other forest tracts, crop land, scenic badlands, urban tracts, and navigable waters scattered throughout the state. Much of the revenue generated from the leasing and licensing of these properties goes into the School Trust Fund that helps to educate Montana’s children both today and for generations to come.

A Land Use License, fee and bond may be required for filming on state lands.

Land Use License Application
Lessee Damages Settlement Form

The following link will take you to a master list of contact information for every land office in the state: http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/trust/docs/trust-lands-forestry-offices.pdf

 

Montana Department of Transportation (MDT)

MDT Headquarters
2701 Prospect Avenue
PO Box 201001
Helena MT 59620
406-444-6200
800-335-7592
http://www.mdt.mt.gov/mdt/organization/districts.shtml

District 1: Missoula

Main Office
Ed Toavs, District Administrator
2100 W Broadway
PO Box 7039
Missoula, MT 59807
406-523-5800
888-231-5819
Fax: 406-523-5801

Kalispell Area Office
85 Fifth Avenue East North
PO Box 7308
Kalispell, MT 59903
406-751-2000
Fax: 406-752-5767

Transportation Commissioner
Daniel Belcourt
120 Woodworth Avenue
Missoula, MT 59801
Term expires: 1-2019

District 2: Butte

Main Office
Jeff Ebert, District Administrator
3751 Wynne
PO Box 3068
Butte, MT 59702
406-494-9600
800-261-6909
Fax: 406-494-4396

Bozeman Area Office
100 Nelson Road
PO Box 3028
Bozeman, MT 59772
406-556-4700

Transportation Commissioner
Dave Schulz
PO Box 252
Sheridan, MT 59749
Term expires: 1-2021

 

District 3: Great Falls

Main Office
Doug Wilmot, District Administrator
200 Smelter Avenue NE
PO Box 1359
Great Falls, MT 59403
406-454-5910
888-730-0898
Fax: 406-453-8737

Havre Area Office
1649 US Highway 2 NW
Havre, MT 59501
406-262-5500
Fax: 406-265-9707

Transportation Commissioner
Greg Jergeson
PO Box 1568
Chinook, MT 59523
Term expires: 1-2021

District 4: Glendive

Main Office
Shane Mintz, District Administrator
503 N River Avenue
PO Box 890
Glendive, MT 59330
406-345-8200
888-689-5296
Fax: 406-345-8250

Miles City Area Office
217 N 4th Street
PO Box 460
Miles City, MT 59301
406-233-3600
888-229-1093
Fax: 406-232-4273

Wolf Point Area Office
200 E Highway 25
Wolf Point, MT 59201
406-653-6700
Fax: 406-653-6739

Transportation Commissioner
Carol Lambert
PO Box 2
Broadus, MT 59317
Term expires: 1-2019

District 5: Billings

Main Office
Stefan Streeter, District Administrator
424 Morey Street
PO Box 20437
Billings, MT 59104
Phone: 406-252-4138
Toll free: 888-863-8465
Fax: 406-256-6487

Lewistown Area Office
50 Airport Road
Lewistown, MT 59457
Phone: 406-538-1300

Transportation Commissioner
Barb Skelton
7256 Highway 3
Billings, MT 59106
Term expires: 1-2021

Permitting: Roadways & Vehicles

The Montana Department of Transportation allows filming, with permission, on its state highways, and in some cases, the Interstate system. State highways include primary, secondary, and urban routes. Before any filming begins on or next to the highway, the appropriate district administrator must be contacted in advance. Intermittent traffic control is permitted. In most instances, a written traffic control plan will be required. A licensed and bonded company must be used for traffic control, for the safety of the film crew as well as the public. Alternately, in some instances it may be possible to use State Highway Patrolmen for traffic control, depending on circumstances. Some situations may also require a special events permit. The district administrator will make these determinations based on location and related issues.

Filming is normally allowed on city and county roads. Permission must be requested in advance from, and is at the discretion of, the appropriate municipality or county commission. There is no fee for shooting on a state highway. Liability insurance is required in the amount of at least $1 million dollars (basic, no stunts). For more information contact the Montana Film Office.

MDT Special Use Permit for State Maintained Highways

Blackfeet Nation

The reservation is home to the Blackfeet tribe. Of the approximately 15,560 enrolled tribal members, there are about 7,000 living on or near the reservation. Nearly 27 percent of enrolled members are of three-fourths or greater Indian blood. The Blackfeet Indians are commonly thought to have acquired their name because of the characteristic black color of their moccasins, painted or darkened with ashes. The Blackfeet Reservation is in northwestern Montana along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Its one-and-a-half million acres are bordered on the north by Canada and on the west by Glacier National Park.

Blackfeet Nation
PO Box 850
All Chiefs Square
Browning, MT 59417
406-338-7521
Fax: 406-338-7530
http://blackfeetnation.com/

 

Crow Nation

Crow Nation
PO Box 159
Bacheeitche Avenue
Crow Agency, MT 59022
406-638-3708
Fax: 406-638-3773
http://www.crow-nsn.gov/

About 75 percent of the Crow tribe’s approximately 10,000 or more enrolled members live on or near the reservation. Eighty-five percent speak Crow as their first language. This tribe was called “Apsaalooke,” which means “children of the large-beaked bird.” White men later misinterpreted the word as “crow.” The Crow Reservation is in south-central Montana, bordered by Wyoming on the south, with its northwestern boundary about 10 miles from Billings.

Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
PO Box 278
42487 Complex Blvd
Pablo, MT 59855
406-675-2700
Fax: 406-675-2806
www.cskt.org

The Flathead Indian Reservation is home to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. The tribes are a combination of the Salish, the Pend d’Oreille and the Kootenai. Of the approximately 7,753 enrolled tribal members, about 5,000 live on or near the reservation. North of Interstate 90 between Missoula and Kalispell, fertile valleys and towering mountain peaks of northwestern Montana surround the Flathead Reservation. The reservation comprises over 1.2 million acres.

The Assiniboine (or Nakoda) & The Gros Ventre Tribes

Fort Belknap Indian Community
656 Agency Main Street
Harlem, MT 59526
406-353-2205
Fax: 406-353-4541
http://www.ftbelknap.org/

The Fort Belknap Reservation is home to two tribes, the Assiniboine, or Nakoda, and the Gros Ventre, who refer to themselves as A’aninin or “People of the White Clay.” Combined enrollment is approximately 4,000. The combined reservation and additional tribal lands encompass 650,000 acres of the plains and grasslands of north-central Montana.

Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes

Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes
PO Box 1027
501 Medicine Bear Road
Poplar, MT 59255
406-768-2300
Fax: 406-768-5478
www.fortpecktribes.org

About 6,800 Assiniboine and Sioux live on the Fort Peck Reservation, with another approximately 3,900 tribal members living off the reservation. The Fort Peck Reservation is in northeastern Montana, 40 miles west of the North Dakota border and 50 miles south of the Canadian border, with the Missouri River defining its southern perimeter. It includes more than two million acres of land.

Northern Cheyenne Tribe

Northern Cheyenne Tribe
PO Box 128
600 Cheyenne Avenue
Lame Deer, MT 59043
406-477-6284
Fax: 406-477-6210
www.cheyennenation.com

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe has approximately 11,266 enrolled tribal members with about 5,012 residing on the reservation. The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation is located in southeastern Montana, and is approximately 444,000 acres in size with 99% tribal ownership. It is bounded on the east by the Tongue River and on the west by the Crow Reservation.

Chippewa Cree Tribe

Chippewa Cree Tribe
PO Box 544
Box Elder, MT 59521
406-395-5705
Fax: 406-395-5702
http://www.chippewacree.org/

Rocky Boy’s provides a home for about 2,500 members of the Chippewa-Cree tribe. The name “Rocky Boy” was derived from the name of a leader of a band of Chippewa Indians. It actually meant “Stone Child,” but it was not translated correctly from Chippewa into English, and “Rocky Boy” evolved. Rocky Boy’s Reservation is near the Canadian border, in north-central Montana. It is graced by the Bears Paw Mountains, which provide a dramatic contrast to the flat bottom-lands of this area.

Permitting: Tribal Lands

Montana’s Indian Reservations are rich strongholds of Native American heritage. With seven reservations representing eleven tribes, nine percent of the Montana land base belongs to the reservations. Not all of this land is still owned by Native Americans, but all is governed by tribal or federal law. The people of Montana’s reservations are working to build strong economic bases so their culture will survive and flourish with future generations of Indian people. Indian lands have been used in many productions including feature films, commercials, documentaries, and stills. Permit procedures vary according to the individual reservation. Contact the Montana Film Office or the specific tribal office (to the left) for filming guidelines and permit information. (Click here for tribal pronunciations.)

Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs
State Capitol Building
2nd Floor, Room 202
PO Box 200801
Helena, Montana 59620
406-444-3702
Fax: 406-444-1350
tribalnations.mt.gov
oia@mt.gov

Bozeman

Revocable film permits are required for any filming that will occur within the city limits of Bozeman, within the public right-of-way or on City property (parks, trails, facilities, etc.). Permits must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to filming to ensure time for review.

A permit review fee is required prior to review of the application. The review fee is as follows:

  • $30.00 for standard permits
  • $60.00 for permits that include a street or sidewalk closure
  • Fees are waived for Montana State University student.

Proof of Insurance is Required. Applications will not be approved until proof of commercial general liability, automobile liability, and workers compensation insurance is submitted.

City of Bozeman Film Permit Form

City of Bozeman
121 N Rouse Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
406-582-2300

Livingston

The City of Livingston welcomes those who wish to use the aesthetics of the City and surrounding area to meet their film or photography needs. Over the years, Livingston has proven to be just the location that many in the industry have been searching for.

Fill out the City of Livingston Filming Questionnaire and submit to:
City of Livingston
Public Works Department
414 E Callender Street
Livingston, MT 59047

Questions about filming in the Livingston area:
Leslie Feigel
Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce
Convention & Visitors Bureau
303 E Park Street
Livingston, MT 59047
406-222-0850
info@livingston-chamber.com
www.discoverlivingston.com

Road Work Permit (pdf): General requirements are a $250 fee and certificate of insurance listing Park County as additional insured with minimum $1,000,000 coverage (return permit application to the Public Works Department listed above). On the application, check other for work type, along with an attached written description of crew size, equipment, vehicles, duration, and/or traffic control measures that will be implemented and if physical work is occurring on the roadway or bridge (i.e. creating water hazards, fallen trees/rocks, staged accidents, etc.). Provide a description of the work and how the reconstruction will take place- essentially any information needed to ensure the safety of the film crews and traveling public.

Permitting: Cities

Montana’s vibrant cities and small towns have unique aesthetics that can lend authenticity and character to every shoot. Currently only two cities in Montana require film permits before using any municipal buildings, streets, or public parks. Both cities local governments offer assistance in obtaining and understanding permits and for payment of applicable fees.

PERMITS

  • National Parks
    • General Permitting Information
    • Glacier National Park
    • Grant Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
    • Nez Pierce National Historic Park/Bear Paw Battlefield
    • Yellowstone National Park
    • Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
    • Big Hole National Battlefield
    • Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
  • National Forests
    • General Permitting Information
    • NORTHERN REGION HEADQUARTERS
    • CUSTER NATIONAL FOREST
    • GALLATIN NATIONAL FOREST
    • LEWIS AND CLARK NATIONAL FOREST
    • BEAVERHEAD-DEERLODGE NATIONAL FOREST
    • LOLO NATIONAL FOREST
    • HELENA NATIONAL FOREST
    • BITTERROOT NATIONAL FOREST
    • FLATHEAD NATIONAL FOREST
    • KOOTENAI NATIONAL FOREST
  • BUREAU OF LAND MGMT.
    • General Permitting Information
  • Fish Wildlife & Parks
    • General Permitting Information
    • MONTANA FW&P STATE HEADQUARTERS & Regions
    • Region 1
    • Region 2
    • Region 3
    • Region 4
    • Region 5
    • Region 6
    • Region 7
  • DNRC FORESTS AND LANDS
    • General Permitting Information
    • DPT. OF NATURAL RESOURCES & CONSERVATION
    • NORTHEASTERN LAND OFFICE
    • SOUTHEASTERN LAND OFFICE
    • CENTRAL LAND OFFICE
    • NORTHWESTERN LAND OFFICE
    • EASTERN LAND OFFICE
    • SOUTHERN LAND OFFICE
  • Dept. of Transportation
    • General Permitting Information
    • MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
    • District 1
    • District 2
    • District 3
    • District 4
    • District 5
  • Indian Lands
    • General Permitting Information
    • Blackfeet
    • Crow
    • Flathead
    • Fort Belknap
    • Fort Peck
    • Northern Cheyenne
    • Rocky Boy's
  • Cities
    • Bozeman
    • Livingston
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Montana Film Office • 301 South Park Ave Helena, MT 59620 • tel: 800.553.4563 • 406.841.2876 • fax: 406.841.2877 • montanafilm@mt.gov