New Park Use Permit - Commercial Recreation

New Park Use Permit - Commercial Recreation

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The Commercial Recreation application form is used for fee-for-service activities in parks, protected areas, recreation areas and conservancies (collectively "parks"). These activities include: guided adventure tourism opportunities, such as guide outfitting, angle guiding, guided hiking, kayaking, boat tours, river rafting, caving, and heli-skiing. Angle guides and guide outfitters will also need authorizations under the Wildlife Act.

The Commercial Recreation permit is also used to authorize commercial recreation services in parks that may involve land use and occupancy, such as lodges, ski facilities, equipment rentals and food services.

A Commercial Recreation Permit also authorizes a commercial operator (e.g. floatplane, helicopter, boat or bus) to provide access services to a park.

Applications will only be approved if BC Parks deems them compatible with the conservation and recreation objectives of the park(s) involved in the proposal.

Discuss your application with the BC Parks Area Supervisor responsible for the protected land(s) for which you are applying. Area Supervisors are the BC Parks Staff responsible for particular park(s). Contact information for BC Parks regional offices can be found on BC Parks Website.

Costs and Responsibilities

Fees and making a payment

Please see the Fee Schedule - Schedule K, of the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation for a list of park uses and fees. GST (5%) must be added to the fees listed in the fee schedule.

Application fees are non-refundable, and applications submitted without their required fee will not be processed. Non-profit societies are required to pay application fees but may be exempt from other park use permit fees.

Fees can be paid online at the time of application, or at a FrontCounter BC location. See Payment Guidelines for more information. Note: Please be sure to include the payment remittance form or the application tracking number if submitting your payment in person or by mail.


It is your responsibility to obtain all other applicable licences, tenures or permits prior to the issuance of a park use permit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your park use permit's annual requirements, such as proof of insurance, fees and reports, are met each year.

BC Online - It is your responsibility to determine whether or not you must be registered to do business in British Columbia:

  • Businesses must either be licensed to do business in British Columbia or, if licensed/incorporated outside of British Columbia (considered to be 'extra-provincial companies'), be in compliance with section 375 of the Business Corporations Act to operate in British Columbia.
  • Extra-provincial societies must be registered under the Societies Act in order to hold a park use permit or resource use permit in British Columbia. An extra-provincial society is a society or association, or a specific branch of a society or association, that was formed outside British Columbia.

A park use permit holder is responsible for abiding by the terms and conditions of the permit document provided.

Additional Costs and Requirements

Upon evaluation of the proposal, it may be determined that additional costs and requirements, such as financial guarantees or survey and inspection costs, must be met prior to the issuance of the permit, (as per Section 21 of the Park Act).

Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance in the amount of $2 million per occurrence is the minimum requirement 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.

What you need to apply

Consultation with an Area Supervisor is recommended prior to submitting an application. Area Supervisors are the BC Parks staff responsible for particular parks. Contact information for BC Parks' regional offices can be found on the BC Parks website.

Completed online application form. Please note that applications are not considered complete until the application fee has been paid and/or co-permittee consent is submitted.

A detailed Management Plan that describes the nature of the business activities, including the timing, frequency and anticipated number of clientele, and specific location(s) of use. The Management Plan Template can be found here.  BC Parks requests that you only apply for parks that you believe are necessary for the successful operation of your business. This will assist BC Parks in processing your application and reduce the potential for delays that can occur when multiple parks are listed in the park use permit application.

Any additional documentation supporting the application, such as photographs or correspondence with First Nations.

Digital maps must be submitted as part of the  online application. Map(s) must be submitted for each park included in the application. Maps must be created using the following mapping standards:

  • Digital maps submitted as pdfs or image files must include a north arrow, a scale bar (as described below) and a legend. Georeferenced spatial files may be submitted and must be in BC Albers, NAD 83 projection.
  • General Location Map: 
    • A map of the individual park(s)/ecological reserve(s) within the application 
    • Drawn between 1:50 000 and 1:250 000 in scale (or larger if a larger scale is required to encompass the boundaries of the permit area)
    • Illustrates at a landscape level scale the general location of the area under application, including boundaries of the proposed permit area, travel/access routes and major landmarks
  • Permit Area Maps:
    • More detailed map(s) of the proposed permit area(s), required in addition to a general location map if you have improvements or specific areas of the park that you will be using more intensively
    • Drawn between 1:20 000 and 1:50 000 in scale, showing the exact proposed boundaries of the permit area
    • Include the area (in hectares) and any watercourses or other identifying features (trails, facilities, roads, etc.)
    • Clearly identify the location of travel/access routes and specific study/activity site(s)
    • If applicable, describe the construction, location(s) and use(s) of any new or pre-existing facilities within the permit area, as well as the proposed size(s) and location(s) of all future improvements 
  • Digital maps or georeferenced spatial files may be prepared using the  NROS Explore by Location Tool, FrontCounter BC Discovery Tool or iMapBC Tool.

It is recommended that you "Find a park" and read the park management plan prior to submitting your application.

Consulting First Nations

  • The Province is committed to reconciliation as part of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act.
  • The Province is responsible for ensuring adequate and appropriate consultation and accommodation, it may involve the proponent in the procedural aspects of consultation.

Proponents are encouraged to engage with First Nations as early as possible in the planning stages to build relationships and for information sharing purposes. To get more information about the guidelines and procedure manuals that are designed to assist government officials and proponents with meeting consultation obligations, please visit the Consulting with First Nations web page.


What happens after you apply

Receiving the application

  • Your application will be reviewed to ensure that it is complete. If necessary, you will be contacted for more information.
  • An application will not be processed until all required information and the application fee has been received.
  • The submission of an application does NOT allow you any rights to the park land. A park use permit, if issued, would grant this authority.


  • The target time frame for making a decision on your application is 140 days after a complete application is received. BC Parks target times may be affected by other required processes, such as requests to you for additional information or requirements for First Nations consultation.
  • Applications will be processed in the order that they are received. The 140 day time frame will not be changed to accommodate "rush" applications.
  • BC Parks staff will review the application to determine whether additional assessments, such as ecological or archaeological assessments, or consultation, such as First Nations consulation, may be required. Some assessments will be completed by BC Parks, but other assessments may be the responsibility of the applicant to complete at their own cost.
  • BC Parks staff and/or FrontCounter BC staff may contact you throughout the application process to discuss your application as required.
  • BC Parks considers the impacts of a proposed activity and the particular values of the parklands in question when evaluating a permit application. If your application is denied, you will be provided with a letter indicating the reason(s) for denial.

Request Final Requirements

  • If the Statutory Decision Maker approves the permit, The FrontCounter BC permit clerk will email you a draft permit and notify you of the permit's final requirements. If no email address was provided, you will be notified by letter instead.
  • Examples of Final Requirements:
    • Written agreement to the terms and conditions set out in the draft permit
    • Proof of Insurance
    • Permit Fee(s)
    • Financial Guarantee
  • If you do not respond to the Request for Final Requirements by the indicated due date, your application will be withdrawn, your file will be closed and your application fee will not be refunded.

Issuance of Permit

Once all final requirements are met, the permit will be issued and sent to you by FrontCounter BC via email. If no email address was provided, a hard copy will be sent to you by mail.

Why would my application be denied?

BC Parks considers the impacts of a proposed activity and the particular values of the parklands in question when evaluating a permit application. If your application is denied, you will be provided with a letter indicating the reason(s) for denial. Any application fee that may have been paid will not be refunded. The list below provides some common examples of why BC Parks may deny a Commercial Recreation application:

  • BC Parks may not approve any new commercial recreation permits in a conservancy if the conservancy does not have an approved Management Plan.
    • To determine if a conservancy has an active management plan, go to the BC Parks' website and look up the conservancy in question. If a management plan exists, a link will be provided on the page for that conservancy.
  • BC Parks may not approve an activity that does not support the goals of an approved Park Management Plan.
A list of parks, conservancies, protected areas and recreation areas can be found on the BC Parks website. Prior to submitting your application, please review the Park Management Plan information for your particular area of interest. 
Park Act
Management Plan Template
Fee Schedule - Schedule K, of the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation
BC Parks Website
BC Parks - Regional Contact List
Find a Park (and management plan)
Permit Application Policy
Other Permit Policies