New Park Use Permit - Commercial Recreation

New Park Use Permit - Commercial Recreation

Apply Now



The Commercial Recreation application form is used for activities involving 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.

Provision of access services to a park by a commercial operator (e.g. floatplane, helicopter, boat or bus) is also authorized by a Commercial Recreation permit.

Only applications that are considered by BC Parks to be compatible with the conservation and recreation objectives identified for the park(s) involved in the proposal may be approved.

Contact BC Parks Area Supervisor responsible for the protected land(s) where you are applying for to discuss your application. 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

  1. Fee Schedule - Schedule K, of the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area RegulationGST (5%) must be added to the listed fees in the fee schedule.
  2. Application fees are non-refundable and applications will not be processed without the applicable application fee being submitted. Non-profit societies are required to pay application fees but may be exempt from other park use permit fees.
  3. Making a payment:
    1.  The application fee can be paid online during the application process by Credit Card or Interac Online. Acceptable Credit Card options include: Visa, Visa Debit, Master Card, Debit Master Card and American Express)
    2. Mail a cheque or money order (Payable to Minister of Finance) to any FrontCounter BC office. Cheques and Money orders will only be accepted in Canadian funds. Along with your payment, you will need to provide either your Remittance Form that is printable during the online application process OR provide your application tracking number.
    3. Pay in person at one of the FrontCounter BC locations. Please check the locations page for information about the offices, when they are open, and what payment method each location accepts. You will need bring either your Remittance Form that is printable during the online application process OR your application tracking number.


  1. It is your responsibility to ensure you have obtained all other applicable licenses, tenures or permits prior to the issuance of a park use permit.
  2. It is your responsibility to ensure your park use permit is in compliance by ensuring annual requirements of your permit are met each year, such as proof of insurance, fees and reports.
  3. BC Online - it is your responsibility to determine whether or not you must be registered to do business in British Columbia
    1. 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') must be in compliance with section 375 of the Business Corporations Act to operate in British Columbia.
    2. Extra-provincial societies must be registered under the Societies Act in British Columbia in order to hold a park use permit or resource use permit. An extra-provincial society is a society or association formed outside British Columbia, and includes a branch of that society or association.
  4. 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 must be provided prior to issuance of the permit, such as financial guarantees, or survey and inspection costs (as per Section 21 of the Park Act).

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

What you need to apply

  1. 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, specific location(s) of use. Management Plan Template can be found here. 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 application and reduce the potential for delays that can occur when multiple parks are listed in the park use permit application.

  1. Any additional documentation supporting the application such as photographs, or correspondence with First Nations.
  2. Digital maps must be submitted as part of the  online application. Map(s) must be submitted for each park included in the application Map must be created using the following mapping standards:
  1. Clearly indicate on the map: a north arrow, a scale bar (as described below) and a legend.
  2. General Location map: A map of the individual park(s)/ecological reserve(s) within the application, drawn to 1:50 000 to 1:250 000 scale (or larger if required to encompass boundaries of permit area) that illustrates at a landscape level scale the general location of the area under application, including boundaries of the proposed permit area and major landmarks, travel/access routes;
  3. Permit Area Map: If you have improvements or specific areas of the park that you will be using more intensively, a more detailed map(s) will be required in addition to a general location map.  A more detailed map(s) of the proposed permit area(s) within each park, drawn to 1:20 000 to 1:50 000 scale showing the exact proposed boundaries of the permit area, including the area (in hectares) as well as any watercourses or other identifying features (trails, facilities, roads, etc.).  The permit area map must clearly identify the location of travel/access routes, and specific study/activity site(s).  If applicable, the location and construction description of any temporary facilities or the use of existing facilities within the permit area, as well as the location and size of all proposed improvements must also be include
  4. Maps must be prepared using the FrontCounter BC Discovery Tool or iMap
  5. Link to the FrontCounter BC Discovery Tool and/or iMaps:
  1. It is recommended that you "Find a park" and read the park management plan prior to submitting your application.
  2. 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 BC Parks website.

What happens after you apply

Receiving the application

  1. Your application will be reviewed to ensure that it is complete. If necessary, you will be contacted for more information.
  2. An application will not be processed until all required information and the application fee has been received.
  3. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. Applications will be reviewed in the order that they are received and processed. The 140 day time frame will not be changed to accommodate "rush" applications.
  3. BC Parks staff will review the application and determine whether additional assessments and consultation may be required, such as ecological or archaeological assessments, or First Nation Consultation. Some assessments will be completed by BC Parks but other assessments may be the responsibility of the applicant to complete at their own cost.
  4. BC Parks staff and/or FrontCounter BC staff will be in contact throughout the application process to discuss your application as required.
  5. BC Parks considers the impacts of a proposed activity and the particular values of the parklands in question when evaluating a permit application. Decisions on park use permit applications are guided by the consideration of impacts and other policies, and if your application is denied you will be provided with a letter indicating the reason(s) for denial.

Request Final Requirements

  1. If the Statutory Decision Maker approves the permit, you will be contacted by the FrontCounter BC permit clerk, via email or letter if no email address was provided, with an approved draft permit, and notified of the final requirements due in order to issue your permit.
  2. Examples of "Final Requirements" may be, but are not limited to:
    1. Written agreement to the terms and conditions set out in the draft permit;
    2. Proof of Insurance (only the BC Certificate of Insurance form will be accepted);
    3. Permit Fee(s);
    4. Financial Guarantee.
  3. If you do not respond to the Request Final Requirements by the indicated due date, your application will be withdrawn and the file will be closed. 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 or hard copy if no email address was provided.

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. Decisions on park use permit applications are guided by the consideration of impacts and other policies, and 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. Please be aware of the following reasons why a commercial recreation park use permit may be denied- these are provided for your information and as examples only.

  1. BC Parks may not approve any new commercial recreation permits in a conservancy if the conservancy does not have an approved Management Plan.
    1. To determine if a conservancy has an active management plan go to the BC Parks' website here and look up the conservancy in question. If a management plan exists a link will be provided on the page for that conservancy.
  2. 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 BC Parks website here. Information about Park Management Plans for the particular area of interest should be reviewed prior to submitting an application.
Park Act
Management Plan Template
Fee Schedule - Schedule K, of the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation
Certificate of Insurance - Requirements & Forms
BC Parks Website
BC Parks - Regional Contact List
Find a Park (and management plan)
Permit Application Policy
Other Permit Policies