New Park Use Permit - Research

New Park Use Permit - Research

Apply Now



Research is any activity that intends to increase knowledge of a certain study area, including investigation of phenomena or matter using established methods of inquiry based on gathering observable, empirical or measurable evidence. Any research activity that meets criteria listed in section 1.1.1 of BC Parks Research Permit Policy requires this type of permit. This permit covers research activity undertaken in a park, protected area, conservancy or recreation area (collectively, 'parks'), such as specimen collections, surveys, inventories and monitoring plots. Research activities must increase knowledge of protected area values for the inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public, contribute to scientific knowledge, provide educational opportunities, or help to ensure public health or safety.

Only applications that are considered by BC Parks to meet one of the purposes listed above, have no potential to result in adverse impacts, and are justified to be located within a park according to section 2.2 of BC Parks Research Permit Policy may be approved.

Research in an ecological reserve requires an ecological reserve permit.


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

No fees are required for research permits


  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 submitting proof of insurance 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 Society 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.

What you need to apply

  1. 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.
  2. 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 your activities including the timing, frequency, methodology, and specific location(s) of use. Management Plan Template can be found here.

  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 according 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 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.
  • 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 included.
  • Digital maps or georeferenced spatial files may be prepared using the FrontCounter BC Discovery Tool or iMap
  • 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.

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 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.

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. 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) your application was unsuccessful. Please be aware of the following reasons why a research park use permit may be denied- these are provided for your information and as examples only.

  1. BC Parks might not approve any new research permits if the conservancy does not have an approved Management Plan.
    1. A list of conservancies can be found on BC Parks’ website here and if there is an active management plan it will be listed on the page for that conservancy.
  2. BC Parks might not approve any new research permits if there are concerns about adverse impacts to the values of that particular park/conservancy/protected area/recreation area. BC Parks Research Permit Policy does not support research activities that would result in adverse impacts.
  3. BC Parks might not approve an activity that conflicts with other approved activities and recreational uses of a park, conservancy, protected area or recreation area.
Park Act
Management Plan Template
BC Parks Website
Certificate of Insurance - Requirements & Forms
BC Parks - Regional Contact List
Find a BC Park
BC Parks - Research Permit Policy
Permit Application Policy
Other Permit Policies